African-Americans want more for themselves and from corporate America, and they express it with their dollars as they move through the consumer journey, from brand awareness to purchase, as revealed in the latest Nielsen 2019 Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS) Report on African-Americans.

“It’s in the Bag: Black Consumers’ Path to Purchase” explores the non-linear and uniquely technologically driven road that African-Americans follow to make purchasing decisions, which ultimately maximizes both online and in-person shopping options, reports PR Newswire. This path highlights several differences in shopping behavior and purchasing when compared to the total U.S. population.

The report also includes deeper insights into how culture, socio-economics and business influences how, why and what motivates African-American spending in a special co-authored section by advocate and media commentator Angela Rye, CEO and Principal of Impact Strategies. “At 47.8 million strong and a buying power that’s on par with many countries’ gross domestic products, African-Americans continue to outpace spending nationally,” said Cheryl Grace, Nielsen’s senior vice president of Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement and co-creator of the DIS Report. “This year, we wanted to help brands and marketers understand the multi-faceted process that Blacks take to buy the products they buy. There are several drivers, but culture is at the center of them all. Further, with their love for technology, they are much more savvy and conscious consumers. They are as we say, ‘woke.’ They pay attention to how companies are speaking to them. As they spend more, they want more for themselves and from the brands they support.”

Key takeaways from the report include, African-Americans are welcoming recipients of advertising across all channels; however, while the trends of the Black buying power and over-indexing in spending continue to increase, companies’ investments to advertise to them have decreased.

According to the report, African-Americans are more likely than the total population to agree that advertising provides meaningful information on most platforms, including mobile (42 percent higher), television (23 percent higher), radio (21 percent higher) and the internet (18 percent higher). Conversely, advertising spend designed to reach Black consumers declined 5 percent between 2017 and 2018. Physical appearance reflects a sense of cultural pride and self-expression in the Black community.

This is evidenced by the top spending priorities for African-Americans from everyday soap to luxury handbags. Blacks are 20 percent more likely than the total population to say they will “pay extra for a product that is consistent with the image I want to convey.” They are also more likely to say they shop at high-end stores including Saks Fifth Avenue (63 percent), Neiman Marcus (45 percent) and Bloomingdales (24 percent).

The “for us by us” trend of Black-owned brands is profoundly impacting the African-American path to purchase and consumer marketplace. Black consumers support brands that align with their lifestyles and values. “Nielsen continues to unearth undeniable data and insights that highlight both the agency and power of Black consumers, and the plethora of opportunities that exist for companies that are focused on nurturing and empowering how they move through the world,” said Jonathan Jackson, former 2019 Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellow in Journalism Innovation at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and member of Nielsen’s African American External Advisory Council.