Since our world is evolving in terms of super and hyper diversity, with minority groups becoming the majority, these transformations give insight into another aspect: the underserved communities. Many brands today still struggle depicting an authentic representation of society in advertising. Time and again certain ‘minority’ groups end up being (unintentionally) forgotten, which leads to being excluded from brands’ services. Here, we’re not pointing fingers at anyone, because subconsciously, marketers create solutions for those they directly identify with in mind.
However, there are also potential and addressable target audiences that are ready to buy, but their access to a brand’s range is denied. Underserved communities can be women (corresponding to 50% of our world population!), people over 50, people with different abilities, ethnic ‘minorities’ and the LGBTQIA+ community. Often left feeling underserved yet representing actual majority groups. The fact that they consist of large potential audiences provides a major opportunity for brands to tap into new and unexplored markets. Together, these underserved communities represent trillions in purchasing power, with some groups (such as parents and other caregivers) representing multiple markets (e.g. the minors they’re responsible for), multiplying the purchasing power effect.
What are underserved communities?
Underserved communities are groups within society that are not receiving adequate services, products, or communication from a brand. These communities are not necessarily minorities in terms of their size, but may be larger groups that possess significant social, financial, and other forms of capital. There are several reasons why certain communities may be underserved by brands.
- Existing societal norms prevent brands from considering underserved communities. Brands often have specific ideas about their target audience, which are limited by the norms and history of the brand. If a brand fails to consider the changing demographics of society and how this impacts their existing and potential audience, they may miss out on potential customers who do not fit their limited view of the target audience.
- A lack of insights into these communities makes it difficult to target. Brands may use outdated research methods or may be hesitant to target or represent certain groups because they feel they do not know them well enough to do so authentically.
- The people working at the brand are not representative of society as a whole. If there are not enough diverse voices within the brand to advocate for the needs of underserved groups, the brand may not have the necessary insights to properly serve these communities.
To effectively serve underserved communities, it is important for brands to understand the dynamics at play and take steps to overcome these barriers. This may include diversifying the team at the brand, using more inclusive research methods, and actively seeking out and considering the needs of underserved communities. By doing so, brands can better serve and connect with these important groups within society.
Want to learn more about underserved communities? Check out our recent white paper!
Or contact us and let’s discuss how we can work together.