'Buying Power of Black America' probes spending shifts caused by tight
Report breaks down Black American economy dollar-by-dollar
According to the data found in a new report, "The Buying Power
of Black America," now may be the most opportune time ever for businesses
to develop a strategy for increasing their share of the Black American
market. With the nation slowly recovering from recession, Black
consumers represent the margin of profitability in most consumer product
"What the recession did to Black America's buying habits is to give them
a reason to re-evaluate how they spent the billions of dollars they
earned collectively," said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News
and editor of the report. "Before tight economic times, companies felt
they could afford to take their loyalty -- especially to top brands --
for granted. That changed during the downturn. Price was a bigger factor
driving purchasing decisions. Now brands have to earn the loyalty of
Black consumers all over again. Black consumers are asking brands, 'what
have you done for me lately.'"
For the past 17 years, Target Market News has published the only report
that breaks down in dollars the impact of the Black Consumer Market. Now
approaching a trillion dollars in spending, the earned income of Black
America is already the 16th largest market in the world, and is on the
verge of surpassing the gross national income of Mexico.
This 105-page report breaks down how much of Black consumers' $836
billion in income was spent during 2011 on clothing, entertainment,
food, beverages, toys, consumer technology, cosmetics, autos, travel and
dozens of other categories.
Another factor causing a shift in the loyalty of Black consumers is
social media and increased access to business information. The new
edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" includes a section
detailing the dollars spent by major companies on advertising in Black
media. It also compares the ad spending of companies by categories.
"African-Americans can now rely on their own research about brands,"
said Smikle. "This is one of the reasons why we added a section that
tracks how much leading advertisers spent in Black-oriented media. There
is a correlation between building and sustaining Black consumers'
patronage and the dollars spent to reach them through advertising. That
fact has not changed in this diverse media environment -- it has become
an imperative for brands that want success."
Additionally, advertising is a key measurement of the economic
relationship companies have with Black consumers. "The largest single
investment that Corporate America makes in the Black community is in
advertising," said Smikle. "That investment is about $2 billion a year,
but it should be at least twice that amount given the importance of the
market and the role these consumers play in any company's bottom line."
The spending of the top 80 advertisers in Black media are detailed in
the report. The No.1 company, Procter & Gamble, spent $78.9 million in
2011, while the No.80 company, Apple, spent just $1.6 million.
Top 10 Expenditures in Black Households - 2011
(Figures shown in billion of dollars)
Housing and Related Charges
Cars and Trucks - New & Used
Apparel Products and Services
Households Furnishings & Equipment
Source: The Buying Power of Black America 2012
The report compares spending by Black households on 500-plus products
and services between 2010 and 2011.
The top five categories showing an increase in spending between 2010 and
2011 were Appliances, $2.7billion (29%); Sports and Recreational
Equipment, $850 million (28%); Personal and Professional Services, $5
billion (27%); Computers, $5 billion (21%); and Non-Alcoholic Beverages,
"The Buying Power of Black America" is an analysis of data compiled
annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is based on interviews
and diaries collected from more than 3,000 Black households, and is the
most comprehensive survey conducted on Black consumers. This same data
is also used as the basis for the U.S. government's Consumer Price
The 17th annual edition of The Buying Power of Black America includes
these sections covering:
- Expenditure & Trends: An break down of how spending by Black consumers
has changed in more than 500 individual categories between 2010 and
- Income Data: A detailed look at how much African-Americans earn,
explanations of the varied definitions and types of income, city-by-city
data on Black income, a comparison with world economies and a look at
Black buying power over the past 30 years.
- Black Buying Power in the Top 35 Markets: An expanded breakdown of the
billions of dollars Black consumers spent in 26 major categories of
products and services in the nation's top markets.
- Leading Black Media Advertisers: A ranking of national advertisers and
industries according to their ad expenditures in Black media
- The 100-Plus Index: A special section providing data on dozens of
items for which African-American consumers out-spent their white
- Demographic Data on the Black Population: The latest information on
the African-American population including rankings of the largest Black
metropolitan areas, the percentage of Black population in U.S. cities
and a listing of the total dollars earned by Black consumers for each of
the past three decades.
More than 3,000 hard-to-find statistics are now available in
this one affordable publication. "The Buying Power of Black America" is an
analysis of data compiled annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
It is based on interviews and diaries collected from 3,000 Black
households, and is the most comprehensive survey conducted on Black
consumers. This same data is also the basis for the U.S. government's
Consumer Price Index.
This hard-to-find information is now available in a single
affordable source for $99, or just $65 for the digital version.
To order a hard-copy or digital version of the report
or call 312-408-1881.
Go to Target Market News homepage
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