New American Middle March 25, 2021

New American Middle Consumer Research Insights

Identifying Brand Values for the New American Middle Consumer

Ever since we identified the market opportunity that is the New American Middle, we’ve worked on adding precision and narrowing down the markup of this consumer supergroup—a group that is driven by psychographic overlaps, not by demographic attributes.

This emphasis on a more contextual and holistic definition lends complexity to the process of clarifying the guard rails of this audience, yet through our initial secondary research and now, with added primary research, we’re able to make directional assumptions with more confidence than ever.

And we’re just getting started.

Adding Clarity and Definition to NAM Through Primary Research

For more than five years, we’ve been digging, reading, curating, pivoting, and synthesizing secondary data sources that have allowed us to identify similarities and overlap in this consumer group’s core values, how they feel about “big” institutions, the importance of authenticity, the importance of brands that express their values with clarity, and several other similarities that you can read more about on our NAM manifesto.

Our latest round of primary research to gather more information about this consumer supergroup validated a slew of our secondary and directional data points, reaffirmed some of our assumptions, and gave us deeper insights into values, urbanicity, brand preferences, exclusion vs. inclusion, and a whole host of directional data points that we will continue to validate and hone in on with our next batch of primary data.

We wanted to share a few of the biggest aha moments that this research identified—some of the instances where our confidence level is very high and we can get closer to optimal precision.

From a data validation perspective, here are some of the macro insights we’ve gleaned:

Diving deeper, we synthesized data based on a couple of foundational truths to identify core insights within brand preference, value meaning, product attributes, product preferences, and more. Here’s a contextual look into what these insights have yielded so far:

The Importance of Brand Values

Environmentally conscious individuals are 14% more likely to be influenced by a brand that aligns with their values than respondents who cited family as the value most representative of what matters to them.

Purchase Preferences Through the Value/Brand Prism

Transparency and Authenticity’s Impact

Changing Shopping Behaviors and Preferences

We’re in the beginning stages of developing our next research study, which will build on validated assumptions and focus on how the NAM consumer thinks about brand equity, affinity, and loyalty and how brands can activate these insights.

Our next set of primary research will focus on the impact of branding on the NAM, through the prism of qualifying and prioritizing:

We developed the Brand Affinity Index to answer some of these brand-specific questions from the NAM consumer. 

Our Brand Values ID Positioning Framework Solves the HOW.
The NAM Is the WHO.
Brand Values Are the WHY.

The New American Middle is perhaps an overlooked opportunity for your brand. It’s an opportunity for your brand to realize its potential from a future-proofing and growth approach—and from an audience-specificity and deeper relevance approach.

It’s an unmatched opportunity to identify the impact of elevated brand loyalty and brand equity, and the opportunity to make branding a tangible component of your ROI focus.

We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time not just researching NAM, but also developing the Brand Values Positioning ID framework: our proprietary process that allows us to identify “white space” in your category and ownable values that align with your high-value audience groups.

Our Process of Identifying Brand Values and Positioning Opportunity

When you begin working with BMDG, we will put your brand through our tried-and-true five-step New American Middle Brand Value ID Positioning framework:

  1. Defining the operative set of values within your category
  2. Defining which values are core to your brand and which values are currently being expressed though your brand’s marketing efforts
  3. Learning which values are owned, competed over, and shared by other brands in your category
  4. Identifying the white space in your category—which values the brands in your category are not currently activating around—as well as values over which there is unnecessary competition
  5. Developing creative concepts and a messaging strategy to fill that category white space, while also redirecting creative away from any wasteful values competition

Read more about what it takes, and the value, to implement our New American Middle Brand Values ID Positioning framework