The general market for luxury goods has become stagnant. Given the new economic reality of the early 21st Century—not to mention the all-important new demographics of the new century—it’s bad business to continue to rely on luxury’s traditional customer base to support sales, or on tired marketing strategies and tactics. In Black is the New Green, authors Burnett and Hoffman show readers how to follow in the footsteps laid down by brands such as Gucci, Sony Electronics, and Aston Martin, amongst others, to become successful in a segment corporations can’t afford to overlook if growth is the objective.

The total number of affluent ethnic households in the United States is now estimated at over 1.3 million, the buying power of affluent African Americans (referred to as AAAs in this book) is currently $87.3 billion. This massive buying power of African Americans is expected to reach more than $1.1 trillion by 2012—just three short years for a cumulative growth of 28.4 percent. It would be foolish in the extreme not to tap into this rich buying segment, yet that is exactly what the marketing arms of companies do all too frequently. Sometimes this is because the executives in a particular marketing department are unaware of the potential that exists within this segment; sometimes it’s because they are baffled about how to reach out to this segment; and sometimes it’s because they think they lack the money or resources to make a credible effort at adding a whole new segment. While other times, unfortunately, it’s because they have reached out in the past but their efforts were unappealing to the AAA audience. Black is the New Green will show you how to attract this lucrative market and create brand loyalty and product bonding among affluent African Americans in an affordable and measurable way.

Up until now, the affluent African American market has been under-appreciated and overlooked. But with a sitting African American president—the time is now to tap into this market and to embrace a constituency that will have a lasting effect on your bottom line.

  • Introduction: Where the Money Is

    “Go where the money is.” This pithy way to navigate should be obvious to any marketer worth his or her salt. It’s known as “Sutton’s Law,” and it comes to us out of the Great Depression, by way of a colorful character known as “Slick Willie” Sutton. Sutton was a prolific bank robber known for his immaculate dress, quick wit, and gentle manners. Although the sheer number of heists he pulled off made ...

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  • Force 1 - The Economy

    The recessionary summer of 2009, when we were writing this book, is a long way from the heady days of the 1920s and the turbulent 1930s when Willie Sutton was active. For one thing, we are literally no longer so sure about where the money is. There is no longer any guarantee that it’s in the banks or the investment firms, or any of the other places we are used to finding it. To say that this time of financial realignments has left marketers scrambling to find out who still has the money—and ...

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  • Force 2 - Technology

    Certainly the market downturn that stunned us in 2008 is not the only force shaping the emerging new era. The art of marketing is itself in flux—or, if you prefer, on a learning curve—as advertisers, ad agencies, and even their media partners struggle to figure out how to fit the technologies profitably into the old mix of print, television, and radio formats and how they can create a new mix that will continue to deliver results for their clients.

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  • Force 3 - Spending for Meaning

    But, let’s face it, technology is going to continue to evolve and consumers will be driven by advances in both products and methods of communication. In fact, science and the development of new technologies are progressing at such a rapid pace that a young person who entered a four-year college program in 2009 can expect that what he or she learned about science in freshman year will be outdated by the time he or she is a junior.

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  • Force 4 - Demographic Shift

    Adapting to the new economic realities is compulsory for any business that wants to remain viable, but it doesn’t mean making a huge stretch. It does not mean a vast and expensive restructuring of marketing plans or product lines. Spending time and money to look far afield is neither efficient nor necessary when the answers are often right under your nose. Your organization may be small or it may be complex, but the solutions to your new marketing challenges can often be quite simple, a matter of analyzing what equities and assets you may already be invested in and finding out that they can be used to gain a whole new audience (what opportunities are already knocking on your door or waiting right outside of it) and leveraging them in new ways. The place to begin is ...

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