Monday, July 21, 2008

Non-Urban-Dictate...What? They Don't WANT My Money!

My girlfriend send me some very interesting information. I am a firm believer in turning over black and brown dollars a few times before it hits the mainstream. It is not because I am separatist or racist or elitist, it is because I am a realist. I am also a graduate of the University of Iowa with my Masters of Business Administration in marketing. I know the business of branding, strategy, targeting is to bring in the consumer. There are many big consumer products companies that do a pittance with Black and Brown advertising and there are some who deliberately choose to ignore this very powerful consumer block.

This post, courtesy of my girlfriend, conveniently outlines those companies who have labeled their marketing materials with a NUD. This labeling means their Brand Manager are not to pursue multicultural media in favor of reaching black consumers. I saw this trend happening when the 2000 census gave our Brown (Latino, Hispanic) brethren a slight nudge in the population numbers. American companies (Hallmark Cards, Inc. included) jumped all over themselves to make their products more Hispanic. They dropped black marketing like a hot potato and went after Hispanics with everything from an entire grocery aisle of foods to Spanish on EVERY product. The last time I checked, black people were still a formidable financial force in this country.

I teach my children to NEVER spend money with any company that will disrespect them in any way. They have seen me walk out with a cart full of items due to poor customer service or lack of respect. Respect in retail is very simple, a "hello" and "how are you" go a long way, as well as not following me in the store (it is still happening at Dillard's). The older I get, the more disgusted I get. I refuse to enrich a populace that makes it a point to ignore my buying power (five degree family, two homes, stay-at-home mom, you do the math).

Tom Joyner wants this information to reach his listeners.
You have probably heard of "NUD" as a result of the Tom Joyner morning show related to Comp USA.

NUD (Non Urban Dictate) is the acronym for a very subtle andl ittle-known marketing term specifically directed toward people of color. "Non Urban Dictate" These three words essentially mean that a company is not interested in the Black consumer.

A NUD label means that a company does not want their marketing and advertising materials placed in media that claim an urban audience (black folks) as their main target.

There are legitimate reasons for companies not using urban radio. It may be that Blacks don't index high in certain categories or that a company's strategy is to market to the Black consumer down the road after they have established a strong position in their primary target.
But, NUD usually means that a company is not interested in the Black consumer.

Companies evade discrimination liability by embracing it as theory rather than policy. As a service to Black consumers, the Urban Institute will list all companies that have a NUD policy. Armed with this information, we feel that Black consumers will be able to make informed buying decisions.

Here's a list of Companies with NUD policies:

1. Starbucks (and they just announced 600 store closing!)

2. Jos. A Bank

3. Comp USA (and you wonder why they closed down!)

4. Weight Watchers (find another way to lose that weight!)

5. Keebler (gotta give up the cute little Elf cookies - full of high fructose corn syrup anyway!)

6. Life Savers (find another breath mint!)

7. Continental Airlines (bad service, losing money anyway)

8. Northwest Airlines (Ditto)

9. America West Airlines (this one may hurt, but Southwest Airlines is still $1 in my book)

10. HBO - Apollo Series (time to cut the cable!)

11. Paternal Importers

12 Calico Corners

13. OMScot

14. Pepperidge Farms (Not my Chessman Cookies!!!! Giving it up people, FYI - this is a Campbell's Soup Company!)

15. Ethan Allen (don't buy their furniture anyway)

16. Busy Body Fitness

17. Mondavi Wines

18. Builders Square

19. Don Pablo

20. Lexus (Get a Toyota or Mercedes if you have to!)

21. Aruba Tourism

22.. Ciba Vision

23. Kindercare (they warehouse kids anyway)

24. Grady Restaurant

25. Eddie Bauer (this brand strategy has always been the preppy, prosperous, white young man which wasn't enough to prevent several store closings - see my earlier post!)

Knowledge is power.

We are in a recession/depression. Middle class and even upper middle class families are feeling the pinch with $4.11/gallon gas and $3.89/gallon milk and $8/lb chicken. These companies will feel the economic impact by ignoring a significant segment of the population. Starbucks, as noted on a previous blog and as been widely reported, is closing down several of their "underperforming" stores.

The only color that matters in business is ultimately green. All consumers should be respected. One of my favorite coffee shops, happens to be owned by a black couple, is 17 miles from my Kirkwood home. They are always busy and serve all consumers. A lot of their regulars are white. Good customer service wins each time and even large companies can't afford to discriminate.

Take note and take action, especially as the school shopping season is upon us!

Please forward this information on to any other consumer that you consider a friend and advise them to do likewise.

Remember, you CANNOT act wisely unless you are informed wisely.

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