In the past few years, the entertainment spotlight has turned to the AAPI community, and momentum is building for Asian-centered stories, films, music and entertainment. Everything Everywhere All at Once won the Academy Award for best picture. The popularity and influence of K-pop music, K-dramas and Asian films has grown over the years.
Brand marketers are excited about this time. There are many opportunities to engage with consumers. America's rich cultural fabric is enriched by diversity, as different communities interact to shape our world. Society is driven towards a more equitable future by supporting cultural expression.
We are always looking for emerging cultural trends as Toyota's agency of record. When we started working for Toyota in 2004, K-pop and K-drama were still popular in the US. We have begun to integrate them into our brand efforts in other multicultural segments.
Brand marketers can use cultural phenomena to establish deeper connections with consumers, thanks to the appreciation of AAPI culture. There are several ways to do that.
Embrace cultural events
The cultures surrounding us today can be embraced by brands. America's largest K-Pop event is called KCon. 40% of the people are Asian and the other 40% are non- Asian.
There was a rise in interest in Korean culture, television and music when Hallyu was translated to Korean Wave. We have been engaging the fans to build brand affinity and connection through an integrated approach.
There are more Asian influences in pop culture. As a result of their roots in Asia, a number of popular culture phenomena have become mainstream. These are opportunities for brand marketers to stay relevant with their consumers.
Dig for deep cultural understanding
Consistency and deep understanding of the consumer are keys to success.
We do extensive research to find out why consumers do what they do. This goes beyond traditional research to include first-hand experience in popular culture to better understand fans.
Consumers with a passion for music, food and entertainment are able to share their identity with others. We can create authentic brand opportunities if we understand this motivation.
Account for cultural nuance
The multicultural segment is not a monolith and needs to be approached separately.
We have supported initiatives like 88Rising, the South Asian Film Festival, Minor League Cricket and more. Disney's Turning Red and Tan France have collaborated with us to showcase their talent and support the community.
We took it further with the understanding that Asian American consumers' deepest motivation is to be free to pursue their goals and dreams. We created a campaign to show that Toyota is capable of taking action to start their day.
With overarching brand messaging, we deployed multiple platforms including social media, events and media partnerships to ensure we are reaching all different groups in an authentic and meaningful way.
Since 2004, Toyota has invested in Asian American segments. Over the years, the brand has evolved with our consumers. It allows us to continue to expand our efforts and increase credibility.
Be your best authentic brand self
The word "authentic" is to be used in marketing by the year 2023. Being authentic in a campaign is the same as being authentic in this one.
It is important to have your audience feel connected to your brand and not feel like they are being sold to. Consumers want brands with quality products because there are so many choices. What distinguishes your brand from the others?
Consumers want to understand the why behind a brand's story by aligning their values with theirs. They are trying to find a connection. Similar to any other relationship, there needs to be constant presence and effort to maintain it.
The rise in AAPI appreciation isn't something we have encountered along the road, it's the destination. Brand and societal success can be traced back to driving culture.