The research company Yankelovich has merged with the British company Henley Center Headlight Vision to form The Futures Company. “The name change is really reflective of what we are all about: examining today’s trends to get a picture of what tomorrow will look like,” Sonya Suarez, VP multicultural marketing insights, tells Portada.
Suarez notes that the merger with Henley Center Headlight Vision really makes the Future’s Company a global entity, with offices in NYC, Chapel Hill, London and Mumbai. In all the new company employs 160 people, though no more than a dozen are devoted exclusively to multicultural research.
The company has just returned from the field after interviewing some 4,000 people for its annual multicultural study. The results of the study will be released to clients in February and to the broader public sometime in March or April.
The Futures Company segments its multicultural audience with what it calls an “Enhanced Acculturation Model.” Ms. Suarez notes, “Traditional models usually are based on language preference and time spent in country. Our model focuses much more on attitudes than these other factors.”
David Bersoff, who is the head of Global Knowledge and Intelligence at the Future’s Company, says that this attitudinally based segmentation approach is better than traditional models because the underlying assumptions of the traditional segmentation are not borne out in reality: “The traditional model assumes that the more time one has spent in-country and the more facile on eis with the English language, the more ‘Americanized’ that person is. This simply is not born out by the facts.” Bersoff says that there are many Latinos who have been in the U.S. for many years who maintain strong ties to their Hispanic heritage and traditions. Conversely, there are some Latinos who have not been here for very long, but who are intent upon becoming “American” and have little use for their Latin customs.
As a result, The Futures Company divides its Hispanic audiences into the following four segments:
1) Spanish high cultural affinity: Slower to get into acculturation. (Mostly US Born)
2) Spanish low cultural affinity: More of a desire to speed up the acculturation process (Mostly US Born)
3) Spanish bicultural: (One foot in Hispanic world and one in Anglo world) Best of both worlds, but also torn between worlds. More fluent in English, but still very tied to Hispanic culture.
4) Relatively Assimilated: Identifies more with mainstream American values than with Hispanic identity.