Some 60% of US consumers call the New Heartland home. However, many brands and their Coast-based agencies assume that all Americans who live in the New Heartland are the same as those who live on the coasts. Or worse, those agencies stereotype this group and dismiss all members as cowboys, country folk, or rednecks. That assumption is naïve and lazy, and can cost a brand millions of potential dollars in sales.

The fact is that there's a huge opportunity for brands to grow in the New Heartland.

The New Heartland Defined

What is the New Heartland? It's composed of 26 states in the Southwest, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. It's a massive and influential cultural segment largely misunderstood and underserved by many brands.

New Heartland core values tend to be more at the surface for these consumers and to be woven into everyday decisions.

The truth is that many brands are allocating large amounts of resources on messaging that doesn't connect with the people in this region. Those brands don't take the time to learn what is important to the consumers in this cultural segment. Only 5% of consumers surveyed in the New Heartland think that brands and the campaigns they produce really understand them.

If a brand is already successful without bothering to learn about the cultural nuances of the New Heartland region, why should it care? Sure, brands can succeed with limited knowledge and marketing to this region. However, doing so incredibly limits a brand's potential by ignoring a group that makes up over half of the United States' consumers!

Think of the lift in brand equity a concerted effort in this space would generate... It's huge!

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image of Paul Jankowski

Paul Jankowski is founder and CEO of New Heartland Group, a brand strategy, content creation, digital marketing and branded entertainment agency that creates messaging and engagement platforms that connect with 60% of US consumers in the New Heartland.

LinkedIn: Paul Jankowski 

Twitter: @pauljankowski1