Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Insider: Andrea Hoffman – A Connector in Business, Technology and Philanthropy

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Andrea Hoffman (2nd from left), founder of Diversity Affluence with Mitch Kapor, Freada Kapor Klein and Van Jones
Our latest Insider helps luxury brands, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations connect with African-American and multicultural affluent consumers, influencers and innovators for meaningful opportunities in business, technology, and philanthropy. Andrea Hoffman is the founder of Diversity Affluence, a full service business advisory firm founded in 2006 that creates engagement strategies to reach the diverse elite. She was inspired to create Diversity Affluence stemming back from 2000, after working for AllianceBernstein and luxury brand clients at a time when their companies were shifting toward a younger and more diverse audience. After conducting a marketing and business development audit for a company using her proprietary process, Andrea found that the only way the brand was going to achieve their goals was to engage affluent multicultural consumers – a group she has termed the “Royaltons.”

Clients such as Credit Suisse, Carnegie Hall, General Motors, Platform, Jaguar, Hermès, Time Life, Draftfcb, Baume & Mercier, #YesWeCode, JPMorgan Chase and others have called upon Andrea to work her magic for them and as a result, she has carved out a unique niche as an advisor who is able to provide assessment, strategy and execution because of what, and who, she knows.

Many people are familiar with Andrea as the co-author of Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans (Palgrave Macmillan), or her convenings such as the annual Diversity Affluence Brunch in the Hamptons and her invite only social impact dinner program, The Secret Supper Club, but she is most regarded for her innovative strategies and advising on business model re-invention that help brands and businesses reach untapped markets and business opportunities aimed at this highly sought after, but hard to reach group.

“Andrea has the ability to convene thought leaders around essential issues and get them to put intentions and actions into motion” says Robert F. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Read on to learn more about the work of Diversity Affluence:

Why is your work important?

First, the “Royaltons” continues to grow in size, economic and social clout. Secondly, organizations today are looking for growth, innovation and diversification. As a solutionist, my job is to design business to business and business to consumer strategies and tweak existing or create new business models that improve outcomes. I help my clients tap into untapped intellectual and social capital in their own backyard. In addition, we create connections across our curated network. All of which helps to catalyze business growth and brand differentiation. That’s important because everyone wins. Our database includes over 1000 accomplished innovators and influencers available for business collaboration, mergers and acquisitions, technology related corporate board seats and more. We demystify for our clients who they are, how and where to authentically engage them. It’s a way to leapfrog over the competition.

It has been four years since the release of your book, “Black Is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans.” What has been the response?

The book still sells and people continue to spread the word. I was in Atlanta recently when a saleswoman recognized me and stopped to thank me for writing the book. The same thing happened this year at a Jazz at Lincoln Center fundraiser, an AdWeek event and even at a NJ toll booth. I also met author Laurence Otis Graham recently. He expressed being a fan of my book too. It was humbling. The Kindle version has made sharing this body of work easier as well. Len (the book’s co-author) and I plan to update the book with new case studies soon.

Please share more about your current and future projects.

I’m excited about our Digital Directors initiative, which creates corporate board seats for diverse candidates who have innovation, digital and technology expertise. Our database of these candidates is impressively large. I’m excited about our Culture Shift Innovation Labs where we implement cross functional teams of diverse and accomplished experts to help organizations enhance innovation. I’m excited about our work with highly regarded executives and societal impact leaders from Nigeria who we help engage with U.S. corporations and vice versa. Most importantly, I’m excited to be expanding the business to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. That work began 18 months ago.

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Goldman Sachs executive Valentino Carlotti, Hoffman,
and Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners

Anything else you'd like to share?

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge those who helped my business launch, sustain and grow. One person is my original investor, Ivan Burwell. When I pitched Ivan the idea of Diversity Affluence in late 2005, he immediately got it. The other person is Reggie Van Lee. His consistent guidance has enabled my firm to sustain itself for the last eight years. And of course my stellar advisory board members including Denmark West, Chloe Drew, Candice Cook Esq., John Dokes and about 10 others who help my firm remain relevant and an enabler of success.

Visit the website at diversityaffluence.com.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It was humbling. The Kindle version has made sharing this body of work easier as well. Len (the book’s co-author) and I plan to update the book with new case studies soon.ブランド靴通販