7 Ways to break down the barriers with Cross-Race Effect

Prathamesh Krisang

The Cross-Race Effect is a cognitive bias that makes it difficult for individuals to recognize faces of people from a different race or ethnicity. It affects our ability to remember and recognize individuals from different racial or ethnic backgrounds. In marketing, understanding the Cross-Race Effect can help brands create effective marketing campaigns that appeal to diverse audiences.

In this article, we will explore some practical ways to leverage Cross-Race Effect in marketing, sales, branding, design, and advertising.

1. Diverse Content Creation Team

Hire a diverse group of creators to develop marketing and advertising materials. This can help ensure that materials are sensitive to different racial groups and avoid stereotypes.

Example: A company that produces technology products could hire a diverse group of creators to develop marketing materials that are both informative and engaging for people from different racial groups. This could include creating videos, graphics, and other types of content that feature people from different backgrounds using and enjoying the company’s products.

2. Inclusive Customer Service

Inclusive customer service involves training representatives to understand the nuances of different cultures and races to better serve and understand their customers. It’s important for companies to recognize the unique needs and preferences of each customer to ensure that their experience is positive and inclusive.

Example: A food delivery app can hire and train customer service representatives from diverse racial backgrounds to help them understand the different cultures and traditions associated with various types of cuisine. These representatives can provide personalized recommendations based on the customer’s preferences and cultural background. Additionally, they can ensure that the app’s language and communication style are inclusive of all customers, regardless of their racial background. For instance, if a customer has a query related to a certain dish, the customer service representative can guide them with the recipe and also recommend other dishes that are popular in their culture. This can create a more inclusive and welcoming experience for customers of all races.

3. Collaborations with Diverse Influencers

Collaborations with diverse influencers involve partnering with individuals from diverse racial groups to promote products or services. By collaborating with diverse influencers in marketing campaigns, companies can improve brand visibility and appeal to a broader audience.

Example: A cosmetics company may collaborate with influencers from diverse racial groups to promote their products.

4. Culturally Relevant Promotions

Offer promotions and discounts that are relevant to specific cultural events or holidays.

Example: A restaurant could offer a discount on a traditional dish during a cultural festival.

5. Multilingual Materials

Multilingual marketing involves creating marketing materials in different languages to appeal to a broader audience. By using multilingual marketing, companies can improve customer engagement and increase brand appeal.

Example: A travel company may create marketing materials in different languages to appeal to international customers.

6. Incorporate Cultural References and Symbols

Incorporate cultural references and symbols from different races in your branding and design to make your product more inclusive and appealing to a wider range of customers.

Example: An educational Institution could have artwork or images from different cultures on their website to make their institute more welcoming to students of all races.

7. Diverse Casting

Diverse casting involves featuring individuals from diverse racial groups in marketing campaigns. By doing so, companies can improve brand representation and appeal to a broader audience.

Example: A clothing company may feature models from diverse racial groups in their advertisements.

There are several cognitive biases that are similar to the cross-race bias, including:

Ingroup bias: This refers to the tendency to favor individuals who belong to the same social group as oneself.

Stereotyping: This refers to the tendency to generalize about a group of people based on one’s experiences or perceptions of a few individuals.

Implicit bias: This refers to unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that affect one’s understanding, actions, and decisions towards others.

Fundamental attribution error: This refers to the tendency to overemphasize personal characteristics and underestimate situational factors when explaining the behavior of others.


“The Cross-Race Effect: Causes, Consequences, and Implications for Eyewitness Identification” by Rachel D. Williams and Amina Memon – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137197/

“Leveraging Cross-Race Effect in Marketing” by Aileen Fan, Rui Chen and Meng Zhang – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313679543_Leveraging_Cross-Race_Effect_in_Marketing

“The Psychology of Ingroups and Outgroups” by Saul McLeod – https://www.simplypsychology.org/ingroup-outgroup.html

“Leveraging Ingroup Bias in Marketing: The Moderating Role of Product/Brand Type and Time Pressure” by Xiaoyan Deng and Yangjie Gu – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327020708_Leveraging_Ingroup_Bias_in_Marketing_The_Moderating_Role_of_ProductBrand_Type_and_Time_Pressure

“Stereotypes: A Big Problem in Our Modern Society” by Sonia Mistry – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-babble/201501/stereotypes-big-problem-in-our-modern-society

“Leveraging Stereotyping in Advertising” by Hsiu-Fen Lin and Chia-Hsun Lee – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284589170_Leveraging_Stereotyping_in_Advertising

“Implicit Bias and Stereotyping: How They Affect Our Everyday Lives” by Sahar Bandali – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201908/implicit-bias-and-stereotyping-how-they-affect-our-everyday-lives

“Leveraging Implicit Bias in Advertising” by Jonieta Hernández and Jason W. Osborne – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334231789_Leveraging_Implicit_Bias_in_Advertising

“The Fundamental Attribution Error: Definition and Examples” by Kendra Cherry – https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fundamental-attribution-error-2795238

“Leveraging Fundamental Attribution Error in Advertising” by Xueming Luo, Vibhanshu Abhishek and Jie Zhang – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273470983_Leveraging_Fundamental_Attribution_Error_in_Advertising