Understanding and Advertising for the Asian-American Market

The Asian-American market is the fastest growing market in the United States. While at 13.1 million members it only comprises 5% of the total population, it is growing at a rate of 9%. In this highly educated market 87% of adults over 25 have at least a high school education, 47% hold a bachelors degree, and 16% have a PhD or other advanced degree. This population is also highly affluent- with the median income of $52k and only 10% living at or below the poverty level. Household size is large 3.51, second only to that of Hispanics.

The Asian American Market is comprised of several smaller ethnic groups, the 6 major groups being; Chinese American, Filipino American, Asian Indian American, Vietnamese American, Korean American and Japanese American. These diverse groups do not share common languages nor customs, which will present a challenge when marketing to them.

To accurately explore the Asian American Market, one needs to access the 6 major groups independently as well as a whole. Korean-Americans are brand conscious and are keenly aware of the emotions involved in a purchase. English skills are minimal; therefore marketing to this group is most effective when advertised in Korean newspapers and magazines or on Korean television channels. Chinese-Americans tend to be more cautious when making a buying decision; they are price conscious and require all the facts before a commitment- especially in a big-ticket purchase such as electronics. Advertising for this segment should be clear and factual. Although ideally advertisement should be in their native tongue, the fact that there are two dialects makes this an even more daunting task. Japanese-Americans speak more English are can be reached by mainstream mediums. They are brand loyal and “Americanized.” Their high average income levels allow them more high tech and big ticket purchases, purchasing the best of the best. When considering Filipino-Americans also purchase according to brand and although they prefer to speak Tagalog- their native language, they are also Americanized and can be reached by conventional mediums. Vietnamese consumers are highly price-conscious. Marketing should be in their native tongue in either print or television. They are conservative by nature and make purchases according to perceived quality and value. Asian Indian Americans are also quality and brand conscious, seeking the best value for their money. They are conservative and make careful decisions. Marketing through television and print mediums in English is the best method of reaching this segment.

Due to the diversity of the Asian-American Market, advertising in their native tongue, while preferred, may not be cost effective. The best medium to reach the general Asian American market would be television, followed by print and radio. Advertisements should represent Asian American values such as family, tradition and education. A campaign of several advertisements positioning the product differently according to the values of each segment within the Asian American market would be most effective. However, one must be careful to deliver what is promised in the advertisements, else they will lose faith in the products. Asian Americans respond highly to television and print ads- but they value personal recommendations over traditional ads. Due to the growth of popularity of the internet in the Asian American community- web advertising may be advantageous as well. The internet also provides more forums for discussion and recommendation of products as well; the wise marketer will frequent these forums and observe the feedback listed there.

There is a broad gap between the “haves” and the have-nots” in the Asian American market. New immigrants live at a lower quality of life and tend to be more price-conscious. Purchases are carefully considered and are not frivolous. However, in general Asian Americans assimilate well into typical American society and can quickly prosper. 2nd and 3rd generation Asian Americans, enjoy a much higher quality of life and have access to more disposable income. Purchases tend to be big-ticket items, appliances, televisions, cameras automobiles etc. Brand name is important to these consumers and they tend to be loyal to the brands they choose. Offering better technologies and more features will entice more Asian American buyers than simply offering a lower price. (http://food.oregonstate.edu/kelsey/tr_asian.html)

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