Quote EndQuote Cross-Cultural Strategy

How to Influence Ethnic Consumers

Posted by Admin | 01.30.13

Two Ways to Make a Positive First Impression with Immigrant Consumers

How do ethnic consumers, especially newer immigrants from around the world, know what Canadian brands to trust? If your brand is not a globally recognized brand, chances are you’re not on their radar — yet.

Research has shown that consumer behaviour is highly influenced by the positive and negative experiences immigrants have in their first three years in the country. This is the time when strong loyalties are formed.   (Source: Ipsos Reid 2010, “From Emigrant to Immigrant – Marketing to New Canadians”)
Organizations have the opportunity to make a positive first impression in order to become the preferred telecommunications, automotive service, financial, and grocery provider. The window of opportunity is relatively short — before their habits become more entrenched after the first few years of settlement.
Some financial institutions such as RBC and Scotia Bank are promoting their brands and services EVEN BEFORE the new immigrants make the journey to Canada, their new home country. Upon arrival, these same organizations continue building the relationship through messages, images and services that are welcoming, accommodating, empathetic and understanding about newcomer challenges.

Marketers can help ensure their brand (and products and services) are trusted by becoming “familiar” to new and relatively new immigrant consumers.  Engage in these two powerful methods to significantly increase your brand awareness (and therefore trust) among these potential consumers could help ensure early adoption and increased loyalty.

1) Advertising in Ethnic Media

Advertising in Ethnic media such as Popular Life Style & Entertainment (Chinese) Magazine, RJ1200 (South Asian) radio station, Planet Philippines (Filipino) newspaper, or OMNI Television, can introduce your brand to new groups of consumers. Newcomers often turn to ethnic media as a credible source of information.

2) Sponsoring Cultural Events 

Many cultural festivals and celebrations provide excellent opportunities to connect with potential ethnic communities through sponsorship. In the South Asian community, for example, the newly announced Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) and in the Chinese community, Chinese New Year celebrations and performances, offer a chance to engage with newcomers and established immigrants alike, generating positive word-of-mouth advertising – both key in encouraging consumer trial and building loyalty.

The desire to start over in a new country often results in having to leave almost every material possession behind. Newcomers need to rebuild their homestead, purchase climate and culturally-appropriate clothing, manage their finances, and feed their families within the first few months of landing in Canada.  Advertising in targeted ethnic media and engaging the community during the first three years of newcomer settlement could help fill their emotional void, positively positioning your organization for future sales.