Asians Get Marketers’ Attention, With “Superlatives”

Aug 08, 2002

Asia Rising, a piece written by Hassan Fattah in the July/August 2002 issue of American Demographics, explores the growing Asian American consumer market. The article cites the Selig Center for International Growth at the University of Georgia in Atlanta as pegging the current size of the Asian American market at $253 billion in annual expenditures.

One in three Asian Americans earns at least $75,000 annually according to the article. Wanla Cheng, a principal of New York-based Asia Link Consulting Group says, “We call the Asian American segment a segment of superlatives. From the last wave of immigration, there are more Asians who have been in this country longer, and their accumulated wealth has increased over time.”

Marketing to Asians is complicated by the sheer number of languages spoken by this far-reaching demographic. Sarah White, Interviewing Service of America, a multicultural research firm, says that many Asians that conduct their daily business in English are still more receptive to marketing in their mother language. “The biggest aspect of this is cultural rapport. There is a way of being, an openness that you can’t achieve unless you speak their language.”

The biggest Asian population group is Chinese Americans. The number of Chinese Americans grew nearly 50% between 1990 and 2000. Filipinos, the second largest segment experienced a population of increase of 31% during the same period.

Asian Americans with Indian origins are the fastest growing major demographic group. This population grew 105% between 1990 and 2000 according to Census 2002. At current growth rates, Indians will be the largest ethnic Asian population by 2010.

Moderator’s Comment: How important is it for retailers
and CPG marketers to capture share of the various Asian American consumer markets?
What are the keys to successfully marketing to individual Asian American ethnic
groups? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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