Building relevance with ethnic consumers


A recent study by CIBC World Markets projected that during the next decade, over 70 per cdnt of retail sales growth will come from visible minority ethnic groups.

Do you have the understanding and insight to capture your fair share (or more) of this opportunity?

For those seeking to capitalize on this massive shift in our country’s social structure, here are three strategic approaches that will address when, what, and how to connect with the ethnic consumer.

1. Know where your brand fits on their hierarchy of needs.

Many left behind comfortable middle class lifestyles to literally start over at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy in Canada.

Upon their arrival, their needs are primarily functional – food, shelter, and financial stability.

A CMHC study determined that it takes between two and four years of residency for immigrants to materially improve their situations.

After only four years, about half of immigrants will own their own homes.

As they accumulate savings, they progress up the pyramid and their needs for materialism, social success and pride emerge.

Understanding where your brand fits along their hierarchy of needs will determine the most relevant time to reach out to them.

2. Educate new Canadians about your brand.

Moving to Canada is a life changing event, and the majority approach it with an open mind.

Habits and preferences are open to re-evaluation.

Almost everything they see and experience is new, and they are hungry for information to help them navigate their new world.

Learn about their attitudes towards your category and brands, and the attributes of their ideal brand.

Be proactive in teaching them about your brand in a manner that is relevant to them, and you’ll set the standard against which all other options are compared to.

3. Help new Canadians feel better about their new life.

During their first years, it’s quite common for women to struggle with feelings of loneliness and frustration.

They find themselves as homemakers and caregivers, roles that were usually assumed by others in their home country.

As a result, life in Canada is more hectic and the process of figuring things out on their own can be slow.

What’s shocking is that companies and brands (with the exception of some banks) are seldom mentioned when asked who made them feel welcome in Canada.

Display empathy by listening and being helpful when teaching them about your brand, and you’ll build the foundation for a strong and enduring relationship.

By incorporating these three approaches in your ethnic marketing strategy, your brands will be set up to successfully connect with the minds and hearts of the ethnic consumer.

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