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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Part 3: Segmenting the Asian American market based on generational differences

By November 21, 2012 No Comments

According to the Pew Research Center, “[Asian] immigrants themselves are still by far the dominant group and the second generation has only recently begun to come into adulthood in significant numbers”. Furthermore, the center reports that the desire to maintain ties with country-of-origin is most notable among Indian Americans. Indian Americans are the least likely to consider themselves typical Americans and they are the most likely to have been born outside the U.S. (of the Indian Americans surveyed in the report, 33% immigrated to the U.S. in the last 12 years). In contrast, Japanese Americans are the most likely to consider themselves to be typical Americans and the most likely to have been born in the U.S. (of the Japanese Americans surveyed, 60% were born in the U.S.).

Based on the aforementioned statistics, it is evident that a basis for demographic segmentation becomes generational differences among Asian Americans; more specifically, generational differences between immigrant and American-born Asians. As such, when marketing to Asian Americans, use the following as a basis for demographic segmentation:

  • Group your target audience into 1st generation, 1.5  generation, 2nd generation and 3rdgeneration
    • 1st generation being immigrant adults
    • 1.5 generation being immigrants between the ages of 1-18 years old
    • 2nd generation being American-born Asians with immigrant parents
    • 3rd generation being American-born Asians with American-born parents
Tips:
  • If your target audience is 1st generation, then it is very likely that this group of people will identify themselves with their country-of-origin, as is the case with Indian Americans
  • If your target audience is 3rd generation, then it is very likely this group of people will identify themselves as American, as is the case with Japanese Americans
  • If your target audience is 1.5 or 2nd generation, then this group of will either identify themselves as mostly American or mostly [insert country-of-origin]. This is very tough group to crack as there is both a strong American influence from outside peer groups (e.g. friends at school), as well as a strong country-of-origin influence in the home.

Once you have segmented your target audience, you can begin crafting marketing strategies specifically targeted at each generational group.

In Part IV of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon series, I will analyze television ads targeted at Asian Americans and draw conclusions concerning the effectiveness of the ads.

Image: Daily News

Other entries in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon series: