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Marketers must avoid stereotypes.
“Acommercial or campaign that pokes fun of or assumes thatAsian
Americans are good at math or piano is not going to work on us. Other
stereotypes to avoid include Asian men walking with a peculiar bent-back
shuffling gait,Asians speaking in “Chinglish” orAsians breaking boards
with their heads.”
− Ling, Chung
− Group orientation and family
− Highly structured family roles
− Male dominated, paternally oriented
− Importance on Education
− Families hold high expectations for education achievement
− Saving money
− College fund for children
− Emergency funds
− Stock market
There is a fine line between stereotypes and actual Chinese values.
What they want in life?
The Chinese in America are less acculturated than Hispanics.
− 76% of Chinese in the US are foreign-born.
− More of them are coming in compared to the number that are being born in the US, as
opposed to Hispanics – most are being born here and less are coming in.
Most Chinese immigrants want a combination of Chinese and American cultural
Chinese Traits American Traits
Concern for human feelings American Technology
Central role for the family Democracy
Consideration for elderly Gender equality
The most common denominator for desired life traits is RESPECT.
Credit is a relatively new thing to the Chinese.
Living within their means (2013)
− 65% report paying off credit card balances every month (vs 42% US)
− 22% report having more debt than they are comfortable with (vs 38% US)
− 17% said they are spending more than they can afford (vs 25% US)
72% of Chinese American households hold a mortgage (2011)
− 5% of those HH have outstanding auto loans
− 3% have any other consumer debt
When advertising financial services, it may be best not to talk about debt since
it may not be a relevant topic to this target market.
There are shifts in focus for ChineseAmericans based on the economy.
More investing, less saving (2011)
− Less than 50% meet the emergency fund ratio guideline
− Invest in the stock market instead
Saving more for retirement (2013)
− Twice the national savings among non-retired adults
− Significantly higher savings rates than the national average
Given that in 2011, the US was still in recession, the Chinese Americans saw a
bigger opportunity in investing their money in the stock market rather than in
savings. Now in 2013, that the economy is back on the rise, the Chinese
Americans are using this as an opportunity to save more for retirement plans.
These insights show that the Chinese are highly adaptive to the economy.
ChineseAmericans are more confident about their current and future financial
situation compared to the US general population.
− 67% report feeling financially comfortable
− 65% are confident about their financial future (vs ~50% US)
As a highly adaptive market, ChineseAmericans have a positive outlook on
their finances as they are smart with their money and tend to live more within
their means. In terms of messaging, it may be beneficial to emphasize this
outlook and reward them for their smart financial behaviors.
Asian Americans are price driven shoppers who are drawn to brands.
− 72% said that brand names are important to them
− American brand names come with prestige toAsian immigrants
− American brands are more expensive in China, therefore having these
products are a sign of status and sophistication (driven by culture)
AsianAmericans tend to educate themselves about products and prices before
they buy when it comes to services and bigger products.
− AsianAmericans do the most online shopping out of any demographic.
− Once in the store, the purchase decision process may be swayed by product
assortment, signage and deals (groceries)
− Studies have shown that when coupons are in-language or inserted inAsian
newspapers, there is a much higher redemption rate.
Having information (bilingual) readily available is crucial to make the research
process easier for the consumer as well as making in-language online deals.
It is also important to ensure that in-store signage exists in banks as Chinese
may be more prone to inquire about the offers while they are in-store.
Asian Americans prefer to be targeted through media in their language.
− 77% speak language other than English at home.
− Note: Cantonese and Mandarin share a common written language but have
extremely different spoken dialects.
Since Chinese Americans prefer to do research on their on before making any major
purchase, it would be beneficial to direct them to an in-language page for more
information on the product rather than directing them to go to the retail location right
Explanatory direct mail is favorable with Chinese Americans.
− Targeted mailers should emphasize a deal (Bundling features and services)
− More detail oriented and explanatory than punchier, slogan-based mainstream
mail pieces (Especially true for services and products that benefit from deeper
− Few gestures say you care, like in-language or bilingual copy.
Rather than focusing on clever slogans, more emphasis should be put on having
easily accessible in-language explanation of the services that are being offered in
the deal. Chinese Americans will appreciate the in-language help and will actually
spend time reading the information, making the bank-customer the relationship
more trusting and personal.
Staying true to their heritage with ethnic media.
− 80% ofAsianAmericans consumer ethnic media and print
− AsianAmericans spend more time online than any other demographic
− 90% ofAsian Americans state that Internet is a crucial part of their lives
− 70% of those people visit ethnic websites
− Second-gen visit English-language websites aboutAsian content (ie.
BecauseAsianAmericans are so focused on their heritage, the best way to reach them
is via ethnic media, whether it’s in-language or not. This will automatically create more
trust in the consumer by portraying that we have respect their culture.
In order to reach the Chinese American market successfully, it is important to
consider their consumer behavior patterns and preferences.
• When advertising financial services, using positive words that encourage
and acknowledge healthy financial behaviors is more relevant to the
Chinese than using negative connotations, such as debt.
• Using in-language explanatory copy in direct mail or online will allow the
consumers to read about the services and products and make their
decision making process easier.
• Because Chinese Americans are actually influenced by advertising, it is
important to have in-store signage present in retail.