Stake Your Claim in the Multicultural Market (978 words)
By Rick Blume
You know the numbers in the multicultural markets: 39 million Hispanics, 37 million African-Americans and 12 million Asian-Americans. The Census Bureau has documented these three groups as the fastest growing in the country, and soon they will make up close to 50 percent of America's population—half of that of Hispanic descent. By 2007, with the general market's buying power projected to be in excess of $7 trillion, the multicultural market's buying power will be more than $2 trillion; Hispanics' spending power will rise to $927 billion, African-Americans' to $645 billion and Asian-Americans' to $454 billion.
It's no surprise that marketers are testing the waters of multicultural marketing. But what is a surprise is why hasn't everyone? In my opinion, three things are crystal clear:
Marketers don't understand the overwhelming potential.
Marketers fail to understand the urgency of establishing a dominant brand.
Marketers have misconceptions about ethnic cultures.
You would think marketers would find it very difficult to ignore the numbers when more than 30 percent of the population currently is made up of these three ethnic markets. Especially the Hispanic and Asian-American sectors, where more than 50 percent of their growth comes from immigration, ensuring a continuous fresh audience and creating an increased need for products and services.
For those who don't know, Hispanics are very brand loyal. Despite the myth that Hispanics are a poor market, the reality is that education and income levels are rising rapidly, with 14 percent of Hispanics ages 18 to 34 earning annual incomes of more than $50,000. The penetration of credit cards is more than 50 percent in the Hispanic sector, and increasing. The same holds true for African-Americans, where a record-high 17 percent of adults ages 25 and older earn a bachelor's degree. And Asian-Americans are already at the top of the scale in income and education. The result: Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans are enjoying greater discretionary income than ever before.