Brands cannot afford to overlook the Asian-American market

 Asian-American consumers might represent a small segment of the U.S. marketplace, but they control some pretty significant purse strings. Their collective buying power is estimated at $718 billion and is expected to reach $1 trillion in just five years. Additionally, the Asian-American consumer provides a significant growth opportunity by appealing to a customer base that is growing, affluent, well-educated and technologically savvy.

With a 51% increase in population since 2000, Asian-Americans posted the highest growth rate in the latest Census numbers, slightly outpacing the Hispanic population. The Asian-American population has grown at double-digit rates in 49 out of the 50 states.

The Asian-American consumer group is one that brand marketers cannot ignore. In addition to the fast population growth, the Asian-American median income was 28% higher than the U.S. median in 2012. Additionally, 28% of Asian-Americans have annual incomes greater than $100,000. While the Asian-American population is very immigrant-centric, the country of origin has a significant impact on acculturation level regardless of the number of years spent in the U.S. For example, immigrants from the Philippines and India, where English is spoken, are typically acculturated faster than other Asian-American immigrants, such as Koreans or Chinese.

Understanding acculturation is key for marketers. The main challenge for marketers is that the Asian-American population is very diverse. There are six main groups composing 80% of the Asian-American population: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. Few companies have the resources to address each of the groups separately — leaving marketers with the choice to prioritize based on the business profile that provides the biggest opportunity or to straddle all groups with a more generic strategy addressing common cultural values, such as family. Regardless, it is important to demonstrate a strong understanding of the dynamics and unique diversities within the Asian-American market to grow brand awareness and sales.

Buxton has helped a number of brands with acculturation studies to help better market their products and services.

U.S. cities with the highest Asian population are:

1. New York, NY

2. Los Angeles, CA

3. San Jose, CA

4. San Francisco, CA

5. Honolulu, HI

6. San Diego, CA

7. Chicago, IL

8. Houston, TX

9. Fremont, CA

10. Seattle, WA

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