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Chapter 14 Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Subcultures


Chapter 14 Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Subcultures CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, 8e Michael Solomon Chapter Objectives When you finish this chapter you should understand why ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 14 Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Subcultures

Chapter 14 Ethnic, Racial, and Religious
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, 8e Michael Solomon
Chapter Objectives
  • When you finish this chapter you should
    understand why
  • Our memberships in ethnic, racial, and religious
    subcultures often play a big role in guiding our
    consumption behaviors.
  • Additional influences come from our
    identification with microcultures that reflect a
    shared interest in some organization or activity.
  • Many marketing messages appeal to ethnic and
    racial identity.

Chapter Objectives (cont.)
  • African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian
    Americans are the three most important
    ethnic/racial subcultures in the United States.
  • Marketers increasingly use religious and
    spiritual themes when they talk to consumers.

Subcultures, Microcultures, and Consumer Identity
  • Consumers lifestyles are affected by group
    membership within the society-at-large
  • Subcultures of age, race/ethnicity, place of
  • Microcultures share a strong identification with
    an activity or art form
  • Have own unique set of norms, vocabulary, and
    product insignias

Ethnic and Racial Subcultures
  • Ethnic subculture
  • Homogeneous versus heterogeneous cultural
  • Marketers cannot ignore the diversity of cultures
    in society today
  • Ethnic minorities spend more than 600 billion a
    year on products
  • Click for

Ethnicity and Marketing Strategies
  • Subcultural memberships help shape peoples
  • Minorities find an advertising spokesperson from
    their own group more trustworthy
  • Ethnic subculture affects level/type of media
    exposure, food/apparel preferences, political
    behavior, leisure activities, willingness to try
    new products
  • High-context culture (group members infer
    meanings from verbal messages) versus low-context
    culture (group members take words literally)

Is Ethnicity a Moving Target?
  • Defining/targeting an ethnic group is not always
    so easy (melting pot society)
  • Many identify with two or more races
  • De-ethnicization a product we associate with a
    specific ethnic group detaches itself from its
    roots and appeals to other groups as well
  • Example bagels

New Ethnic Groups
  • The dominant American culture exerts pressure on
    immigrants to become absorbed in mainstream
  • New immigrants are much more likely to be Asian
    or Hispanic
  • Tend to cluster together geographically
  • Word-of-mouth is especially important

Americas Newest Markets
Figure 14.1
Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes
  • Many subcultures have stereotypes associations
  • Subgroups are assumed to possess certain traits
    (often erroneously) which can be cast either
    positively or negatively
  • Marketers in the past have made vast use of
    ethnic stereotypes to communicate product
  • Aunt Jemima and Frito Bandito

  • Locate current examples of marketing stimuli that
    depend on an ethnic or religious stereotype to
    communicate a message
  • How effective are these appeals?

A Model of Consumer Acculturation
  • Individual differences affect how rocky
    adjustment will be
  • Acculturation agents include culture of origin
    and culture of immigration
  • Assimilation, maintenance, resistance, and
  • Progressive learning model
  • Consumer behavior as mix of original culture and
    host culture
  • Differences between consumers who retain strong
    ethnic identification and more assimilated

A Model of Consumer Acculturation
Figure 14.2
  • Locate one or more consumers (perhaps family
    members) who have emigrated from another country
  • Interview them about how they adapted to their
    host culture
  • In particular, what changes did they make in
    their consumption practices over time?

The Big Three American Subcultures
  • African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian
  • Hispanic population is now the largest ethnic
    subculture (12.5)
  • Asian Americans (3.6) are the fastest-growing
    racial group (due to immigration)

African Americans
  • The African American market is hardly as
    homogeneous as many seem to believe
  • Overall spending patterns of blacks and whites
    are roughly similar
  • Household income and educational levels are
    rising for African Americans
  • Differences in consumption behaviors can be
    subtle but still very important

Hispanic Americans
  • Hispanic many different backgrounds
  • Hispanics are
  • Brand loyal
  • Highly concentrated geographically by country of
    origin (easy to reach)
  • Many are rushing to sign Hispanic

Hispanic Americans (cont.)
  • Some ad campaigns dont work well among
    Hispanics, while Anglos dont understand some
    products popular among Hispanics

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Hispanic
  • Young bicultural Hispanic consumers
  • Latino youth are changing mainstream culture
  • Looking for spirituality, stronger family ties,
    and more color in their lives
  • Large family size of Hispanic market
  • Spend more on groceries
  • Shopping is a family affair
  • Regard clothing children well as matter of pride
  • Convenience/saving time is not important to
    Hispanic homemaker

Levels of Acculturation Understanding Hispanic
  • Acculturation process of movement and adaptation
    to one countrys cultural environment by a person
    from another country

Segment Size Status Description Characteristics
Established Adapters 17 Upwardly mobile Older, U.S.-born Assimilated into U.S. culture
Young Strivers 16 Increasingly important Younger U.S.-born Adaptable to U.S. culture
Hopeful Loyalists 40 Largest but shrinking Working class Slow to adapt to U.S. culture
Recent Seekers 27 Growing Newest Strongest identification with Hispanic background
Table 14.2 (abridged)
Levels of Acculturation (cont.)
  • Hispanic consumers are sympathetic to marketing
    that emphasizes Hispanic cultural heritage
  • Many younger Hispanics are searching for their
    roots and rediscovering the value of ethnic

Asian Americans Are
  • Fastest-growing population group
  • Most affluent and best educated
  • Most likely to hold technology job and buy
    high-tech gadgets
  • Most brand-conscious but least brand loyal
  • Most concerned with keeping up appearances
  • Made up of culturally diverse subgroups that
    speak many different languages/dialects

Religious Subcultures
  • The rise of spirituality
  • Explosion of religion/spirituality in pop
  • Churches are adopting aggressive marketing
  • Megachurches
  • Religious themes can spill over into everyday
  • Cult products
  • Marketing opportunity among religious subcultures

Demographics of Religious Subcultures
Figure 14.3
  • Should members of a religious group adapt
    marketing techniques that manufacturers
    customarily use to increase market share for
    their products? Why or why not?

Old and New Religions
  • Large variety of flourishing new religious
  • Scientologists
  • Wicca
  • The Raelians
  • The Ahmadis
  • The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
  • Cao Dai
  • Soka Gakkai International
  • The Toronto Blessing
  • Umbanda
  • Click photo for

The Impact of Religion on Consumption
  • Religion is seen as a taboo subject to marketers
  • Polygamy Porter beer billboard
  • Lipton ad mocking the Catholic Church
  • Pirelli tires ad with Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Dietary and dress requirements create demand for
    certain products
  • Religious subcultures affect personality,
    attitudes toward sexuality, birthrates and
    household formation, income, and political
  • Church leaders can encourage and/or discourage
    consumption (e.g., boycott of Disney)

The Born-Again Boom
  • Those who follow literal interpretations of the
    Bible and who acknowledge being born again
    through belief in Jesus
  • Fastest-growing religious affiliations in United
  • Christian merchandising activity is increasing
  • Christian bookstores
  • C28 stores/Not of This World brand
  • Click photo for

  • Born-again Christian groups have been
    instrumental in organizing boycotts of products
    advertised on shows they find objectionable,
    especially those they feel undermine family
  • Do religious groups have a right or a
    responsibility to dictate what advertising a
    network should carry?