Multicultural Marketing: Tokenism Won’t Cut It – New Canadian Media – NCM

Good review by Gautam Nath of Robin Brown and Kathy Cheng’s book, Migration Nation: A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Globalized Canada:

Migration Nation introduces the concept of the Cultural Lens, which affects how people view products, services, or brands in the Canadian landscape. The Cultural Lens is shaped by one’s ethnic culture, pre-migration experiences with products and brands, and post-migration experiences of acculturation. Together, all those factors influence one’s habits and attitudes towards retailing, service style, and service conventions.

Our tastes and preferences are shaped by the language, cultural, religion, values, and habits from our countries of origin. Brown and Cheng provide the example of Chinese Canadians who, they say, may like orange juice, but “tend not to drink it in the mornings, unlike the mainstream, as they find it too cold and acidic, and therefore prefer something hot for breakfast.”

Yet, while such practices may trend culturally, they also vary by individual, particularly post-migration. Many immigrants experience a period of disorientation as they scramble to get their ducks in a row, but over a few years, a greater sense of belonging and ease develops as they acculturate, and although they never really forget or lose their cultural roots, a sense of independence begins to balance their earlier cultural practices.

“The settlement journey as we conceive it is not a linear process of leaving one’s ethnic culture behind and adopting something else,” the authors write. They very simply and meaningfully explain the stages of disorientation, orientation, belonging, and independence that characterize the immigrant’s settlement journey. It makes for interesting reading for any marketer, but perhaps especially for those not born overseas or who have not lived in another country.

Understanding the settlement journey will help marketers to better understand their consumers and the need to communicate with them in a more relevant and actionable manner.

Multicultural Marketing: Tokenism Won’t Cut It – New Canadian Media – NCM.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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