Ethnic groups as market segments: implications of the demand structure

  • Neelam Kinra

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ethnic market potential in Britain has not yet been thoroughly researched. Important recent trends have focused mainly on the affective and emotional aspects of ethnicity, and included deliberations on the emergence of a revitalised
neo-ethnic consciousness; its identification; politicisation, and the impact on it; of a rising third-world consciousness.
This investigation attempts to take cognizance of the consuner demand of the ethnic Asian and West Indian groups, as specific market segments. It discusses the rationale for ethnic segmentation on the underlying premise, that the
starting point for all product marketing is a response to perceived market opportunities.
On the basis of this approach, the UK laundry detergent and automobile markets were investigated; as being representative of product categories constitutirg extremes along the purchase-search-time continuun in consuner decision-making. Ethnic groups were further analysed for their retail patronage patterns; media usage, and the differential effectiveness of alternative advertisirg strategies.
The basic technique of marketing research namely the sample survey, was used with the aim of applying scientific techniques in obtaining information on ethnic groups. The integrated marketirg framework utilised allowed, moreover, for the collection of market research data on the specific issues of ethnic product penetration dealing with retailing, advertising and product promotion.
The evidence highlights the fact that the cultural orientations of ethnic groups are instrunental in providing for differential demand structures. It points to the answer
that ethnicity is an anchor not only for a deeper sense of identity; but also serves as a focus for the economic interests of ethnic groups. On this basis it is argued here, that since cultural levelling would eventually produce stagnation; current marketing strategies should utilise ethnic diversity as an econanic artifact; which; per se is necessary for profitability and growth; especially in innovative product design and development.
Date of AwardAug 1983
Original languageEnglish


  • ethnic
  • markets
  • consumer
  • demand
  • structure

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