Ethnic minority consumers’ responses to the web

Authored by: Boris Bartikowski

The Routledge Companion to Ethnic Marketing

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415643634
eBook ISBN: 9780203080092
Adobe ISBN: 9781136164224


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Ethnic minority consumers are growing in number in major economies around the world, along with their purchasing power. Moreover, ethnic minorities’ increase in internet use rates outpaces that of majority consumers in developed countries (eMarketer 2013). Nielsen’s (2012) ‘State of the Hispanic Consumer’ report shows that U.S. Hispanic broadband internet use at home grew 14 per cent within one year as compared to only 6 per cent in the general U.S. population. Many companies have recognized the increasing importance of the internet as a way to effectively reach the growing segments of ethnic minority consumers. For example, to target Turkish minorities in Germany, the German car producer Volkswagen launched the campaign ‘Volkswagen speaks Turkish’ (‘Volkswagen Türkçe Konus¸uyor’) (Volkswagen 2011). On various occasions, the portal offers consumers targeted information in Turkish, such as name and contact information of Turkish-German bilingual car sellers from all over Germany. Similarly, Kraft Canada launched Kraft Ka Khana (, a microsite that targets immigrants from South Asia. The website shows how easy it is to maintain ties with the home culture and traditional South Asian cooking, at the same time facilitating integration into Canadian life and society with products from Kraft. Although a wide array of theoretical and empirical investigations focuses on ethnic minority consumers in general (Grinstein and Nisan 2009; Jamal and Chapman 2000; Jamal, Peattie and Peattie 2012; Tsai 2011), surprisingly little research explores their behaviour on the internet (Becerra and Korgaonkar 2010).

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