Subcultures – marketing

In an effort to gain market share in California, Bank of America, third largest bank in the US, aimed a major campaign at the Asian market. The attractive Asian consumer segment, comprised of such diverse groups a Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Filipinos was large growing faster and had higher incomes than any other ethnic group. However, many Asian immigrants were unfamiliar with American financial institutions and avoided them. Bank of America ran translated ads in Asian language news papers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Central valley because research showed that most Asians – particularly new arrivals speak their native language them. The bank first converted its English language ads into Chinese vernacular and aimed them at Chinese immigrants who had well established urban communities numerous media available, and high incomes. Messages were also tailored to the needs of various Asian segments. For recent refugees firm southeast Asia who are generally less sophisticated about financial institutions and distrusted banks ads simply urged readers to “Come See Us” and listed the bank’s retail services. Bank of America also used TV cautiously. It dubbed or added subtitles to English language spots and ran them on Asian language TV stations.

Bank of America also increased its involvement in Asian community activities – such as running a special promotion during the Chinese New year celebrations in its Chinatown branches and in civic groups such as the Chinese Newcomers Service Center or Asian women’s Resource Center.

The result of such specialized marketing activities was that Bank of America now holds nearly on third of Asian deposit dollars in California and is increasing its ratio.

This is an example of how marketer may achieve success by properly understanding sub cultural behavior patterns. The Asian American market may be viewed by Bank of America as a subculture and thus segmented accordingly. The result is a successful marketing program to appeal to this group.

Culture was seen to consist of basic behavioral patterns which exist in a society. However, as we saw from the discussion of countercultures, not all segments of a society have the same cultural patterns. Perhaps, therefore, the marketer can distinguish more homogenous subgroups within the heterogeneous national society.

We refer to those groups as subcultures because they have values, customs, traditions and other ways of behaving that are peculiar to a particular group within a culture. This means that there are subcultures of students, professors, professional football player person inmates, rock musician marketers and other groups. Moreover Individuals may be members of more than one subculture at the same time, it is imperative that marketers understand who constitutes the most relevant subculture for their particular product or service. By knowing the characteristics and behavioral patterns of the segment they are trying to research, they are in a better position to refine the marketing mix required to satisfy that target segment properly.

Although subcultures may be categorized along seemingly infinite dimensions, this article will examine only a few of the less understood but important, subcultures that exist in the United States. The fact that these groups are among the most easily identifiable subcultures in the United States makes their segmentation feasible. Consumer behavior examines within two broad subculture categories: ethnic and age. A final point must be made before proceeding to a discussion of these subcultures, however. That is, in spite of numerous similarities with any subcultures a subculture is not merely one homogeneous market, but instead consists of various sub-segments.

Ethnic is the enrich term used to describe the approximately 106 groups in America characterized origin. Generally it refers to the minority groups of a society. Ethnic identification is based on what is when he or she is born, and it is largely unchangeable after that.