A Unique Consumer Market

Study reveals African immigrants may be an attractive, lucrative segment

The study serves as a marketing resource that will help to develop and refine strategies to improve and grow the market share of products and services catering to the African immigrant market. “When we did this study there was no accurate information for this population,” says Mohammed. Corrie adds, “They interact in our economy in very significant ways [and] can help companies increase their market share.” African immigrants comprise a consumer market of an estimated $50 billion.

The report cites that most African immigrants consider themselves neither American nor African American. Many immigrated for educational opportunities, and all place a high value on higher education for their children. Owning a home is a priority, as is increasing their knowledge of investing and managing their personal finances. As shoppers, Africans tend not to be impulse buyers, the report notes, but will shop around for value and price. Brand loyalty is gained through performance and quality.

Vijay Mahajan, marketing professor at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think (Wharton School Publishing; $29.99), advises companies seeking to tap into this market to “find a niche strategy because the population is so multifaceted.” There are vast cultural differences among immigrants from Africa’s many different countries.
Studies like The U.S. African Consumer Segment also address the need for a keener understanding of the population shifts expected over the next decade as more people emigrate from developing nations. “This study could empower the whole multicultural international segment,” says Mohammed. “In 2020, the multicultural market will be the majority segment.”

For more about the report, visit www.newamericandimensions.com.

This story originally appeared in the August 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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