Last year we presented a series of reports on US Millennials with a focus on the Hispanic segment. An interesting thing happened though as we were comparing Hispanic Millennials to non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans, and Asians in wave after wave of research. One group of Millennials stood out like a game of “Which one of these is not like the others?” – Asians.
We first saw these striking differences in our Banking and Financial Services survey. Asians were not only 30% more affluent than the nearest group, non-Hispanic Whites, but were also more financially conservative and more likely to research deals in advance. We also saw it in our Food & Beverage wave as they were less likely to drink beer, more likely to shop at specialty food stores and more likely to call themselves “Foodies” than their non-Asian age cohorts. Therefore, we decided to have a closer look at Asian millennials in the most recent wave of millennial research focusing on Media, Entertainment & Technology.
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While still less than 6% of the total U.S. population, Asians are currently the fasted growing U.S. minority group because of increased immigration over the last decade and a half. Their fast growth and outsized purchasing power makes them an attractive target for marketers, especially marketers focusing on products and services catered towards the affluent.
In the Media, Entertainment & Technology space that translates into the only millennial ethnic group with a preference for iPhones over Android devices, the highest ownership of laptops, tablets and desktop computers and the most likely to subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix. While Asian Millennials have strong brand preferences and loyalties, they want to know they’re getting the best value for their money. They will buy expensive brands but will often make their purchases at club warehouse stores such as Costco to make sure they’re getting the best deal.
But, in spite of their material success, Asian Millennials are not an optimistic bunch. When asked for their level of agreement with the following statement “I believe that everyone can achieve their dreams if they try hard enough” only 60% of Asian Millennials agreed compared to 70% of non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans and 77% of Hispanics. They were also less likely to agree with other themes commonly expressed in American popular culture such as “I believe that everyone should follow their own path”, “I believe that I have control over my future” and “Everything works out in the end”. This set of beliefs has a real impact on how Asian Millennials carry themselves and may be responsible for their conservative monetary habits and life choices.
Cultural heritage also influences Asian Millennial entertainment choices. For example, 42% of them streamed non-English programs in the last thirty days and they are the ethnic group most interested in seeing actors of their ethnicity in the programs and films they watch.
When it comes to social media, Asian Millennials are just as likely to have visited a social networking app in the last week but are less likely to have personally commented on online content. Asian Millennials, however, are more likely to list social media as an influencer on the movies they go to watch at a theater than other groups.
Asian Millennials are also more likely to be passive gamers and are more likely to identify themselves as ‘casual’ players. They are significantly more likely to say they’ve watched others play online games and report fewer hours of gaming per week:
Like Hispanic Millennials, Asians are caught between two worlds. Their upbringing has taught them a set of values that they hold dear but they’re not always in sync with the larger societal trends. This creates cultural tension that needs to be acknowledged if marketers are to successfully connect with them. Marketers that successfully speak to this group will be rewarded since Asians punch above their weight economically and 6% of the total population may not sound like a lot now but this group is growing fast and has money to spend.
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