Emerging Markets: African Immigrants in America
Another engaging speaker at the Multicultural Marketing Conference was David Morse.
David Morse is President and CEO of New American Dimensions, one of the nation’s preeminent ethnic marketing research firms. Mr. Morse is a frequent speaker on the U.S. Multicultural markets and is known for having worked with some of the most successful companies in America in developing innovative and profitable ethnic marketing strategies. Mr. Morse has over 25 years in market research and brand management and strategic planning experience in the United States and Mexico, working with corporations like Levi Strauss, Gillette de Mexico, Honda Motors and many others.
David holds a Masters of International Management Degree from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management where he specialized in Consumer marketing, with a special emphasis on Latin America. Mr. Morse is also fluent in Spanish and Speaks Japanese.
Mr. Morse presentation was the first of its kind by a major U.S. multicultural research firm. It focused on African immigrants living in America. How are they different from African-Americans, what are their values and behavioral patterns and how they changed and adapted to life in the United States. He also presented how African immigrants consume goods and services, their language proficiency, values and self-identity, shopping habits and brand selection and other facets of their lives in the United States.
Mr. Morse proceeded to disseminate the data obtained from his research findings which were commissioned by Martin Mohammed of the African Chamber of Commerce, and funded by The Minneapolis Foundation. Before I go into his presentation I was most impressed with how respectfully David was to the African people when it came to their lives. His compassion seemed genuine and he truly spoke from his heart.
So Mr. Morse paints a very vivid picture that includes some of the very interesting characteristics African’s in America. Many Africans traveled to America on scholarships to study, some came for other reasons but they all came seeking opportunity. He spoke of the African’s who traveled hundreds of miles to be here as a “Proud” group of people, who held deep respect for one another. He wanted to make sure that his audience understood that “Africans are a sophisticated race that is united through cultural pillars like Altruism: and they value giving back and helping people, especially family in Africa.
Mr. Morse explains how “African immigrants prove to be sensible shoppers, shopping around for the right products and price.” He went on to say, “Rightness would mean African Products as well as products that agree with their religious values.” In fact data shows 63% of African respondents said they like to shop around and find the right price. Although they like to shop around 32% or ”one third of African’s claim to be exclusive shoppers, who choose brands based only on low price, of African brands only, or brands popular in one’s country or well-known or status Brands” (David Morse). What this means is that Africans may not focus on brand or price exclusively.
David did a great job in relaying a sensitive message, which was that Africans are a very proud and intelligent race of people who feel they have been portrayed poorly in the media. As an African American I know that my African sisters and brothers have been shown in some not so flattering situations in the movies and on television. The stereotype portrayed in these movies couldn’t be further from the truth about true African life.
David Morse study shows that Africans are not at all how they appear in the media but instead surround themselves with diverse and primarily international friendships. “Many come from upper class families in Africa. Some came to the U.S. through other countries, like France or England. Most own checking or savings accounts and about two-thirds have credit cards. About a fourth of the respondents own home mortgages and 401ks” (DavidMorse). The most interesting data shows that many Africans have some form or another of financial products, including stocks, home mortgage, CD’s, and much more.
More interesting is that “Most African immigrants own a personal computer and a DVD player, along with other electronics like video games, cell phones and much more. This is not a race of people who have come from hut’s, they have a rich country and are using multiple forms of technology as a way to stay connected to thier family and friends back home. Their homeland has cities and infrastructures just like any other country, this is clear in the beautiful pictures of Africa the David showed at the begining of his presentation.
I also am aware of the tensions that exist between the African American Community and the Emerging African Community here in America. I do believe that African’s and African Americans can get past their differences. In fact the African American Student Organization at Metropolitan State University facilitated a presentation exploring the dynamics between African and African American Communities called “African Who?” This organization has done this event twice and when they do it again I will keep my readers informed so keep reading. To Read the rest of the series Click the links.
If your interested in learning how to do business with member’s from diverse communities, whether it’s learning to develop products that will be accepted or if it’s trying to hire and manage diverse employees try our website for more information http://www.stantonadams.com
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