The big market of EXPATS who love to buy products that reminds them of home.
Products & perceptions that acknowledge and addresses the sentiment of people living abroad. Why? Because Expat population makes the fifth largest country and they have deep pockets. Sitting at the top of the pyramids of trends in their home countries these expats are the key drivers of change in their home countries.
Following Infographic from feedbacq.com shows some interesting statistics about expat population.
Here is what is driving Expatism
1. Made at Home
Thousands of miles away from the home, expats try to build their own little home hence the little Italy in NYC, China Town in Manhattan and little India in London. From Clothes to Cuisines, the demand for made at home and just like at home products are ever increasing.
Expect an upward shift in the demand of the authentic Indian, Chinese, Mexican, and Philippian local brands in the developed and Middle East Countries.
2. Back to home
Expats bring huge opportunities of growth for tourism industry, recently British Airways aired ads in NYC targeting the sentiment “visit Mum”. Plus, expats actively consider investments and retirement plans back in their country of origin. Hence at banks we will see, special expats designations this will soon be followed by expat category managers reporting to international business development directors.
3. Transparency International
Expats comes from mostly from developing countries, and these countries are suffering from corruption at most levels. With the advent of social media, expats have found a voice and a more effective role to play in cleaning the mess back at their homelands. People will constantly be joining hands to drive a movement in their home countries.
British Airways launched the first long-term campaign targeting expats in the US telling Indian Ex-Pats in the US “It’s time to Visit Mum!” The campaign features real people and kicked-off today with an emotional video featuring a mom in India talking about how much she misses her son in America. During the video, she cooks her sons favorite meal for BA to fly to him in New York, but ends up being surprised when instead BA brings her son to her (after not being home for 15 years). The campaign targeted Indian in specific, after all they represent the second largest expat community of the world. Similar Campaigns will emerge targeting more and more expat segments based on the volume and value led by Chinese and Indians’ Segments.
See Your Folks
An application that aims at improving family relationships, the tagline goes “We’re so busy growing up we sometimes forget that they are also growing old”. As the world ages and distances increases more and more of such apps and sites will pop up.
HSBC Expat Banking
HSBC Expat Banking goes a step deeper into expat marketing. Not only they conduct the largest Expat survey but they have also integrated social media with banking providing expats with information about their situation. But the important factor is that banks and financial institutions have started to draft products for expats that goes beyond remittances and online accounts. Products which segment expats into meaningful clusters like retirement home seekers, modern gypsies, 3rd generation expats and so on.
Re Kaabira Man Ja
A story of an Indian traveler, who wanted to explore the world but then he realizes that home is where the heart is. This song (my personal favorite) is about the journey of this young guy. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the video with sub titles). The point is, the mainstream media in expat dominating countries is now focusing more and more on this segment which indicates the increasing emphasis on reaching out to this segment
Anything that delight consumers’ needs to be on your radar, so why miss out on the product expats have grown up with and/or long for.
- Talk to them about the intangibles: This community has left their country mostly for tangibles it is the intangibles they miss. The smell of Mum’s curry, playing cricket in the fields, the same old Jam-e-Shirin. Products with local legacy should be capitalized to capture the market share of this lot.
- And yes, give them a voice. Let them contribute in one way or the other in their home countries. They want to make a difference, assist them. Give them a platform to do so or sponsor such platform.
- Study more, brands have identified the first layer of trends but this market is yet to be explored. Conduct studies, conduct collaborative product development exercises. Just read about them more.
Want to suggest something? Amend something feel free to contact me.
I am Ayesha Saeed Haq an insight-a-holic. And like all others marketing researchers I suffer from occasional heartbreaks when no one else can see what I can so I continuously work on improving my presentation skills, decision buy-in processes, and I try to keep on writing about insights that are or that will be driving our business strategy.