Fragmented and segmented


Marketers have had a field day over the last few decades: market fragmented and segmented.

The former is a reality in our pluralistic society. The later, careful study and strategy to go after niche markets.

Microtrend covers this very topic: knitting, teen markets etc…as long as the niche constitutes 1% of the total mass market.

It’s a paradox: while American travel more, buy more online, and outsource more to overseas; foreigners who came FOB ended up clustering in Chinatown, Chicano town etc.. to  insulate themselves culturally.

In my neighborhood, the “turf” and territory have invisible boundaries: one supermarket got turned over from Korean to Chinese owner, both cater to Vietnamese-American.

Next block, you will find a Vietnamese restaurant, struggling to have walk-ins in the middle of a predominantly Hispanic strip mall.

Meanwhile, the “white” folks in mobile-home parks either too old to move away, or couldn’t decide to cash out during the real estate boom (mobile home here was worth more than a house elsewhere), hence missed out the bubble.

Talking about fragmentation.

Being a marketer, mindful of ethnic variety and overseas flavors, I have never stopped being amazed.

Underneath it all, everyone seems to enjoy a loss-leader hot dog at Costco, or Tu-Th Pop Eyes specials.

America and its lowest common denominators.

At the public park, I also notice Asian women still wear hats to avoid skin cancer. No more cone hats (which BTW, were most efficient per material used, heat-preventive and light-weight), but straw and trendy hats Victoria Secret models would wear for summer catalogue.

In short, the process and idea of Americanization is still going strong. New blood are being added daily, if not hourly (at major ports of entry).

But they seem to follow a certain set pattern of acculturation: first outwardly, then internally (bi-lingual households, interracial marriages etc..).

Segmentation divides a map into red/blue states, Southern White, Non-Hispanic White (European American) …Not as easy as just buying a Super Bowl ad, since digital media start taking an increasing larger share of the Ad pie.

In this close election, this point hit home, for the White House or the green house (another micro trend: home-grown organic fresh).

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