An identification of South African Indian cultural typologies : considerations for market segmentation.
This study is focused on identifying cultural typologies of the Indian population group. These typologies or dimensions are analysed from a consumer behaviour perspective with strong implications for marketers who need to take cognisance of these typologies when developing new product offerings and devising marketing campaigns targeted at this population group. The consumption behaviour of Indians are compared and contrasted with the other predominant race groups in South Africa (namely Whites, Blacks and Coloureds), in terms of expenditure and buying power. Further, an analysis of Indian culture typologies provides marketers with insight into cultural issues that have a bearing on the development of marketing strategies. The findings that have emerged from this study are important for various reasons. Over 75% of the total Indian population live in KwaZulu-Natal (Census 1996). Further, compared to other race groups, the Indian population has a high rate of urbanisation with 96.8% of the population living in metropolitan areas (ibid.). Education levels supercedes those of the Black and Coloured population groups with 30.4% of Indians having completed matric and l0.4% having furthered their education (South Africa in Transition: StatsSA). In keeping with this trend, in comparison with the other race groups, Indians have a high penetration of English spoken as a first language (93.2%). While 21% of the Indian population are characterised as middle to upper income earners, occupying LSM's 6 to 10, Indian households in the Durban Metropolitan area have more earners (33.2%) per household in comparison to the Black and White population groups (Stats South Africa). In addition, an increasing number of Indian women are entering the workforce and are becoming more active in decision-making. Findings related to Indian culture have unearthed that while Indian culture has imbibed a global culture as far as dress, entertainment and lifestyle are concerned, traditional beliefs and values, including that of religion, are steadfastly held onto. However, this dissertation also finds that the Indian population group is highly materialistic and great attention is focussed on the accumulation of possessions. Further, materialism within the Indian population, is seen as a reflection of status.
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