20050408

Wal-Mart : a Korean Wave after la Movida ?

Wal-Mart hired IW Group, Inc, a PR firm specialized in Asian American minorities, to launch their first ever Asian language ad campaign in the US, starting with low income minorities (first 3 languages : Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese, "everyday van lo price" and all that). But one could expect Korean or Japanese Americans to be targeted soon, IW Group's headquarters being located in L.A., the CEO and COO answering to the names of Imada and Song, and Wal-Mart holding a few stores in both Korea and Japan. Anyway this isn't just about respecting cultural diversity, and as Song puts it : "Asian Americans in general are fiercely brand-loyal, have the highest median household income in the country, and have a combined purchasing power in excess of $360 billion".
As expected , Wal-Mart should consider a Movida-like M-VNO for this yellow gold target and the said "brand" will be an issue (unless they opt for a P&G-like strategy). First the US and then overseas.
When I think about it... Europe used to mean one techno (GSM) but dozens of languages while the US meant one language but dozens of technos. It seems to me the King of Retail is following the same path as China : the next wave of cultural & economical expansion will not be blind monolithic imperialism but will leverage on each country's wide range of cultures.



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