Debunking old Malay stereotypes

A new set of consumer groups have emerged across Malaysia and markets should be aware of how they interact with them, according to consultant group, Ideascape Consulting.

In a forum called The Power of Insight, the agency revealed six consumer new segments that marketers should be aware of.

Based on insight which took three months to develop, Ideascape classified the groups into the following: Modern Achievers, Islam First, Carefree, Elitist, Practical Moderates and Traditional Malay.

The fast growing categories in this mix are the Modern Achievers, who prefer to connect with effective and efficient brands. Islam First value integrity and feel connected to causes, while the Carefree group connects with distinctly different brands.

The other three segments are existing common segments. The Elitist value the premium best brands, Practical Moderates go for trusted and sensible value brands, and the Traditional Malay connects with brands on heritage and familiarity.

The research was executed through focus groups and in-depth interview with selected groups according to similar demographic profile. Projective technique was used in which they were asked to classify the whole segments, instead of classifying themselves.

Marketers can benefit this consumer segments by making efficient strategy once target consumers are selected, which will reduce error and duplication.

"Brands which target Malay consumers will benefit from this and if they are not targeting the Malay consumers, they should ask themselves why not since it's a growing market segment," said Hanis Izura Harun, consultant strategist, Ideascape Consulting.

The challenges marketers face are the tendency for consumers to change and it is important for marketers to stay current.

Rumaizon Abdul Malik, principal strategist and founder of Ideascape Consulting, said marketers need to keep a pulse on consumers by finding the sweet spot between the brand essence and consumer insight," she said.

"Marketers cannot expect the same results by doing what they have been done before. These segmentation models help to give a deeper understanding of Malay consumer segments."

This is also an opportunity for marketers to find best ways to connect at all levels from emotional, social identity and the actual consumption to meet its functional need, the agency added.