Ethnic Marketing in Germany

Based on ethnic minorities

Term Paper, 2017

27 Pages, Grade: 1,0



1. Introduction

2. The demographic development in Germany

3. Definition Ethnic Marketing

4. Emigrants and Late Resettlers
4.1. Integration stand
4.2. Demographic gathering and socioeconomic structures
4.3. Culture and consumer behavior
4.4 Media usage

5. German Turks
5.1. Definition
5.2. Integration stand
5.3. Demographic gathering and socioeconomic structures
5.4. Culture and consumer behavior
5.5. Media usage
5.6. Advertising examples

6. Conclusion

7. Sources

1. Introduction

The development of Germany into a multicultural society represents important challenges that arise in the most diverse areas of the joint life. The actuality of this topic is evident in the numerous discussions, which are guided from the perspective of the respective area. So areas such as e.g. politics, pedagogy or working life with the changes that ethnic diversity brings with it. This economic area is seeing the importance and potential of a multicultural society. From this understanding, a new branch of marketing developed which is specifically oriented on ethnic groups – called Ethnic Marketing.

While the phenomenon of Ethnic Marketing has become an integral part of entrepreneurial trade and thinking in the USA, Great Britain and the Netherlands, the development lags behind in Germany. Only a few companies recognized the importance of ethnical groups as a the target group, while most companies are afraid of using it.

For this reason, it is the task of the marketing to manifest the trend and to develop the concept of Ethnic Marketing and especially to provide the companies with clear examples on how to use it.

The aim of this work is to provide an overview of the two largest ethnic minorities in Germany and to highlight the marketing potential of these target groups.

2. The demographic development in Germany

The population in Germany amounts to 82,8 million inhabitants. Of this amount are 9 107 893 million people coming from different countries (Foreigners) and 17,1 million people with an immigration background. (Statistisches Bundesamt 2015)

- Foreigners are not German citizens, they are not Germans in the sense of the Basic Law
- Germans with a migration background are Germans in the sense of the Basic Law, but they have parents who have immigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany or have been naturalized according to their own migratory experience
- Both groups together result the people with immigration background

To these officially 17,1 million people comes a hard to determine number of illegal immigrants. Realistic values ​​are between 150.000 and one million.

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Figure 1: Nationals and Foreigners in Germany

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Figure 2: Demographic development in Germany

With this graph, a large ethnic group can be identified in Germany, namely the Turkish population. The largest minority, however, is a group that was not included in the figure above - that of the Late Resettlers. The ethnic German minorities from Central and Eastern Europe, who came to Germany from the 1950s onwards and who automatically acquired German nationality with their immigration, are described as ethnic repatriates. Their status proves to be problematic for this work, since they are regarded as Germans according to the law and are therefore not included in the statistics as foreigners. This makes their quantitative detection not easy. In total, 4.1 million emigrants and ethnic German settlers immigrated to Germany by 2001. 3.2 million are now living in the Federal Republic, but the figures are still variable. Until the 1980s, Poland and Romanians accounted for 80 percent of all emigrants in the country. Since the beginning of the 1990s, emigrants from the former Soviet Union dominated. Although they are all legally regarded as Germans, they are not culturally equivalent to Germans.

The most popular ethnic minority is Germany are the German Turks. This has a plausible reason: the approximately 3 million Germans of Turkish descent form together a purchasing power of around 17 billion Euros, 2.200 Euros per household and month. It is true which on average it’s less than a German budget, but German Turks are considered as a particularly brand-affine and thus an extremely interesting marketing target group.

3. Definition Ethnic Marketing

The word Ethnic comes from the Greek word "ethnos" which means "nation". An ethnic minority is a group that has different national or cultural traditions from the main population.

Specifically, an ethnic minority unites one or more of the following attributes:

- Values
- History
- Language
- Geographical origin
- Literature
- Religion
- Immigration Status

Ethnic Marketing is used in the literature as a targeted approach to a market segment that is defined by an ethnic minority. It should be differentiated from multicultural marketing, which is a weaker form of Ethnic Marketing and involving the presence of ethnic minorities, although it does not play a central role. The main difference to Ethnic Marketing is that in multicultural marketing often several ethnic groups are at the same time addressed.

A schematic delimitation of the terms Ethnic Marketing, Multicultural marketing as well as Mass- and Micromarketing is shown in the following figure:

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Figure 3

4. Emigrants and Late Resettlers

As already mentioned the largest minority in Germany is the group of the emigrants and Late Resettlers. Approximately 3,2 million are living now in Germany.

Russian is the second most common language in Germany, even before Turkish. According to this, Germany is home to as many Russian native speakers as no other country outside the former Soviet Union. The Germans in the former Soviet Union were adapting the life there. They spoke Russian in every area of ​​their lives and educated their children according to Russian values ​​and traditions. In addition, many Late Resettlers are ethnically mixed as German Russians married especially Russians, who in turn brought the Russian culture into the family. The borders between German Russians ethnic repatriates and Russians are thus very blurred, or are hardly available outside the legal provisions. The segment contains the Russian-speaking part of the Late Resettlers in Germany. In addition to the Russian Federation, Russian is also the official language in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The latter is, according to the 2006 microcensus 2006, a significant migrant group included in the segment.

4.1. Integration stand

Today only a few Late Resettlers are truly ethnic Germans. Experience has also shown that most of them do not have sufficient knowledge of the German language, which does not provide an essential basis for successful integration. Particularly for the young Late Resettlers, there is a considerable integration problem. Only about a third possess good or very good knowledge of the German language. In total, more than 45 percent of all Resettler families use Russian as colloquial language. Studies show that language is the most difficult problem in their lives.

Successful integration also includes the approximation of school education to the situation in the majority population. However, this is not the case at the very least for ethnic repatriates. About 41 percent of this group attends a primary school, more than twice as much as the population average. 15 per cent went to High school (Gymnasium), while they are generally 42 percent. German Russians are to a large extent a classic example of the formation of subcultures in a multicultural society. Many of them cut themselves off from the rest of the population, especially because of lack of language skills.

4.2. Demographic gathering and socioeconomic structures

Between 1950 and 2002, more than 4.3 million Resettlers migrated to the Federal Republic of Germany. 2.2 million of these came from the former Soviet Union. How many Russian-speaking Resettlers still live in the country can be seen in no official statistics. In the study of ZMG (Zeitungs Marketing Gesellschaft) the group of Resettlers from the former Soviet Union is estimated in total to 1,116,000 people. The study "Migrants and Media 2007" by ARD and ZDF does not differentiate according to its origin and sets its total number to 1.57 million.

The recording of Russian-speaking foreigners in Germany also proves to be problematic. While the microcensus determined 273,000 persons with Russian citizenship, the Central Foreigners' Register is estimating 187,000 persons in this group. The ZMG study is based on a study of 242,000 people. The same problem applies to other countries of origin of Russian speakers, such as Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The different sources and numbers show how difficult it is to determine the correct size of the target group. Without empirical investigations that are statistically reliable, it is scarcely possible to determine the number of those who have assimilated into German society and are thus no longer part of the Russian-speaking target group in terms of ethno marketing. According to an agency specializing in ethnic minorities (Tulay and colleagues), the number of Russian-speaking people in Germany in 2000 was on 2.6 million.

According to the microcensus 2006, there are about 53.2 percent of women with a Russian migration background and 46.7 percent of men. What is striking, however, is the fact that young immigrants are young in comparison to the German average. Figure 4 gives a good overview:

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Figure 4: Age Structure of people with Russian migration background

Particularly striking is the large proportion of 20-45 year olds. On the other hand, over 65-year-olds are clearly below the average. All other age groups differ only slightly from the age structure of the Germans. In Russian households live an average of 2.7 persons, in the households of Russian Resettlers, there are even 3.1 persons - both values ​​are above the German average of 2.6. That means that higher expenditures are needed for daily needs.

However, the purchasing power is reduced by comparatively high unemployment, which in turn is the consequence of the often-lacking interaction. According to the ZMG study, between 10 and 12 percent of Germans are unemployed. About 63 percent of the German Russians are employed. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 22.3 per cent of the unemployed with a Russian migration background are unemployed, 4.2 per cent are self-employed, 25.9 percent employed, 46.6 percent are workers.


Excerpt out of 27 pages


Ethnic Marketing in Germany
Based on ethnic minorities
California State University, Fullerton
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Multicultural Marketing, German Turks, German Russians, Ethnic Marketing, Ethnic minorities, Germany
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Ekaterini Dimitrakudi (Author), 2017, Ethnic Marketing in Germany, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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