Purpose – The ethnic marketing field has long recognized the need to address specific needs and tastes of ethnic minorities in traditionally Western‐dominant societies. However, it has done so mainly by considering socio‐demographic indicators such as ethnic provenance. The growing importance of ethnic minorities in Western societies calls for a further refinement of existing segmentation models which takes into account the development of specific sub‐cultures within ethnic groups. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how Islamic minorities in Europe are developing into a complex set of micro‐cultures. Design/methodology/approach – Ethnographic methods, such as participant observation, photographic analysis and phenomenological interviewing helped identifying extant sub‐cultures within the Islamic youth minority in The Netherlands. By applying interpretive methods, the aim is not external generalization but rather theory informing. Findings – Five sub‐cultures/neo‐tribes have been identified, which differ consistently in terms of preferences, values and behaviour. Research limitations/implications – This paper advocates a shift from conceiving markets in terms of socio‐demographic, or psychometric, variables to considering markets as sub‐cultural systems or communities‐light. Social implications – A more realistic approach to segmenting markets helps marketers and consumers to develop more meaningful products and marketing activities. The paper also adds to knowledge about the increasingly important Islamic minority in The Netherlands. Originality/value – To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study addressing the importance of Islamic minorities for marketers, from a sociological perspective, in Europe.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 28, 2011
Keywords: The Netherlands; Neo‐tribes; Ethnic marketing; Segmentation; Consumer culture; Ethnography; Islam; Marketing strategy