Screen Age: Digital impacts on Asian middle class lifestyles

Christophe Robert
Cimigo, Vietnam

Introduction

Two related claims have emerged recently. First, digital technology is changing daily behaviors, and revolutionizing work, consumption, entertainment, and family life. Second, Asia's rising middle-classes will radically shift global consumption patterns, and lead business growth in the coming decades.

Sure, everything and everyone's gone digital. Or have they? What would that actually mean in terms of daily routines, practices, and consumption decisions for new middle-class consumers in Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Shanghai, or affluent middle-class families in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur?

Our study did not seek to quantify the digital world. This has been done already. Instead, we wanted to experiment with an ethnographic deep dive into lifestyles of real people, and document digital-led trends in context and on site. The results provide a series of hypotheses that will form a strong basis for further quantitative testing and ultimately developing marketing insights and strategic client solutions.

Objectives

  1. Build a precise qualitative understanding of Internet use in urban middle-class family life and routines (in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Saigon, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Delhi).
  2. Understand consumer perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors concerning digital devices (PCs and laptops, smart phones, tablets, online TV), and social media.

Approach