New migrants to Australia are breaking common stereotypes with sophisticated customer journeys and purchasing behaviours, according to industry-first research.

Australian broadcaster SBS spoke to 1,000 new migrants on how they felt about coming to Australia, how they worked their way through the complex retail environment, and their financial goals.

“It’s enormously complex looking at the new migrant journey because a brand that can be really aspirational in year one can be purely functional by year five,” said John Turnbull, Brand Partnerships Strategy Manager, SBS Media, during Advertising Week APAC.

“Think how easy it is to replace a functional brand with something that’s slightly cheaper, because price is an enormously strong motivator for new Australians,” he said. (For more on the purchase behaviours of new migrants, read WARC’s report: The sophisticated customer journey of new migrants to Australia.)

The research found that four out of five new migrants have an optimistic view that their financial situation is going to become significantly better. This motivation sees migrants quickly become sophisticated consumers, with retail and telco brands the first port of call on arrival.

“The first thing you buy day one in Australia is a SIM card,” said Turnbull. “Connection is the new oxygen because a SIM card connects you to all of those services that are set up to help new migrants in Australia and it connects you to home.”

The next retail experience for a new migrant is visiting the supermarket, with Coles and Woolworth’s the preferred option. “There is something about the size of these brands, the amazing amount of outlets that they have, and their level of advertising they run that really does have that level of influence on new migrants,” said Turnbull.

In about a month, migrants have secured a rental property, with the next step usually involving buying a car, vastly increasing job opportunities. In year three to four, many new migrants purchase a house, and other markers of wealth.

“This idea that migrants are coming over here and just buy products they bought at home is absolutely false,” Turnbull said. “Consider the journey you have to take from arriving in a country and buying a house within three years.

“Saving that 10% deposit is an enormous amount of money now, particularly in Sydney or Melbourne. They’re good savers. They worked really hard, so that means within another year they’re buying an investment property, and they’re becoming really sophisticated consumers,” he said.

Sourced from WARC