Speaking of Diversity

There Is No Such Thing As An Asian American Market

by Michael Lee - on Saturday, December 01, 2018

I recently appeared in a Forbes article by Co-founder and Principal of ThinkNow, a technology driven cultural insights agency on the topic of marketing to Asian Americans. My reply to him was that there is no such thing as an Asian American market, and that this is what often derails multicultural marketing efforts aimed at Asians in the United States. I advise marketeers to look more closely at the Asian culture in American more closely as there are more than 19 groups of Asians that reside here.   


Racism Still Exists in North America

by Michael Lee - on Thursday, November 01, 2018

Question: While racism towards various ethnicities has become unacceptable in public, many openly racial comments and slurs are a daily reality for Asians. Often these comments are hidden under a veil labeled “comedy”. Why is this happening and why do many individuals and pop culture sources see this as ok?

Answer: Obviously, racism still exists in North America and elsewhere but it has gone underground where usually people don’t say discriminatory things openly in public. However, for some groups like Asians, there’s less fear of a backlash such as the “Chink in the armor” headline about Jeremy Lin whereas a comment about being “niggardly” regarding Charles Barkley would never be tolerated.
There’s less fear and less sensitivity about Asians for two main reasons: 


Luck Around The World

by Michael Lee - on Monday, October 01, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be lucky. For example, if you find a shamrock on St. Patty’s day it is believed you will have good luck the entire day. The term “The Luck of the Irish” stared in the mid-1800’s during the U.S. gold rush when many Irish immigrants found gold and silver. It is also said that if you catch a Leprechaun he must grant you three wishes. 


How Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

by Michael Lee - on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

An important step in becoming culturally competent in marketing is to recognize our own cultural biases.  


African American Assaults on Asians Increasing

by Michael Lee - on Monday, May 02, 2011

Physical assaults by Blacks on Asians have been increasing in San Francisco and Oakland leading to at least one death. While the news media has been quick to point out the increasing tension between these two minority communities they are at a loss to explain why. What they don’t understand is the fact that Blacks and Asians are at opposite ends of the cultural spectrum. For instance, Blacks tend to prefer very direct eye contact while many Asians avoid eye contact to show respect; Blacks use frequent and very broad hand gestures when talking while most Asians use very little; and Blacks often speak to each other in loud tones while many Asians prefer more subtle communication. These differences and many others have created uneasiness between the two groups in America for centuries.  


Is the New York Times Holiday Gift Guide Racist?

by Michael Lee - on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This year the New York Times added a section to its holiday gift guide intended to cater to its readers who are potentially looking for “gifts created for and by people of color" 


Selling to Multicultural Customers

by Michael Lee - on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Selling products and services to Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and others isn’t difficult but it does take some training. Meeting the needs of people from diverse cultures means adjusting your practices to accommodate them. Many salespeople believe they can just “treat everyone the same” which is a nice thought but lousy customer service.