TV & Radio
Gays splurge on phones, cosmetics and apparel
Published on August 25, 2005 - The Nation
Once regarded as taboo in society, Thailand’s gay population is increasingly being recognised as big spenders. A recent survey has shown that growing demand has made the market for gay products one of the hottest commercial sectors in the country. The survey, conducted by a Bangkok research company, Nano Search Co Ltd, found that in spite of the economic slowdown, sales of cosmetics, apparel and trendy mobile phones are on the rise partly because of demand from homosexual buyers.
The survey in Bangkok this year, was conducted in two phases. The first involved 220 homosexual and heterosexual respondents. The second phase involved a selected group of 300 gay men.
The results were revealed yesterday at a seminar on economic trends and impacts on purchasing power in the consumer durable goods industry, organised by GfK Marketing Services (Thailand) Ltd, the local arm of an international business and marketing surveyer.
“From our survey, we have seen tremendous potential in this gay product segment,” said Teerasak Wongpiya, a business consultant for Nano Search said. “Gay people have generated a dramatic demand for products serving this ‘rainbow gender’.”
Gay men tend to be image conscious. Moreover, they have higher purchasing power than family men because they don’t have to provide for children.
Teerasak said gay consumers enjoyed 25 per cent to 30 per cent more disposable income, on average, than heterosexuals.
On top of this, homosexuality has gained increasing acceptance from society, according to Nano Search.
“Based on our study, about 40 per cent of people say they don’t have negative feelings towards homosexuals,” Teerasak said. “Only 0.4 per cent of them dislike gays.”
Teerasak said that despite the trend, Thailand’s gay market remained untapped.
“We have not seen many businesses developing products specifically to serve this group of customers,” he said.
But, some businesses have begun to develop gay products, including cosmetics, apparel, movies, magazines and mobile phones.
Phusit Phensiri, executive vice president of Nano Search Co Ltd, said that gays have power within business organisations to devise and impart creative ideas. This creative capacity matches the latest marketing strategies, which have shifted from “the customer is key” to “the idea is king”.
Gay employees, who often have distinct views on design, fashion and creativity, and are able to create better value for products of the companies they work for. This capacity has resulted in higher salaries for gay employees, Phusit said.
He added that gay workers with bachelor’s degrees often enjoy double the salary of general office workers.
Phusit said that because gays often prefer not to reveal their homosexuality, the market for gay products and services had been perceived as a “secret” market. As a result, direct marketing has become a powerful force in the gay market.
Gays become big spenders in Thailand: survey
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-25 13:46:51 - Xinhua
BANGKOK, Aug. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Homosexual consumers have become big spenders in Thailand, boosting sales of certain products, a recent survey found out.
In spite of the economic slowdown, sales of cosmetics, apparel and trendy mobile phones are on the rise partly because of demand from homosexual buyers, concluded the survey conducted by the Bangkok research company Nano Search Co Ltd.
"From our survey, we have seen tremendous potential in this gayproduct segment," newspaper Nation on Thursday quoted the company's business consultant Teerasak Wongpiya as saying.
The company's survey was conducted in two phases, involving a mixed group of 220 homosexual and heterosexual respondents and 300selected gay men respectively.
Gay men tend to be more image conscious and have higher purchasing power, showed results of the survey released on Wednesday.
On average, gay consumers enjoyed 25 percent to 30 percent moredisposable income than heterosexuals, for they don't have to provide for children, said Teerasak.
The survey also found that the Thai society has adopted a more tolerant attitude toward homosexual.
"Based on our study, about 40 percent of people say they don't have negative feelings towards homosexuals," said Teerasak.
On the other hand, the business consultant in charge of the survey noticed that the gay market still an untapped sector in thekingdom.
"We have not seen many businesses developing products specifically to serve this group of customers," he said.