Evolution of Polish customers in Britain

Evolution of Polish customers in Britain

According to the results of the survey of the Institute of Public Affairs Poles in Britain are still perceived as cheap labour, people who have come in order to support their families in their motherland. According to this stereotype these are people who live in a rented room and buy products and services in one-pound stores just to save as much money as possible. And what does a reality looks like? What are the features of Polish consumers on the Thames?

They buy brands they know
Prosperous shops with Polish food (there are several hundred of them) and Polish products in supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury’s prove the fact that Poles are still attached to their national food products. The boom of Polish service points – hairdressing and beauty salons, kindergartens, garages or accounting offices, even in small towns, indicates that they trust Polish providers and still need customer service in their mother tongue.

They appreciate value for money
Poles like shopping in discount shops, such as Poundland, in which they buy good quality products at a low price. – For many Polish customers the price is an imperative criterion when choosing products and services so, indeed, the first question asked by Polish clients does not concern the range of insurance cover, that is what they get, but its cost. The British pay more attention to the quality of products – says Bartosz Laskowski, the managing director of Prestige Finance Advisors insurance broker. – Polish customers expect the high quality of products but for a reasonable price – confirms Katarzyna Grabowska, a marketing manager of the biggest Polish bakery, The Polish Bakery.

Influenced by choices of their relatives and acquaintances
Contrary to Brits who will check the most recent "Which" magazine or price comparison websites before purchasing a car, Poles will have in mind what car and insurance their relatives or acquaintances have. – Many of our customers who took part in an accident are friends and acquaintances of people whom we served before and who recommended us – says Dagmara Sztynyk from Levenes Solicitors law firm.

Like products offered for free
– After managing sponsorships of more than 40 events in the recent two years one must notice that Poles love free gadgets, samplings and a possibility to test a product or service for free, contrary to, for example, Brits who are not interested in gadgets or even willing to try a new yoghurt for free – explains Monika Bulmer, an account executive from Think Big Comms agency which specialises in campaigns addressed to Poles in the UK.

Buy products in family in mind
– British people usually think about insurance only when they purchase a house, as it is required by the law. Poles are more aware of the fact that they should take care of their families and they willingly purchase various insurance products. They also often protect the future of their children, buying houses or flats – comments Bartosz Laskowski.

Investments in immovables
The higher the salaries of our compatriots, the bigger their savings, which allows them for a shift from consumption to investments in, for example, immovables. – More and more of Poles do not only buy houses for themselves, but also purchase immovables that could be rented to others, it’s a so called "buy to let" option – says the director of Prestige Finance Advisors.

Aware of their needs
Also, the consumer awareness of Poles is increasing. – Today Polish customers know exactly what to expect from law firm services and if they have an accident, they more often seek experienced lawyers who could help them obtain a compensation. A few years ago most Poles didn’t distinguish law firms from agents working on “no win no fee” basis – says Dagmara Sztynyk from Levenes Solicitors law firm that is popular among Polish customers.

Open to more expensive products
– Earlier most Polish customers were looking for cheap transport in order to commute, and if a car broke down, they bought substitutes instead of original parts or they even asked for a repair of the old part. Nowadays the same customers seek the best models and the difference in price of original parts and their substitutes is not a problem for them – says Łukasz Nowak from a Polish garage in Bristol.

The material situation of our compatriots in the last few years has improved a lot and so has the behaviour of Mr Kowalski in London and Coventry – says Matylda Setlak, a managing director of Think Big Comms, a marketing communications agency specialising in campaigns targeted at Poles. – We observe Polish customers carefully and notice the changes taking place in this group. These changes influence their consumer needs and therefore also their behaviour – she says.

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