Ukrainians in Poland are a market of millions

How many Ukrainians are there in Poland in reality, along with the people which who can be the target of marketing actions ob the ground of a slogan “Buy your Ukrainian goods”? Before we attempt to state some numbers, we should specify, who exactly we mean. As this Ukrainian group in Poland is much broader than it seems at first glance.


The first and the biggest group are legal and illegal migrants from Ukraine. According to the estimations of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs it comprises about half a million people. The majority of migrants live in Warsaw, Mazowiecki region and pre-frontier Ljubljana and Podkarpackie provinces.


The second group, which can be estimated of 100-150 thousand people, are original Ukrainians, i.e. citizens of Poland with Ukrainian nationality. The most of them inhabit Warmia-Masuria Province in the north-east of the country, close to the border with Kaliningrad region. There are completely Ukrainian-speaking districts, as for example, area of the cities Braniewo, Górowo IƂaweckie and Bartoszyce. The Ukrainian of Warmia-Masuria Province have their representatives in regional councils (sejmiks), and Olsztyn radio and TV channels broadcast Ukrainian-language programs, newspapers have individual pages for that. Ukrainian band Aeneas origins there, Ukrainian songs of which (in particular Radio Hello) take top positions in popular ratings of Poland. Exactly after Aeneas also at Olsztyn student’s festival Kortowiada many young Poles began their acquaintance with Ukrainian language and culture. That is why it is not surprising that Ukrainian firms often start expansion to Polish market exactly from Olsztyn, the capital of Warmia-Masuria Province. As here without any promotion they can count on a pretty big (30-50 thousand people) potential circle of devoted clients, which shall be persuaded with the add “it’s good because it’s Ukrainian.


The third group of Ukrainian target is the students from Ukraine and Polish students and graduates interested in Ukraine under the influence of their Ukrainian friends – fellow students. And here there shall be several more dozens thousands of people, even following very careful estimations. These people are mostly concentrated in famous “friendly for Ukrainians: academic centers: Krakow, Wroclaw, Lublin and Warsaw. Although, naturally, Ukrainian students and Polish students of Ukrainian philology and Ukrainian studies also present in Gdansk, Gdynia, Poznan, Szczecin, Bialystok and already mentioned Olsztyn.


And finally the group of potential buyers of Ukrainian goods – people, who simply love Eastern Europe. I.e. if any Pole likes travelling around Russia, Georgia, Belarus or Moldova, he will for sure become the client of “Ukrainian shop”, if such is opened in his/her city. The person shall recommend also it to his friends at Facebook and others.


Where can we find these people? Well, all around Poland. The case is that after extension by the West and the EU, many Poles again has become involved with Eastern Europe, which for young generation seems to be exotic. And that is why attractive. And also there are Russian-speaking migrants from the CIS states and finally  - two hundred thousand Polish Belarusians, densely living in eastern Podlasie. But official statistics accounts for fewer representatives of national minorities (as well as others), but anyway a shop with Ukrainian goods in Bialystok (the capital of Podlasie) would have surely found its place in the market and become famous far out of the limits of the city.


Counting the representatives of all listed groups it shall be the market of a million.  And even according to more careful estimates we still receive 700 thousands of potential consumers Seven hundred thousand of devoted and loyal buyers that will promote our goods and Ukrainian shops to their friends with demanding a penny in return. And this already nice – just as the population of Lviv or Montenegro. Of course is not huge Russia with its market from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. However, as a start-foundation on the way of conquering a forty-million market of Poland, and in course of time of the big market of the European Union – this sounds already quite attractively.


The market of mobile communications in Poland is divided between four big oligopolists: T-Mobile, Plus, Orange and Play. Plus several other operators, about which the majority of Poles has never heard about. How can the fifth operator join and conquer its small share of the market? Everything is clear for analysts: there is nothing to look for the fifth operator without an original business-idea.


A new operator Key Communication has decided to create a product exactly for this group of clients about which we have already said. I.e. for Polish Ukrainians migrants and those Poles who call often to East. The Key has offered the lowest tariffs in the market for the calls to Ukraine (0.5 zloty per minute, meanwhile the competitors have those mainly 1.7-2 zloty), and advertised its services in niche places: in Ukrainian-speaking newspapers for Polish Ukrainians, at the portals devoted to Ukraine, at the festivals of Ukrainian and Belarusian music. And it was enough. As it turned out, in practice, the target group “Polish Ukrainians” plus the migrants from East, plus Poles interested in Ukraine” is already pretty big in order to promote the business with minimum expenses on advertising. Today the Key has become famous by advertising its services already as an operator for those, who cal often abroad. I.e. for the Poles willing to call for example in London or Toronto. However, exactly the primary brand of a convenient operator for Polish Ukrainians and migrants has become the formula of success of this business.


Ukrainian beer, mobile communication, Ukrainian book store in Krakow and more than dozens of Ukrainian pubs in Polish cities — these are naturally the examples worth to be reproduced. However, yet these are only exclusions. In general in Polish supermarkets there are almost no Ukrainian goods. There are also no Ukrainian shops in Polish cities, where there are many “ethnic” shops with regional goods from exotic states of the world. In comparison with Vienna, with which Ukraine has less common than with Krakow, Lublin, Olsztyn or Wroclaw.


There are no doubts that the situation shall radically change in 2020 or 2023. Despite all obstacles and delays Ukraine shall still become a part of the common European market. It is not important whether it shall happen within the frames of the EU or on the ground of individual exclusively trade agreements. It is also evident that the company to conquer Polish market first shall benefit most of all. 


This is just a matter of time when ketchups and mayonnaises of Ukrainian production appear in Polish supermarkets or Ukrainian chocolates prohibited in Russia. And therefore if export expansion to the neighboring Poland is still have to be planned than why should another best moment be waited, if there is this current one? The information about prohibition of export of Ukrainian confectionery in Russia circulated in all Polish Mass Media with respective comments the due to political reasons. Say the least of it Poles do not really like Russia, that is why it’s easy to imagine the action “Support Ukraine – buy Ukrainian goods ", similar to the same public campaigns in West Ukraine regarding Moldavian and Georgian wine. 


November is close and together with that probable escalation of Russian trade war against Ukrainian manufacturers. No matter how odd it would sound, but for several dozens of millions Polish consumers information that the goods of some Ukrainian company is prohibited in Russia due to political reasons, shall be the best recommendation. And this together with the name of the “disgraced” company shall circulate over all TV-channels and fronts of Polish papers. This is a perfect possibility to come to Polish market and to be accompanied with free resonance promotion — although, naturally there is not much time left to prepare.


According to zn.ua