Despite the fact that 1 out of every 6 Americans is Hispanic and that this group represents a staggering $1.3 trillion in spending power, some advertisers are still undervaluing the importance of Hispanic consumers. Many are choosing to take a “one size fits all” approach to their marketing, and it’s falling flat.
In a community where “culture is king,” brand messages must go beyond simplistic translations of English messages into Spanish and the use of generic references on product labels. There’s more to it than that. Advertisers must plug into this community’s core values and be sensitive to the different acculturation levels that exist between those who have recently moved to the U.S. and those who were born here.
Brand messages should be meaningful two-way conversations that engage the Hispanic community in a dialogue about what’s important to them. This will lead to a greater understanding of why they buy. Advertisers who take the time to do this will ultimately establish trust, which is an extremely important factor to earning loyalty within this community.
Hispanics don’t like to be sold to or insulted with stale, predictable messages. And with an increasing amount of disposable income, Hispanics in general are in the position to buy and optimistic about their ability to do so in the coming months. The larger question is who they will be buying from.
In a Hispanic Omnibus survey* measuring the feelings of the Hispanic community toward the U.S. economy, 51 percent of all respondents surveyed said that they anticipated their own personal financial situations improving in 2013 (versus 2012). Big-ticket items such as new cars and trucks, home electronics and tablets (such as iPads and Kindle Fires) topped the list. On a broader scale, retailers will see increased spending on other items, including food and clothing — two areas in which the Hispanic community already outspends other Americans.
Hispanics are expected to be the trendsetters for 2013 and years to come, thus making a huge impact on U.S. consumer trends and behavior. With segments such as “upscale” Hispanics (those earning $50,000 to $100,000 annually) now accounting for 3 out of every 10 Hispanic homes and representing $500 billion of the total $1.3 trillion in spending power, the momentum is in their favor. Advertisers willing to create messages that tie cultural relevance to purchases will be rewarded with the biggest gains.
*Conducted by the Hispanic market research company, ThinkNow Research, Burbank, CA, January 2013