Despierta América: Wake Up to Meet the Hispanic-American Consumer.
This report, based on qualitative research, explores the diversity of the Hispanic-American population and sheds light on how they'd like to be engaged with as consumers.
In 2010, the Hispanic-American population crossed the 50 million mark – that’s 50 million people living and working in every strata of American life, geographically, economically and culturally. The approximately 52 million Hispanics living in America today nearly equals the population of England, where 53 million people dwell.
Now, you wouldn’t pretend that all English people follow a single set of behaviors and purchasing preferences. Nonetheless, despite its great size and diversity, marketers and digital creatives continue to the treat the Hispanic population as a monolithic bloc. By doing so, they are actively alienating growing segments of the population who feel more cultural affinity with Pitbull than Desi Arnaz.
The emergent population of assimilated Hispanics—born in America, raised in America, raising their children in America—feel left behind by ads and marketing initiatives that target their parents. They’re looking for ways to connect with their Hispanic identity that don’t contradict their identities as Americans.
Technology plays a key role in bridging the divide between the modern American lifestyle and Hispanic cultural traditions. Hispanic-Americans are growing in purchasing power faster than any other demographic in the United States. They have higher smartphone penetration than the population at large, and are more likely to adopt new applications and social media platforms.
Marketers know the numbers. So do designers. What they’re missing is why these behaviors exist, or how to speak to this burgeoning demographic. Cultural norms drive early adoption of new technology, and also affect what kinds of technology take hold. This report presents the results of qualitative research conducted with three different demographic groups in the Hispanic market. The research reveals that brands and marketers focus too much on the familiar, older demographic, ignoring the emergence of a younger, acculturated group that expects to be treated differently from their parents. Uninformed marketers focus on endorsements from celebrities like Sofia Vergara, who fits into old-fashioned conceptions of what first-generation Hispanics find compelling, while young, acculturated Hispanics find her public persona to be embarrassing.
Forward-thinking brands are beginning to invest the time and money to learn more about these consumers, but many more rely on cookie-cutter approaches that fail to excite Hispanic consumers, and even offend them. To understand how to engage with this demographic, brands need to look deeper than statistics. They need to understand what lies behind the numbers.