Why A Creative Approach to Reaching the U.S. Hispanic Millennial is Essential

July 26, 2014 // By: // No Comments

Hispanic Media     

I was recently interviewed by eMarketer, Inc. as part of the “U.S. Hispanic Millennials: Bridging Cultural and Technology Gaps” report. It got me thinking about myself, a second generation Hispanic millennial, and how mobile usage affects my own path to purchase, what ads resonate with me and why I choose some brands over others.

Mobile and Path to Purchase
I now use my mobile phone to create my shopping list through Pepperplate, an app for recipes and weekly menu plans, to see if an item I want is available online for less than a retail location or to see if the item is in stock near me. The ability to use my mobile phone to get real time answers has changed my purchasing habits, which has in turn increased my ability to multi-task. I know I’m not alone – I see many others like myself using their smartphones while in the store aisles. According to Nielsen data, Hispanics own more smartphones than any other millennial group. They use apps more frequently, shop via phones more often and watch an hour more of mobile video a month.

Courtesy of eMarketer, Inc. 
as appeared in the“US Hispanic Millennials:
Bridging Cultural and Technology Gaps” report.

Takeaway: If you’re targeting Hispanic millennials digitally, make the extra investment to ensure your activation is mobile-friendly and offers a reward for engaging with the brand. Otherwise, you could be missing out on a significant amount of use and sharing.

Acculturation and Buying Habits
Language plays a factor in establishing brand loyalty, as I believe Spanish-dominant Latinos may be less inclined to try a new product if the packaging is in English, therefore sticking to brands they know and trust. I think beyond acculturation, marketers should take note of geographical differences in purchasing habits and trends—particularly in certain categories. For example, Hispanics in California are looking for slightly different produce and cuts of meats than those in Florida. The Publix in the neighborhood where I grew up in Miami is now a Publix Sabor, which features an additional selection of typical Latin food throughout the store rather than just in the ethnic aisle. My grandmother and many other customers also appreciate the bilingual signage in the store.

Takeaway: If the Spanish dominant consumer is important to your brand, consider bilingual packaging or in-store signage as many Latinos are making purchasing decisions while shopping the aisles. Also, don’t forget the power bilingual messages in store circulars. This segment of Hispanic consumers are often overlooked by brands that are trying to find efficiencies with a “total market” plan. However, a tailored program to reach this influential group in-language and in-culture can help to create loyal consumers.

Building a Life-long Loyal Consumer
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool for marketers. It’s hard to quantify and track, but personally I know that it impacts how I make purchasing decisions – whether it’s deciding where to dine or which doctor to visit. Word of mouth is particularly powerful amongst Hispanics—we have strong opinions (positive and negative) and we love to share them! We have always been social in nature and now, social media has given us tools to share and amplify our opinions. According to Center for Hispanic Leadership, Hispanic millennials are looking to build loyalty with brands that properly represent their voices and authentic identity. Further, this consumer is looking for brands that empower their heritage by effectively embedding their cultural characteristics in how a brand speaks to them. I know it sounds like a no-brainer but I’ve seen brands try to relate to the Hispanic millennial without truly understanding the consumer, and unfortunately, this often comes off as stereotypical rather than inclusive and empowering.

Takeaway: Loyalty programs resonate with Hispanic millennials. Showing your investment toward their commitment and rewarding them will go a long way and create a lifelong loyal consumer!

About the Author

Annette Gonzalez Malkin

Annette joined Hunter PR in 2003 and since then has been leading the growth of Hunter’s Hispanic practice. Annette applies her personal passion and cultural wisdom when developing creative strategies for clients to ensure there is a cultural mindfulness at the core of all our thinking to meaningfully engage the Hispanic audience.