With Brands, Hispanics Holding Sway

IRI webinar explores strategies for connecting with the demographic

CHICAGO --The U.S. Hispanic population is not only experiencing a growth explosion—43% increase over the past 14 years—but the demographic is growing in stature with marketers as well.

A growing number of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies continue to view the Hispanic demographic as a measuring stick to total brand success across the consumer spectrum.

Hispanics’ role in advancing the fortunes of mainstream brands was discussed from multiple angles during a July webinar hosted by Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI) entitled “Winning with the Hispanic Consumer Today.” 

Here’s one angle: If marketers and retailers grab the attention of Hispanic consumers, it’s likely to produce deeper benefits across the total brand marketing strategy. Big-box retailer Wal-Mart, for instance, gets it: The company was named First Marketer of the Year by the AHAA a national trade organization of Hispanic-focused marketing, communications and media firms—thanks to its commitment to a total market and merchandising approach that resonates well with Hispanic consumers. 

During the 1-hour event, moderated by Joy Joseph, marketing productivity practice leader for IRI Global Analytics & Consulting, it became abundantly clear that building a loyalty component with Hispanics is a bellwether for brand growth. And when it comes to shopping tendencies and establishing brand loyalty, Hispanic shoppers can act quite differently from non-Hispanics, IRI found. 

Hispanics are largely considered “social shoppers,” often including family members and others in a shopping occasion, said Joseph.

Many indicate they enjoy shopping even if they don't purchase something, and expect advertisements to be entertaining. The latter is particularly true for female Hispanics, who are more likely to remember advertised products when shopping, according to IRI research. Hispanics also pay attention to in-program product placement and are more apt to notice outdoor ads than non-Hispanics.

While retaining a close allegiance to their native lands, Hispanics also have a tendency to forge significant buy-in to U.S. cultural ways and means.

Overall, the webinar instructed marketers and their retailer partners to blend customized market strategies for Hispanic shoppers with a “total market strategy” that serves as the overarching plan, said Andy Hasslewander, vice president of product development and professional service, The Latinum Network, Bethesda, Md., who co-moderated the event.

Joseph implored marketers to “act now” based on two compelling facts:

  • Total U.S. population grew by 0.7% in 2013 while the Hispanic population grew more than 2% in the same time period;
  • With an average age of 27, the Hispanic population is 10 years younger than the U.S. average, and Hispanic shoppers just entering the prime of their earning years. Further, it’s earning power that will increase dramatically over the next decade, said Joseph.