Results from the new survey "El Mercado 2004", co-sponsored by ADVO, Inc., the Food Marketing Institute and New American Dimesions, LLC were presented at the Food Marketing Institute's Advertising Marketing Executive Conference in Orlando, Florida. Joella Roy, ADVO's Senior Marketing Research Manager says that "the results of this survey should help marketers in several retail segments better understand [the Hispanic consumer population] and, in turn, more effectively serve them and market to their needs."
Results of the survey show that only about 20 percent of Hispanic consumers can be considered more brand loyal than the average grocery consumer. These results... may come as a surprise to many marketers who still hold the perception that Hispanic consumers as a group are more brand loyal than the average consumer.
"There still seems to be a perception that Hispanic consumers are more brand loyal than other consumers, but this survey shows that only those Hispanics who are most unacculturated -- meaning they are foreign-born, have spent only a small percentage of their life in the U.S. and are less educated -- display above average brand loyalty. This brand loyalty seems directly correlated with familiarity of brands they were aware of before they moved to the U.S.,” says Roy. “The fact that this audience segment only accounts for about one-fifth of the total Hispanic marketplace means marketers can’t simply rely on branding and brand identity to attract the other 80 percent of Hispanic consumers who are not inordinately brand loyal. Price, quality and packaging must be of increasing concern when trying to reach the Hispanic consumer.”
Ms. Roy hits the bulls-eye with the fact that foreign-born Hispanics will be more loyal to those brands with which they were acquainted with prior to "crossing the Rio Grande" as well as by saying that QUALITY must be an increasing concern when trying to reach the Hispanic consumer, and I add, ANY consumer.
Addressing the former issue, one thing to seriously consider with new Hispanic immigrants is how much penetration American Cable TV, as well as bootleg DirectTV, have in many parts of Latin America. This is not only true for the middle class and up, but even in the less privileged parts of the cities, where the standard of living is way below the U.S. poverty line, you will find the eventual cable connection and bootleg satellite dish. So even if they did not have access to a specific product at their home country, they very well could know about it and once living in the U.S. and finding it in a store they will be very likely to buy it, since it has been a part of their American dream and now they are finally able to experience it with all their senses.
Now talking about quality... You have to be good at what you do, otherwise no advertising effort will save your business. Adversting only accelerates what will happen anyway, so if your product sucks and you have a great advertising campaign, more people will learn faster how bad a product you have, and at that same pace, or even faster, they will spread the word, just like wildfire!
If you have what it takes, then a great branding campaign will definitely work in your favor. To learn more about branding, may I suggest checking out Dave Young's BrandingBlog. Dave is my partner and friend, not to say the guy who introduced me to Blogs. You will find tons of usefull information there.
Now, changing subject, let's see what the survey found about language preference:
Regardless of the type of advertising, Hispanics surveyed showed a higher level of recall for advertising delivered in a bilingual format.
I can definitely appreciate this fact, since either foreign-born or not, independently of the degree of acculturation, this is the daily reality a good percentage of Hispanics experience in America; living and funtioning in two languages, and why not say it, in varying degrees, in two cultures. One of the coolest examples I have found of this is Salma Hayek's Coca-Cola ad, aired on TV last year (to view it click on the "Salma Hayek's" link, once at her official web site, scroll down, you will find access to the movie clip at the bottom left-hand corner).
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