On June 5, 2004 I commented on "Culturally-inspired wines catering to Latinos" and just two days later (June 7, 2004) HispanicPRWire reports about Fórmula Latina, a line of hair care products "designed especially for Latina hair"... What are the odds?
Claiming to be "the first complete line of professional products designed to eliminate frizz and add shine – the top Latina hair concerns" JossClaude Products launched an extensive line of hair care products "inspired by Latinas."
Joss Ifergan, one of the company's founders, conveyed that, “For a Latina, her hair is more than an expression of how she looks, but how she feels. It’s a personal statement of who she is and who she aspires to be... Beautiful hair is part of what makes the Latina woman so alluring and captivating... In this way, Fórmula Latina not only addresses her needs, but celebrates her dynamic spirit.”
Right after that, the report goes on to say, "Though designed especially for Latinas, Fórmula Latina is an excellent choice for anyone who seek to eliminate frizz and add shine. It is appropriate for all hair types, from thick and curly to fine and straight to normal, color treated or damaged." Who knew?
Maybe the fact that I am follicular-impaired doesn't let me understand the beauty of Latinas having a product designed exclusively for them, or could it be the fact that anyone who seeks to eliminate frizz and add shine to their hair will do so by using this products... ANYONE! So these products, designed with the Latina woman in mind, work perfectly well on an "Anglo", "Asian-American", or "African-American" lady.
This goes way beyond stereotyping, this is about a line of products making unsubstantiated claims. They simply are shampoos, conditioners, and who knows what else for Pete's sake!! Maybe they are good, maybe they're not, but trying to lure the "unsuspecting" Hispanic women into buying their products because they were created specifically for them is kind of a long-shot... don't you agree?
Interestingly enough, that same day, in a completely different story posted in HispanicAd.com, it is reported that:
Marketers are realizing that more general, rather than ethnic-specific, product appeal is the key to growth in the ethnic cosmetics and beauty care market according to "The U.S. Market for Ethnic Cosmetics, Hair Care, and Beauty Products," a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. Marketing efforts such as celebrity endorsements of general HBC products aimed at ethnic audiences is becoming more frequent in hopes of tapping the astounding $1.9 trillion spending power of U.S. Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics.
Rethinking the way health and beauty products are marketed comes after research indicates that general-use products, like Unilever's Suave shampoo, are top choices among ethnic consumers, rather than ethnic-specific brands.
Currently, the market for ethnic-specific health and beauty products is stagnate and valued at $1.5 billion, a 1.3% decrease over 2002 sales. Purchases of general-use health and beauty products by ethnic consumers are valued at $6 billion, posting a slight increase of 1.1% over 2002.
Bottom-line: People will end up buying the better product, not the one "marketed" for their specific "demographic".