An assertive point was made by Cheskin’s Lalo Segovia last December 9th regarding the diversity amongst Hispanics, in this case just amongst Mexicans. It is a good wakeup call to all of those trying to gather us Latinos into a monochromatic lump…
Where do Mexicans come from? My colleague Carolina asked. I was preparing myself to hear a funny anecdote or a joke, but she was serious.
The importance of this question became clear to me immediately.
In the last ten years, one of the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA ) has been the Mexican, Canadian and US companies' expansion into each other's markets encouraged by the lowering of tariffs... Etc.
But, Where do Mexicans come from? This is what many Mexican company brands would like to know.
As more and more Mexican brands continue to enter the US market, their initial consumer target is often US Mexicans, followed by the broader US Hispanic segment. In-language brand communication is essential to make an initial brand connection with these consumers. However, there is one other main issue that needs to be taken into account once the decision to move into the US Hispanic market is made:
Imagine brand Mex is a Mexican beverage. Mex has been in business for 30 years in Mexico. Given regional distribution issues, Mex was only available to consumers in the Central and Northern part of Mexico. However, entry in to the US Hispanic market will be nationwide.
Now consider this:
A Californian and a North Carolinan will react to the Piggly Wiggly tagline Down Home, Down the Street tagline differently. To the Californian this message will not be as relevant as to someone who grew up with a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket in their neighborhood back in the East coast.
This same issue will be faced by brands coming across the border from Mexico. When bringing their message to Mexicans in the US, these brands will have to convey 2 different messages. One message needs to be tailored to the consumers from regions in Mexico where the brand was known. the other message will have to be adapted to target those not yet familiar with the brand. In this scenario, a bifurcated approach is essential for effective brand communication.
Beyond previous brand awareness, regional Mexican origin also plays a role in profiling Mexican rural vs urban origin (tied to education levels) that many fail to consider as they develop brand communications.
In the end, to know where Mexicans come from in each major market in the US is crucial for Mexican brands coming to the US. Brand messages to US Mexican consumers may have to be customized to the audience from one city to the other in order to be successful. The key is to know and to utilize this information to create intelligent and customized marketing communications in order to be successful.
Just in case you were curious...
There are large populations of Mexicans from Chihuahua in Denver, Mexicans from Michoacan in San Francisco, Mexicans from San Luis Potosi in Houston and Mexicans from all over in Los Angeles, Chicago and NYC.