Sunday, October 17, 2010

African, Hispanic (Latino), and Asian American Demographics

The growth of ethnic minorities in America has been phenomenal. Since 1980, the Asian American population has almost tripled, Hispanic American more than doubled, Native American increased 62%, and African American increased 31%, while the non-ethnic population has remained almost the same.

This is a trend that is expected to continue. The latest estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau predict that the minority population will comprise fully half the U.S. population by the year 2050.

It may seem as if the same song is being sung by a number of different choirs. The opportunity to reach powerful segments is here today. But how about we not "dip our toes in the water" and make a true commitment to these segments? Let's be honest, we as marketers have known about this opportunity for a while.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Latino Immigration From a Different Direction - New America Media

So, here we go again, not only Hispanic immigrants are being influenced by the American culture, but they are simultaneously influencing the way Americans live and perceive life. Does this sound familiar? Probably it does if you have been reading not only the rest of my blog, but anything related to multicultural marketing published recently.  The novelty in this case? that the Latino influence is expanding way beyond the states usually associated with immigration.
Emory University's Mary Odem discusses her recent book on how Latino immigration has affected the southern U.S. Latino Immigration From a Different Direction - New America Media

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch

A gem of an article published by National Journal magazine about the impact of the multicultural young generation on the future of America.

This is the time for brands to set the direction that will impact them for the next 20 years. What should brands do? Allocate most of its resources to today’s pure “general market” consumer or to put them into the multicultural Gen Y consumer to win over the market segment that's going to continue increasing dramatically? I believe the best approach is the latter.

The fact is that those marketers brave and insightful enough to see and proactively engage the new consumer will be far ahead of their competition. Engaging this younger more multi-cultural segment in a relevant and authentic manner will lead to ROI now and down the road.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Messaging Needed to Reach 'New Majority'

This is definitely where marketing in the US is heading to. With 103 millions of Hispanics, African Americans and Asians in the US, brands need to find creative ways to communicate meaningful and relevant messages to their multicultural audience to be able to truly connect with it. With all the sub groups that encompass the "New America".

The marketers are naming their models: Total Market Approach, as we call it in Richards/Lerma, Crossculturalism as Ken Muench, one of the savviest US Hispanic planners - in my opinion - calls it, or Transcultutal Marketing, as I like to call it; but it all boils down to the General Market work influencing the Hispanic work, and the Hispanic work influencing the General Market work in a way that makes brands stronger.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do you want to know what a woman wants? Ask Levi's

Ivonne Kinser

When I came across Levi's Fitting Experience Platform I was not sure if I was more fascinated by the product they had created, or by the brilliant social media approach. Levi's Digital Fitting Experience is, without a doubt, one of the most significant global digital campaigns to date, executed by the brand that invented jeans for women nearly 75 years ago, and that is today using digital as the backbone of a global product launch.

Levi's Experience provides women with engaging content and personalized tools to demystify the process of finding perfect-fitting jeans, based on their shape, not size. Women are able to identify their Levi’s CURVE ID fit by completing an interactive quiz and following a simple step-by-step measurement process.

According to research conducted by the brand, 54% of women try on at least 10 pairs of jeans before finding "the one", yet when the jeans don’t fit, women blame themselves. Was Levi's really listening to the internal dialogue women have with themselves when trying on jeans? According to Mary Alderete, Levi’s vice president of global women's marketing, they indeed were. By interpreting the numerous insights of study participants, Levi's was able to create a new system that added to the traditional dimensions of jeans – length and width – by adding a third dimension; shape. "From now on, it is shape that counts, not size".

Levi's strategy - A perfect fit for the Hispanic market
Whether or not Levi's decides to translate its digital platform into Spanish, the product and the message are naturally relevant to the Hispanic woman. Fashion is fashion, but when it comes to shopping for jeans, Latinas look for what fits their body type, which tends to be different not only from the Anglo woman's body type, but from other Latinas as well.

Women from Central America often have more Aztec blood mixed with European, so they tent to be shorter than those from South America who often have greater European mix. Central American and Mexican women, often look for petite versions of clothes to fit their smaller frame.

The body shape of Latinas from South America often resembles that of women from Spain, not very curvy, but not as tall as the Anglo woman either. Many Latinas that come from the Caribbean, (Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans) often have a mix of African blood so their body types tend to be more curvy and resemble more those of African-American women. These women are looking for clothes that accentuate curves and are not designed for the less curvy South American woman.

Finally a jeans manufacturer that can please all Latinas and Anglo women with one product.
In order to develop its CURVE ID line, Levi's conducted extensive research that showed that 80% of women around the world fall into three distinct body shapes, so one size could never fit all. Their goal was to engage women online with their interactive, custom fit experience that matches them with their perfect Levi’s® CURVE ID fit whether they are a Slight Curve, Demi Curve or Bold Curve. Or should we say whether she is Anglo, Mexican, Argentinean, Puerto Rican or Colombian?

However we want to put it, this may forever change the way women shop for jeans.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yo Quiero Publicidad en EspaƱol: Why Marketers Should Also Reach Out to Online Hispanics in Spanish

Today kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, so we decided to take a look at a few of the trends and tips we’ve seen lately about Hispanic media usage and how marketers can reach them.

eMarketer estimates there are nearly 30 million Hispanic internet users in the US this year. Hispanics are underrepresented online, with less than 60% accessing the internet at least monthly, compared with 76% of non-Hispanic whites and 63.8% of blacks. And according to June 2010 data from the Associated Press and Univision, online Hispanics spend more time with English-language content on the web than with Spanish-language sites and information.

Hispanics were also significantly more likely to report spending no time using the Spanish-language internet, at 53%, vs. just 32% who said they spent no time on English-language sites.

This research falls in line with earlier studies, such as one published in 2009 by Ipsos that found 59% of Hispanic men and 51% of Hispanic women preferred English on the internet. Even 10% of respondents whose primary language was Spanish would rather go online in English, according to that study.

But attitudinal research shows that marketers must still reach out to Hispanics in Spanish. Experian Simmons found in December 2009 that more than two in five Hispanics felt Spanish-language advertising is a sign that companies respect their heritage, and nearly as many said they were more loyal toward companies that show such respect. Spanish-language ads were unsurprisingly more important to Spanish-dominant consumers than to fluent English speakers, but solid percentages of all Hispanics care when marketers make the effort to connect with them through their own language and culture.

That also means Spanish-language marketing content should not appear second best. Unfortunately, however, that is increasingly the case.

As eMarketer senior analyst Lisa Phillips wrote in May, “many of the Spanish-version sites are lagging behind their English counterparts. According to AOL’s Hispanic Cyberstudy, one-quarter of Hispanic Internet users say they could not do all the same things on a Spanish-language site that they could do on the corresponding English-language site.”

September 15,2010

Study Shows Hispanic Shoppers’ Behavior Shifts by Season

A study currently underway by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research reveals in their recent newsletter, The Checkout, that Hispanic shoppers show a shift in shopping behaviors by season, in comparison to general market shoppers.

During the months of June, September and November, Hispanic shoppers’ primary shopping goals show a significant change in rank with their priority being more on “concern for family satisfaction” and “one-stop shopping” and less on “saving money.” These months also coincide with significant shopping events: summer, back-to-school, and holiday shopping. This data suggests that while general shoppers may hunt for the best back-to-school deals, summer savings or holiday sales, Hispanic shoppers seek approval from their kids and family members over purchasing the cheapest item.

With the exception of the three major stocking-up events mentioned, saving money and convenience are usually the top shopping goals for Hispanic shoppers. They are traditionally more value-driven and less likely to use in-store tools than the general market. When it comes to shopping aids, Hispanics appear less responsive to in-store messaging than non-Hispanics with neither messaging at-shelf, nor in-store TV being cited as tools that help make a purchasing decision.

“Although many retailers and brands develop communication aimed at both the general and Hispanic markets, our research indicates that it’s not necessarily reaching the Hispanic shopper,” said Martin Ferro, Senior Planner for Velocidad, an integrated Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group. “Brands must be deep-rooted in the more meaningful insights that distinguish Hispanic communication from general market communication, especially during key shopping events.”

Hispanic shoppers are also more likely than the general public to switch brands. A contributing factor is the acceptance by family members of private-label brands in the household. Significantly more Hispanic shoppers perceive less difference in product quality of private and brand name products than general market shoppers. Surprisingly this is even more pronounced at higher income levels ($75,000+).

Although there is an increase in private label purchases, many Hispanic shoppers that haven’t been as affected by the economy as others are sticking with familiar brands despite having to occasionally buy them less often.

“Of those Hispanic shoppers who reported no change in their shopping behavior this year, 67 percent said they stick with their brand of choice, even if another brand is cheaper,” said Randy Wahl, Executive Vice President, M/A/R/C Research.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog or M/A/R/C’s web