Latino and Hispanic Shoppers are Setting Trends: An Advertising Opportunity for Business

January 9, 2013

Latina Mujer Beauty Consumer MarketU.S. Hispanics are not valued enough by America’s corporations, government and mainstream media. In particular, brand marketers do not take Hispanic consumers seriously enough, especially their buying power or trend setting influence. Although the proportion of U.S. Hispanics is scaling upwards rapidly, corporations and advertisers continue to underestimate the importance of Hispanics as an economic and business development engine.

The Economic Impact

To see an example of the economic impact Latinos can have, one need look no further than their local grocery store aisle, where tortillas, taco kits and salsa outperform hamburgers, hot dog buns and ketchup sales, according to’s new market research report, Hispanic Foods and Beverages in the U.S.

Latino Hispanic Voting Power and TechnologyBut this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to a recent blog in AdAge by Tony D’Andrea: “In the wake of Barack Obama‘s re-election by a wide multicultural coalition, evidence is growing that Latino influence on mainstream society is growing far beyond the consumption of tacos and salsa music. This has important consequences for marketing by multicultural and general-market professionals alike.”

Its All About The Numbers

Latino Girls playing with smartphoneAccording to the Center for Hispanic Leadership, there is a debate among advertisers about how to best reach the younger-skewing Hispanic consumer. Advertisers argue that they can effectively reach the Hispanic demographic by advertising more during programming that is popular with youthful viewers, such as American Idol, National Football League (NFL) games, and The Simpsons. The counter argument is that reaching them is not the same as earning their loyalty and trust; Hispanic consumers don’t want to be “sold to” – but rather, courted by brands that authentically empower their cultural relevancy and communicate in ways that naturally resonate with Hispanic cultural values.

Corporate America Needs to Connect

Que Rica VIda General MillsThis strained relationship between brands and Hispanic consumers is negatively impacting corporate decision-making and the development of new markets, products, services, and revenue streams. At a time when the U.S. economy and the stock market are looking for a leg-up, corporate executives are leaving economic development opportunities on the table because they fail to invest, engage and learn more about how to connect culturally with this vibrant Hispanic consumer segment.

In 2013, corporations must invest more wisely and strategically in theHispanic consumer – who are not only early adopters of social media and mobile device use, but are now translating their super-user status into super-consumers via social and tablet shopping. In doing so, Hispanic consumers have become super-trendsetters.

According to PR Newswire, the marketing agency Lapiz, a division of Leo Burnett, recently released a new consumer research study called LatinoShop. Per the study’s findings, Latinos view shopping not so much as a chore; instead it’s “a multisource, multisensorial and multigenerational experience that provides retailers and marketers with a wide range of opportunities to engage.” They go on to say: “The study is part of a landmark global research initiative, PeopleShop, focused on illuminating cultural, geographical and economical influences that impact how and why people shop around the world.”

Here are just a few of the LatinoShop study’s findings:

Hispanics Love Technology

Mobile and Tablet Shopping

  • 56% Hispanics vs. 33% Non-Hispanics – shop mobile with a phone
  • 43% Hispanics vs. 25% Non-Hispanics – shop with a tablet

Hispanics Shop with Their Senses

  • 55% Hispanics vs. 38% Non-Hispanics – like to touch and feel a product
  • 36% Hispanics vs. 13% Non-Hispanics – think it’s fun to immerse themselves in the store atmosphere
  • 49% Hispanics vs. 19% Non-Hispanics – judge product quality by product packaging

Social Shopping (online and offline)

  • 37% Hispanics vs. 17% Non-Hispanics – reach out to friends and family
  • 36% Hispanics vs. 18% Non-Hispanics – share opinions and write reviews
  • 48% Hispanics vs. 31% Non-Hispanics – use social networking sites

Trendsetting (Hispanics are more than twice as likely vs. non-Hispanics to):

  • 41% Hispanics vs. 18% Non-Hispanics – follow the trends
  • 31% Hispanics vs. 14% Non-Hispanics – like to try new products first
  • 30% Hispanics vs. 13% Non-Hispanics – like to be first to share with friends

Radio, Billboards and Infomercials (Still Rank High Amongst Hispanic Consumers)

  • Radio: 72% Hispanics vs. 46% Non-Hispanics
  • Billboards: 59% Hispanics vs. 35% Non-Hispanics
  • Infomercials: 52% Hispanics vs. 23% Non-Hispanics

The Hispanic community is rapidly becoming the most influential voice in pop culture, business, and politics; their trendsetting impact will make or break the success of those seeking to gain brand popularity, market share and / or win the next election.

Source: Forbes and Glenn Llopis-