It is an understatement to say that American-Latinos are the next generation of U.S. consumers. However, the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” have been used as terms to identity certain ethnicities, but marketers are quickly realizing that there is a lot more packed in those names. Tatiana Pagés, Chief Creative Officer of Greencard Creative, argues that while we still use Hispanic and Latino interchangeably, they carry different connotations.
“In contrast to native-born Americans, American-Latinos are more conscious of their identity and are constantly evolving as a result of that,” said Pagés from her studies. According to a Pew Research study, half of Hispanic adults most often identify themselves by their country of origin, rather than solely by the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino”.
While US Hispanics are the next big generation of U.S. consumers, only a few brands out there are focused on trying to reach and connect with these consumers. Pagés emphasizes on the fact that “brands need to recognize the new identity of the American Latino,” and to “stop defining them based only on demographics.”
Pagés suggests that in order to create a deeper level connection to American-Latinos brands should consider current shifts in the marketplace:
Hispanic vs. American Latino: The latter reflects our hybrid identity that is simultaneously American and Hispanic. We have a new sense of self and we blend values and characteristics of our individual cultures with traditional American traits. This new term represents an evolving depiction while highlighting our multicultural mindsets.
Internal Migration: The American Latino consumer group is expanding beyond the major U.S. cities. In 2000, 61% of Hispanics lived in CA, TX, AZ, and FL. In 2010, nine states – AL, AR, KY, MD, MS, NC, SC, SD, and TN – saw the populations of Hispanics grow more than double.
Shift to English: Among second and third generation Latinos, language trends continue to shift towards an emphasis on English. According to a Pew Research study, nearly 9 out of 10 Hispanics believe it is important for immigrant Hispanics to learn English in order to succeed in the U.S. And 2nd generation Hispanics are also less likely to access content specifically for their ethnicity.
American Stores preference: With the estimated purchasing power of $1.2 trillion last year, retail trends are also showing that they are more willing and likely to shop at large stores. Hispanics visit shopping malls more than any other ethnicity, 17% reportedly shop five or more times per month.
More brands really need to consider how American values, culture and language play a role in the evolving and transformative identity of the American Latino individual and take a more contemporary approach to their marketing and advertising campaigns.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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