Hispanic Americans

Hispanic Americans are highly brand loyal trusting well known high quality and familiar bands. For example Sears has learned that Hispanics tend to buy more of its Die Hard batteries and craftsmen tools than does the population in general. Thus, the US Hispanic population is more likely than the US Anglo population to stress product quality to value name or advertised brands and to be brand loyal, yet at the same time to seem receptive to new products. Such strong Hispanic brand loyalty can be a significant resource for a company.

Higher brand loyalty among Hispanics is based only on indirect mostly attitudinal measures and not on something cultural. There are several features of the Latin American marketing environment that may account or their high band loyalty: (1) Latin American stores carry relatively few brands consistently in most product categories; (2) few brands are regularly advertised; (3) usually brands available in Latin America are unavailable in the United States and (4) there is much less product variety in Latin America. Thus Hispanic immigrants arrive in the United States with a preference for perhaps only one or two of the brands that will be available here. But marketers who have carved a niche in this market should not be lulled to sleep by market share and brand loyalty achievements for unless brand shares are protected inroads can be by competitors. For example, in 1985 only 36 percent of US Hispanics bought foreign made cars but by 1988, over 50 percent had purchased them. Thus, the once favorable Hispanic predisposition toward domestic cars has eroded with significant national Spanish language television campaigns by Toyota, Honda and other import automakers.

Hispanics according to a New York study, concentrate their influence on a relatively few brands. Although comprising only 12 percent of metropolitan New York’s population, their highly concentrated purchasing can change a brand’s overall market share considerably. For example about 4 percent of non-Hispanics cite Tang as their most often used brand of powdered drink, but among Hispanics 33 percent name Tang, leading to an overall share of 11 percent.

The market is also interested in status symbols. Because most Hispanics have come to the United States from poorer countries to seek a better life, they are often interested in purchasing those things that demonstrate that they have arrived Bulova watches offer a good example of this attitude:

The Bulova image among Hispanics was once that of a cheap American product. To counter this attitude, the company began to position itself among this segment as an expensive, but affordable, piece of jewelry. Bulova stressed its use of gold and accentuated the fact that it had an extensive line of 18 karat gold watches — because in Hispanics 14 karat is synonymous with gold plated. The result was the Bulova gained a 40 percent share to the Hispanic market

This subculture generally exhibits more new product openness than do US consumers as whole. For example, compared with no-Hispanic consumers, a greater percentage of Hispanic shoppers say they seek:

1) New foods to eat at home
2) New supermarkets and department stores to shop in
3) New laundry and household cleaning products to use
4) New types of beer liquor and cocktails to drink
5) New Magazines to read
6) New TV programs to watch

Because of value differences between Hispanics and mainstream Americans different product benefits may need to be stressed when selling to the Hispanic segment compared to the non-Hispanic segment. Product and package adaptations are also sometimes advisable in attracting Hispanics. Whirlpool for example, has introduced Spanish language controls and instructions on some of its washers and dryers.