When you look at the meaning of the word “heritage” a few terms come up; Preserving (old things like recipes, dances, languages and culture.) Also it speaks to preserving important ideas from the past and personal memories. Heritage can also be the subject of collective reflection, a platform for political recognition and a vehicle for intercultural dialogue.
Heritage is an essential part of the present we live in as it’s woven throughout our everyday lives, and of the future yet to be built.
Hispanics living in the U.S. are a large and diverse group. They come from over 20 countries of origin, and represent many generations. There are those who are born in the U.S. and others like me who immigrated looking for the “American Dream.”
We are very proud of our roots, our ancestry and our ability to build a better future. It’s in our blood, our hearts and in our souls. It comes loudly and joyously when we celebrate our traditions. Or it comes out kicking and screaming when we’re pegged into a stereotype to sell beer for Cinco de Mayo.
Who is Hispanic Heritage Month really for? We Latinos live in an ambi-cultural world, rich with our traditions and heritage while also living a full American life. We don’t need a special month to help us remember our roots. We live that experience every day. But brands are increasingly aware of our contribution to the economy and are eager to capture our attention. And our sheer numbers help us feel more empowered and part of the greater conversation.
So let’s be honest and consider Hispanic Heritage Month an opportunity for brands to sell products. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Marketers know that in 2015 the U.S. Hispanic purchasing power reached 1.5 trillion dollars; that we are the largest minority in the USA; that if we were a country, we would be the 12th largest economy (bigger than Canada, Spain or Israel) and that 1 in 5 Americans is Hispanic.
So if Hispanic Heritage Month is about reaching out to us in an authentic, respectful and honest way that’s great. We’d probably like to buy what you are selling. Just remember that successfully marketing to Hispanic consumers requires a full engagement strategy and not just a nod to Latino pride during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Here are few suggestions for brands seeking to capture this robust market:
- Find the commonalities which align the consumer and brand.
- Use research to understand Hispanic purchasing patterns and leverage unique behaviors.
- Apply ethnic insight to your plan.
- Develop an honest dialogue, allow customers to get involved and let them be part of the story.
- Create memorable brand experiences that Latinos will share.
- Make sure that your brand is connected through the right channel and messaging strategy.
- Support Hispanic efforts with sufficient and consistent funding.
Once we embrace your brand you’ll have a loyal customer who is likely to sing your praises on social media and is five times as likely to share that positive feedback. And that’s worth celebrating!