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Multicultural mandate: New research finds Latinos to be more brand-loyal than the general population—but only when targeted authentically

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Public Relations

It’s once and for all time for American brands to get a handle on multicultural marketing—not just because they could make more sales, but because these groups are growing swiftly and, as Americans, deserve the respect. But having said that, brands that do master this targeted outreach may find that they earn loyal customers for years to come.

For example, Latino populations across the U.S.—collectively one of the largest and most powerful consumer groups in the country—are more than happy to support brands that target them authentically, respecting their culture and heritage. And Latinos are far more loyal than the general marketplace of consumers to the brands and businesses that do so, new research from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and minority-certified marketing agency Chemistry Cultura reveals. In fact, more than half of those surveyed (57 percent) attribute that loyalty to those brands that are “exhibiting a respect for my Latino heritage.”   

Furthermore, this cultural mandate is proving to be more important to Latinos than the types or quality of products brands offer. When asked what element they most like in advertising, respondents heavily favored ads featuring Hispanic casting (34 percent) over elements such as interest in the product (19 percent).

Brands’ biggest multicultural mistakes

According to the research, the top three mistakes that brands make in their Latino advertising are: 1) use of stereotypes; 2) misuse of language and; 3) not reflecting the immense diversity of the U.S. Hispanic community.

“Twenty-first century marketers crave data to help them make smart decisions, and inform campaigns that deliver ROI from growth segments,” said Mike Valdes-Fauli, chief operating officer of Chemistry and president of its multicultural division, Chemistry Cultura, in a news release. “With Hispanics representing 50 percent of America’s net population growth, it’s thrilling to have a finger on the pulse of this critical demo. We often talk about insights, not stereotypes, and this study epitomizes that approach, delivering actionable recommendations for brands to win big with Latinos.”

The survey revealed many compelling points

These include surprising Gen Z social media preferences, an exponential growth of Spanglish, loyalty built from brands that exhibit respect for heritage, and actionable tips to ensure advertising lands with cultural nuance.

“Our focus at the USHCC is to empower Hispanic business success, and in so doing ignite broader American prosperity,” said Ramiro Cavazos, president & CEO of the USHCC, in the release. “To succeed with this fast-growing segment, brands must do their homework and demonstrate true commitment, not condescension.”

Here are some key data points from the study:

Media

  • Latinos are much heavier users of TikTok, with 48 percent on the platform daily as compared to only 36 percent of the general market, and 20 percent saying they “find new brands” on TikTok as opposed to only 11 percent of the general market.
  • Despite being rapid adopters of social media, Latinos are still fervent viewers of television, including a whopping 42 percent who still watch broadcast television daily.
  • Music is growing in popularity with younger generations, as 38 percent of Gen Z Latinos say it’s their #1 passion point, vs. only 17 percent of Boomers (who prefer sports by a wide margin).

Language

  • About two-thirds (65 percent) of Latinos still prefer at least some Spanish in their advertising.
  • English as the preferred language at home has grown exponentially by generation: 50 percent of first-gen prefer speaking Spanish, and the number drops to 4 percent of third-gen.
  • However, counterintuitively the opposite occurs with Spanglish. Rather than merely adopt English, 20 percent of Gen Z prefer Spanglish over either individual language, as compared to only 14 percent of Millennials and 10 percent of Gen X.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly refer to themselves based on country of origin and/or prefer the catch-all term Latino. The term Latinx was negligible in terms of usage, and was strongly refuted as “an inauthentic creation of corporate America.”

The statistically significant survey polled 1,427 U.S. Hispanic adults, from a wide swath across country-of-origin, age, acculturation level and language preference. Concurrently, the study also included a “control test” of equivalent size from the general market population. The combined results deliver the latest snapshot of the Latino demographic, currently representing one-in-five Americans.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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