Thursday, October 18, 2007

Understanding the Hispanic Market

When identifying the needs of Hispanic men and women, we are looking at an interesting topic. It is obvious that most Hispanics care about their families and often put their families first. It is publicized that Hispanics are always late and care little about time constraints or deadlines. It is also interesting to note that many people believe that Hispanics have much larger families than other races. All of these stereotypes are necessary to understand and analyze when marketing to Hispanic men and women.

I can give numerous examples to contradict each of the stereotypes; however, I would like to qualify them to understand that we can learn a lot about the Hispanic market by understanding how these needs are different or the same for Hispanic men and women. Both Hispanic men and women put their families before many other priorities. Often times, Hispanic men and women will put work, school, and well-being below family. For marketers, this means we must introduce products that benefit the family instead of the individual. Companies can almost guarantee the success of a new product if it will improve the lifestyle of the entire household rather than that of only the mother or father. Products and services that can benefit the entire household are challenging to create, but they are an important need of both the men and women of this segment.

There are characters in movies and books that portray Hispanic men and women as running late everywhere they go. This idea can relate back to the “family comes first” understanding. Hispanic men and women would rather be late to work or school if they know their family needs them. In fact, there are numerous things that are more important to many of us than arriving to a meeting on time or running 5 or 10 minutes late to class, regardless of our ethnicity. Instead of focusing on this stereotype, marketers should instead look to other themes of Hispanic’s buying patterns. Focusing on products that satisfy work-life balance may be a solution that meets both the family need and the time issues.

Finally, large families are present in all cultures, but seem more prevalent in Hispanic families. This need relates to the idea that family comes first and also to the need of work-life balance. Today, many Hispanic men and women marry and work for several years before starting a family. Marketers must find a way to promote their products to those newly-wed Hispanic men and women and to those Hispanic couples who have been married for decades. It is important to note that the men will often buy different products than women. Many times, husbands will be sent to the grocery store so that the wife can make dinner or watch the children. Still, women are always looking for that escape to shop for themselves. Considering both of these ideas, new marketing campaigns should be on the rise to satisfy the stereotypes of Hispanic men and women but also to the idea of the “new” Hispanic family.

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