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U.S. Hispanics: Consumers that Bring Brands More

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a room of senior brand marketers at the 2016 NPD IDEA Conference – an event dedicated to helping brands understand the levers for market disruption and innovation.  As we gear up for the holiday season, I felt it important to share some of the key messages from my talk, and why Hispanics truly are consumers that bring brands MORE. 

At Univision, we make it a priority to guide brands on how to accurately measure and reflect Hispanic consumers. It’s about who they are, what makes them tick, and of course, what they will buy. It’s important that brand marketers understand how to speak to them—because they are indeed buying: Nielsen projects $1.7 trillion in Hispanic consumer spending by 2019.

So how can brands successfully reach this important consumer? There are 3 steps that will help your brand gain more revenue and market share from U.S. Hispanics in the coming years. They are: Understand the “MORE” consumer, practice total market strategy and embrace a shifting consumer mindset. 

Understand the “MORE” Consumer

Understanding consumer requires that you understand they live a double life: they consider themselves to be 100% American and 100% Latino, which provides you with more points of entry to reach and engage with them. According to Nielsen, Hispanics have 20 more years of effective buying power than non-Hispanic white consumers, they have more people in their households (3.8 vs. 2.8 for non-Hispanics), and Spanish-dominant Hispanics spend more per shopping visit (brick & mortar AND online), per NPD Retail. The fact that they are living in the U.S. does not dilute the importance of their language and culture; these continue to be important elements of the U.S. Hispanic experience, proving to be more important than any other element. In fact, 58% of Hispanics say, “Spanish language is more important to me today than it was five years ago.”  (Source: Yankelovich Monitor 2016)

Practice Total Market Strategy

It is evident that Hispanics are important to your business, but you must practice total market strategy to be successful in reaching them. Diversity is an absolute reality, not a curiosity that brands can visit alongside a “general market” strategy.

Embrace a Shifting Consumer Mindset

Brand marketers need to embrace a shifting consumer mindset to engage Hispanic consumers. The rising mainstream is not just multicultural, it’s “polycultural,” a term coined by Kantar Futures, which means people of all races, including Hispanics, are attached to their own culture, but they are also open to other cultures. It’s a mindset derived from many different cultural influences.

That openness and connectedness to culture is a philosophy Hispanics expect from brands. In fact, per the 2016 Yankelovich Monitor, 81% of Hispanics say companies should take a stand on important social issues. Opportunities abound for brands who are “color brave,” as Melody Hobson famously prescribed in her Ted Talk.  Those are the brands that are bold and brave enough to tackle issues of diversity and inclusion head on.

As a brand marketer, you can prepare to gain more from this powerful consumer and grow your business in a responsible way by truly understanding the Hispanic market’s potential impact, practicing total market strategy, and finally, embracing the mindset of the rising mainstream. Think big, act boldly and be color brave. 

Sources: Nielsen, The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers; Nielsen 2015 Universe Estimates, Fall 2015 FY; Base: A 18+. Index to Total Population, next 12 months.; The NPD Group/ NPD Retail Hispanic Shopping Activity 2015. PREU; Yankelovich Monitor 2016.

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