What’s the best way to reach the Hispanic consumer? Consider throwing out that TV budget and focusing on in-store media instead. And don’t go out of your way to make your brand look “Hispanic.” Such are the insights of Carlos Boughton, brand director of Tecate and Tecate Light, Heineken USA and Manuel Wernicky, president, chief ideas officer and managing partner at Adrenalina. The two collaborated on a shopping list below for marketers aiming to tap the country’s largest and fastest-growing minority group.
HISPANIC SHOPPER MARKETING DO’S
1. Consider the context. Hispanics have been particularly hard-hit by today’s economic crisis so a message designed for the ‘good times’ will feel insincere.
2. Focus on the idea. Let your inspiration lead the media. Design around one great concept that extends equally and powerfully to several mediums instead of trying to match each medium with a laundry list of incomplete thoughts.
3. Shift ad spend from TV to in-store merchandising. The store shelf, where 70 percent of purchasing decisions are made, is the last frontier for swaying purchase behavior. An LCD screen on a shopping cart may be a more direct way to woo Hispanics than the ads on the big screens in their living rooms.
4. Engage the consumer to ‘feel’ the brand. Latinos gravitate to brands they sense feel right. For instance, Tecate leverages boxing as an effective way
to reach Hispanics and as a powerful metaphor for boldness, masculinity and character. Consumers, in turn, make the connection: bold brand = bold product = bold consumer.
HISPANIC SHOPPER MARKETING DON’T
1. Rely on a Power Point to know your customer. Data provides invaluable context, trends, and insights. But to get inside the head of “Juan Q. Consumer” spend time outside the office, meeting and talking with brand users. Data is not an effective way to read emotions. Tecate’s platform of
‘character’ came from consumer interaction not from data.
2. Underestimate consumers. With the growth of user-generated content, consumers are more involved than ever in shaping a brand — almost like co-brand managers. In this sense, the right consumer-designed message can boost a brand just as the wrong one can wreak havoc. One consumer designed image that was a take on the Tecate campaign became a minor hit on Facebook.
3. Get mired in cultural relevancy. Streaming papel picado in the store isn’t a shopper marketing strategy. Don’t try making your brand look ‘Hispanic,’ instead focus on delivering a relevant message. At Tecate, we’ve abandoned all obvious references to origin because it doesn’t serve the message we’re trying to convey.
4. Be a brand for all people. Tecate isn’t an Hispanic brand marketing to multicultural groups, our target is Mexican men and we speak from their perspective. Even people who don’t understand the campaign value its genuineness. Often, a pan-Hispanic message will lack bite and authenticity. More people may ‘get it,’ but fewer will care.