The online retail giant Amazon launched the Spanish language version of their site in an attempt to find additional growth in a market that it already dominates. In 2016, Amazon was responsible for 43% of all online retail purchases in the United States. With a Spanish language version of the site, Amazon.com will now be accessible to another 17% of the US population.
According to the Business Insider, from 2014-1016 Target was Amazon’s closer competitor with year-over-year growth in online retail sales. In 2013 Target reportedly spent $51.5 million on Hispanic marketing and advertising and has been in the top 50 spenders in that category for the last 12 years. Walmart, the fourth largest spender on Hispanic advertising, began localizing its stores and featuring more Hispanic food items in areas where there is a larger Hispanic customer base.
The 40 million native Spanish speakers and 10 million bilingual speakers in the United States now have one more online shopping platform to choose from in addition to the beloved Target.com and Walmart.com. Not surprisingly, Amazon is challenging these retailers and posing a major threat to their share of the 1.7 trillion dollar US Hispanic market.
Marketing to the Hispanic population doesn’t always mean directly translating your current strategy into Spanish. Take a look at some memorable mishaps from well know companies as they attempted to better connect with their Hispanic audience.
In 1969, Chevy replaced the name of its Chevy II compact car with a new name, the Nova. Until March 2011, it was widely believed that the Chevy Nova didn’t sell well in South America because the words “No va” literally mean, “it doesn’t go.”
In 2006, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) launched their popular “Got Milk?” campaign in Spanish: “¿Tienes Leche?” However, the campaign did not reach the Hispanic market as intended since their attempt at translating “Got Milk?” resulted in the phrase “Are You Lactating?”
In 1987 Braniff Airlines started pushing out to potential customers the concept of new leather seats. There US campaign was “Fly in Leather.” Unfortunately, the Spanish translation for their audience in Mexico, “Vuela en Cuero,” actually meant “Fly naked.” The promotion may have appealed to some flyers, but it was not quite what Braniff was shooting for.
May Cubans will spend this week paying their respects to the deceased Fidel Castro, while others will continue celebrating his long-anticipated death. Fidel Castro governed the Republic of Cuba for 47 years. He was Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then President from 1976 to 2006 and was responsible for turning Cuba into a one-party socialist state. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011.
Mourning in Havana, Cuba
The streets of Havana were somber Saturday as citizens of Cuba mourned the death of their historical leader. Using the hashtag #HastaSiempreComandante (English: Forever Commander), Cubans posted endless photos across all social media platforms, many expressing their undying respect for Castro and the major social and political changes he made for the people throughout his years as a ruler.
Translation of text above: “To be an internationalist is to pay off our own debt to humanity. Whoever is unable to fight for others will never be able to fight for himself. -Fidel Castro”
For many, Fidel Castro Castro went down in history as a loved and respected revolutionary. His body was already cremated and on Wednesday, his ashes will be taken along the reverse route he took across the island after seizing power in 1959.
Celebration in Miami
The world saw quite the opposite response from Cuban exiles now residing in Miami, Florida. Revelers poured into the streets of the city and in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, the party began Saturday night as soon as Fidel Castro’s death was announced. Until mid-day Sunday they popped champagne, clanged pots, cheered and waved both Cuban and American flags in pure celebration. They stood outside the popular Versailles restaurant in Little Havana with signs reading, “Satan, Fidel is now yours” and sung and danced for hours. To them, the death marked the potential end to a cruel and unjust dictatorship in their homeland.
Ironically enough, the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place this morning at the Miami International Airport launching American Airlines’ service to Havana. American Airlines’ flight 17 will be making its first journey shortly. The last flight between the USA and Cuba was 55 years ago.
Vine, the short-form video network announced in a saddening message that it would be shutting down the ability for users to create new content, but will be keeping the website online and app running, at least for now. They sent out sincere thanks to both creators and team members for all the laughs and growth over the years.
Twitter acquired Vine in 2012, and it quickly climbed to the No. 1 app on the iTunes App Store. Recently, it was down at the spot No. 284 which isn’t surprising considering that Twitter has been more focused on its other video product, Periscope, and joining the live streaming movement… O sea, RIP Vine. Yet, TechCrunch reported that discussions have already begun to possibly sell Vine and give it a second chance at success.
For the odd, ironic and hilarious Hispanics who made themselves into superstars via 6-second clips on Vine, there surely are bright futures in social media ahead. Below we highlight our two favorite Hispanic creators that made it big thanks to Vine and whose content will never stop resonating with bicultural, bilingual Hispanics in the US.
LeJuan James, a Puerto Rican and Dominican comic genius, made Vines using mixes of both English and Spanish showing scenarios of what it is like to grow up in a Hispanic household and be Hispanic in the US and all the hilarious adventures that comes along with it. For many young Hispanics, it is content that they could identify with and the fact that he includes his real family members in the video clips allowed for parents and grandparents to engage and laugh alongside the entire family. With almost 520,000 followers, we’re not the only ones who are obsessed with him! Here are two of our favorites which represent the relationships within a multi-generational household and the burning desire to dance in any situation involving the right tune:
US born Oscar Miranda tends to write all the post descriptions in English and speaks in all English in a good amount of his videos. What is it about his Hispanic-centered content that brought him over 560,000 followers on Vine and over one million across all social media platforms? He demonstrates what it is like being Hispanic and peacefully living alongside the non-Hispanic culture and documents the hilarious situations that arise along the way.
With Hispanics constituting 17.6% of the nation’s total population, they are the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority… and we have an entire month to celebrate their roots, culture and language! Hispanic Heritage Month is a festive time period that gives brands the opportunity to connect with Latinos, even if it is not an “official” Hispanic holiday.
One day just wouldn’t be enough to celebrate all the cultures and countries of Latin America, so we have 30 days to try our very best. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition to those five, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
Countless brands and businesses successfully reached out to their Hispanic followers during Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 and also gained plenty of new ones. Here are just a few successful campaigns we admire:
National Football Association
The National Football Association (NFL) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with unique, special events to expand the sport’s fanbase as more Hispanics continue to be drawn to fútbol americano. Although, it could never take the place in their hearts of real fútbol (soccer). All NFL teams enhanced their observation of the holiday by holding assigned home games with in-stadium themed elements and also participated in local community outreach programs. uring Hispanic Heritage Month, fans could visit NFL websites and read the stories of Hispanic players who have left a lasting legacy on the history of the NFL.
Last year, Macy’s decided to honor and promote Hispanics who have each influenced and shaped American popular culture via their fashion, beauty and lifestyle expertise. These influential Latinos have a style that honors both of their cultures and captivates consumers and Macy’s did a beautiful job of displaying that to the world. During exciting special events across the country, Macy’s brought together three influyentes to share their inspiring stories with customers in live conversations.
Tide ran a digital Hispanic Heritage Month campaign called #WashAwayLabels, in which Hispanic consumers held up shirts that contain negative stereotypes they face as U.S. Hispanics. The slurs were printed on the white shirts with ketchup and thankfully, the cleansing power of Tide washes them away. On social media, viewers responded very positively to the campaign. It was successful because Tide took a stand on a cause which is of growing importance to U.S. Hispanics.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is just one small way to engage your Hispanic consumers and acknowledge and respect their roots. Yet reaching out to U.S. Hispanics and connecting with them on a deep cultural level should be a year-round effort. They will take note and be extremely grateful, and your business will reap the benefits of cultivating sincere connections with this diverse market.
Mitú, the digital media network that caters specifically to Hispanic youth audiences worldwide, announced a $27 million Series C funding round that includes strategic investors AwesomenessTV (owned by DreamWorks Animation), Verizon and WPP Digital.
The mitú digital network launched on YouTube in May of 2012. In less than one year, the video startup had surpassed their one billionth view. It connects thousands of Latino content creators with viewers around the world who are starving for culturally relevant content that is reflective of their lives.
Mitú successfully hits around 2 billion video views per month across platforms including Facebook and YouTube and their community consists of over 6,000 Hispanic content creators. Together these number currently give them the largest global digital reach that specifically targets Hispanic millennials.
With Hispanics representing 24% of millennials in the U.S. in 2016, investors are wide-eyed and anxious to invest in the right companies that successfully connect with this audience. Mitú is full of content which speaks loud and clear to Hispanic Millennials. Most of the comedic material has deep cultural roots and connects deeply with the bicultural, bilingual millennials. They describe themselves as being “unapologetically Latino with universal appeal.”
After this recent round of funding, mitú CEO Roy Burstin said the company plans to ramp up its investment in sales, content production, and product and technology. The plan also involves expanding its own influencer marketing platform, Mituberos, which matches brands with its creators to co-produce campaigns. They will also use the money to continue improving the technology that monitors how its creators’ videos perform and gauges audience behavior.
For now, you can expect to see the U.S.’s first Latino-made and Latino-focused video content network trailblazing its way through all social media platforms, grasping the attention of Hispanic Millennials all over the country. Check out more about Hispanic Millennials here.
Forbes recently published a list of the 10 cities where Hispanics seem to be doing the best economically according to median household income and home ownership rates. Not surprisingly, places in Florida and California made the list and Texas is home to several of the 10 cities. Nonetheless, Baltimore, MD came in strong up in the North East and Virginia also made its way to the list. Although the Hispanics in the nation’s capital have the highest median household income, they tend to have lower rates of home ownership. Check out all the stats below or see the original article here.
St. Louis, MI
Median Household Income: $50,570 Home Ownership Rate: 56.5%
Median Household Income: $43,712 Home Ownership Rate: 44.6%
San Antonio, TX
Median Household Income: $42,377 Home Ownership Rate: 56.9%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Median Household Income: $41,622 Home Ownership Rate: 50%
Virginia Beach, VA
Median Household Income: $50,197 Home Ownership Rate: 47.2%
Median Household Income: $65,736 Home Ownership Rate: 45.4%
Median Household Income: $43,020 Home Ownership Rate: 52.3%
Median Household Income: $59,939 Home Ownership Rate: 47.5%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
Median Household Income:$47,196 Home Ownership Rate: 55.3%
Median Household Income: $50,171 Home Ownership Rate: 54.9%
Some of the big players in the Food and Auto industries are already paving the way in the Hispanic Marketing game. From social media posts that dig deep into the hearts of Hispanics to experiential marketing events that showcase emerging Latino artists, Starbucks, McDonalds and Toyota amongst many others are leading the way to gaining even more Hispanic followers and turning them into lifelong devoted customers.
Starbucks is already on the right path with their website in Spanish and the launch of “Noches Culturales” which are in-store events in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio and Los Angeles that feature local Latin music acts and highlight Starbucks summer drinks.
Ándale, Starbucks, vamos para adelante!
McDonalds recently launched their Spanish language Twitter account (@MeEncanta) for Spanish-speaking consumers in the USA. Their most recent hashtag obsession has been #HappyFamilyMoments to further tap into what Hispanics desire most- a close family structure that prides itself on sharing and caring. The English language US account tends to stick to more culturally relevant hashtagas such as #winning.
According to Auto News, Toyota has been ranked as the top selling brand among Hispanic consumers for the last 10 years. How do they stay connected with their Hispanic consumers? They have Spanish language Instagram and Facebook accounts which are populated with posts that empower bilinguals and bring culturally relevant humor to their followers. Check out this post which focuses on the use of Spanglish to really connect with Hispanic millennials who tend to feel most comfortable and confident while expressing themselves in both languages.
A video posted by Toyota Latino (@toyotalatino) on
Aside from these three massive companies killing it in the Hispanic market, almost all large scale corporations and organizations have found their way into the fun and wild world of bicultural, bilingual marketing and have zero intention of slowing down with respect to their industry growth. Keep your eyes peeled for even more companies, big and small, furiously searching for their space within the Hispanic market over the next few years.
Is making a trek through town to Starbucks for that irresistible Grande Caramel Macchiato really worth it or will a generic cup of coffee from the bakery next door do? For most U.S. non-Hispanic consumers both cost and convenience come to mind when making a decision like this one. Yet, a truly brand loyal consumer is less likely to spend even a split second contemplating the cost or convenience associated with the decision and, instead, gladly make the voyage to get their Starbucks fix.
Studies done at the University of Tennessee have taught marketing and advertising leaders that US Hispanics are rightfully known for their unwavering brand loyalty. Based on longstanding statistics, it’s not uncommon to find the same brand of laundry detergent or toothpaste inside a Hispanic household for an entire lifetime. First and second generation US Hispanics are extremely loyal to their preferred brands, but in order for companies and products to successfully gain that devout following, they must first satisfy the consumers’ culturally relevant needs.
According to the Experian Simmons Summer 2011 National Hispanic Consumer Study, 56 percent of Spanish speakers in the USA agree that, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Furthermore, 54 percent are “much more loyal to companies that show appreciation of our culture by advertising in Spanish.”
Hispanic consumers do not respond well when they feel they are being sold to. They expect to connect with brands that understand and embrace their culture and that put out the necessary effort to build long-term, trustworthy relationships. Experiencing advertisements or reading information or social media posts about a product in their native language is very empowering and builds confidence in their purchasing power. It nourishes a connection and a trust that cannot be matched and which could potentially lead to a lifelong relationship between the individual and that specific brand.
The loyalty built with the Hispanic consumer will likely be inherited by younger generations to come as well. Therefore, those who accurately and compassionately market to Hispanics will be in a position to dominate the industry for many years to come. Strategically building these relationships is easier said than done and one small misstep could turn them off forever from the product. You may only get one shot, so be sure to make it a good one.