iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Glenn Llopis

GET UPDATES FROM Glenn Llopis
 

Creating Cultural Relationships for Your Hispanic Business

Posted: 01/05/12 07:14 AM ET

Hispanics will control $1.2 trillion dollars of purchasing power in 2012, yet most brands are still struggling to earn the loyalty of this key group. In order to cultivate long-term business growth, your organization will need to make a serious commitment to this community.

At a time when Hispanics in America are looking to establish their authentic voice and identity, they'll embrace those brands that seek to create a meaningful long-term relationship, a relationship that grows organically and helps Hispanics gain influence. Brands that reach out to the Hispanic consumer with an authentic and dedicated approach will dominate their respective industries.

Cultural Characteristics Are Crucial to Your Brand's Success

Research conducted by the Center for Hispanic Leadership (CHL) has identified the following six inherent characteristics that not only define Hispanic leadership (download ebook) but also show organizations how to most effectively market to Hispanic consumers:

• Immigrant Perspective: See opportunities others don't see
• Circular Vision: Lead and manage change
• Latin Passion: Pioneer new possibilities
• Entrepreneurial Spirit: Humanity fuels innovation
• Generous Purpose: The spirit of giving to the community
• Cultural Promise: Serve to leave a family legacy

Whatever industry you're in, your organization must become a natural part of the growing Hispanic consumer community. Your brand must earn the relationship that you seek.

To win the trust of the Hispanic consumer, your organization must execute the following four steps:

Step 1: Business Strategy (Define the Relationship):
To define your brand's relationship with the Hispanic consumer, you have to embrace the cultural nuances that influence how Hispanics think about the products and brands they purchase.
Why do you believe your products or services will benefit the Hispanic consumer? Although Hispanics are open to exploring new things, your products or services must consistently answer specific needs for the security of their family, children, home, education and financial stability. Your business strategy must involve building trust organically across generations. Your brand's relationship with Hispanic consumers must advance their community and help them to get closer to the American dream.

Step 2: Brand Positioning & Messaging (Build a Trust Platform):
Hispanics in America have trouble trusting others because they've lived with corruption, struggled for independence, and fought for opportunity in their mother countries. How will your brand earn trust from people who are naturally skeptical about those who sell to them? Why should your audience believe that your product or service will provide them long-term opportunity and advancement? How will your brand's message lift the Hispanic community's voice and identity?

Step 3: Interactive (Empower Voice & Identity):
Most companies start phase I & II and never finish; they fail to connect with the Hispanic immigrant perspective. Can you provide an online experience that will encourage the Hispanic consumer to engage with your products and brands? This experience should be unique to your targeted audience. It should speak to the Hispanic community's authentic voice, and help to build the community's leadership pipeline.

Step 4: Technology (Expand the Relationship & Measure Outcomes):
Hispanic consumers are the fastest-growing segment of the online and mobile world today. Leverage technology to expand your relationship with Hispanic consumers and measure the outcomes of your investment.

Are you designing mobile applications and management systems to continuously interact with and become more knowledgeable about your Hispanic customers? Are you creating a social media platform that allows your Hispanic customers to feel safe when sharing their ideas? Do you have the tools to measure how Hispanics contribute to your business, corporate social responsibility, and talent acquisition strategies? Do you have loyalty programs that specifically target Hispanic consumers to assure that your relationship is authentic?

Why does the Hispanic community require a unique approach?

Most organizations are still ignoring one very important point about Hispanic consumers: Hispanics are not a homogenous community. However, focusing on these three points will help your organization capture brand loyalty and create viral local-market momentum:

1. Learn the six Hispanic cultural characteristics. Your brand must speak with the community.
2. Remember that Hispanics in America are a leaderless community. Help empower Hispanics as community and business leaders.
3. Focus on building long-term trust. Listen carefully to what Hispanics really need.

Brands that break through the walls of doubt and connect authentically with the Hispanic consumer will enjoy profitable growth for years to come.

 

Follow Glenn Llopis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GlennLlopis