06/27/2013 04:13 pm ET

'Upscale Latinos': Why High-End Companies Should Pay Attention To This Growing Population

Latinos are becoming a powerful force in the American economy. A recent Nielson study identified the most influential segment of the population as "Upscale Hispanics," which it predicted will make up 40 percent of Hispanic spending power by the end of 2013.

So are high-end retailers paying enough attention to this shift? If they're not, they're going to be missing out, according to Luis Alvarado, a strategic advisor to REVOLVIS and an expert on Latino issues.

Alvarado joined HuffPost Live for a discussion on the rise of the "Hispanic yuppie." He said he welcomes the label "Hispanic yuppie," but that companies who want to attract them must invest fully in their marketing.

"You can't just do it halfway," Alvarado said. "if you're going to communicate with the Latino community, you have to be respectful, you have to be thorough and you have to ensure that it's actually reaching the community in a very respectful way."

Guests also discussed how important it is for marketers to make the community feel inclusive and akin to a brand.

Dr. Manuel Pastor, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, said Spanish-language sources do the best job of presenting content that has depth, sensitivity and advocacy.