Latina moms are going to be the subject of the same fervor and focus that was put towards marketing to moms and social media back in the ’90s. One in four babies in the U.S. are born to a Latina mother and, by 2015, that number will change to one in three, with their purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion. According to Nielsen, “they are now the primary or joint decision-makers in every major category including groceries, finances, electronics and family care.” As with every demographic uptick, this will have major effects on brands and their shopper marketing strategies. Here’s what we know about the rising influence of Latina moms and how brands can effectively reach them:
The Latina mom will be a different kind of shopper
We have learned through the ColectivaLatina community of influencers what she buys, how much she spends, how often she shops and whom she takes with her is very different. Keep in mind, Latinas like to grocery shop in the company of other female family members like sisters, cousins, mothers and mothers-in-law. Shopping is an experience for the whole family, including dad. Shopping can be seen as entertainment versus a chore. And they often purchase products driven by emotions and nostalgia about their home country.
Culture affects Latina moms’ purchasing
Many Latinas feel the need and responsibility to keep their Latino roots alive in order to maintain the connection to their home country. This affects what they consume. They look for ways to connect their lives to their Latino heritage and this motivates them to shop differently. For example:
• Even English-dominant Latinas will purchase products with packaging in Spanish and English to reinforce the importance of Spanish to their children.
• In many cases they will purchase foods from their home country and brands that they are already familiar with versus “typical” American brands, as this helps them feel closer to home.
• They will often add a Latino flavor to more traditional American foods–adding bananas or pineapple to the morning pancakes or making a BBQ sauce with molé.
Working with the Latina blogger
Acculturation and Spanish or English language dominance do not always go hand in hand. Acculturation is a fluid and evolving process.
There are bloggers who have lived in the U.S. for 30 years and still don’t speak English very often (along with many of their readers). Their experiences are very different from those of a third- or second-generation Latina who doesn’t speak Spanish but who still prepares grandma’s tres leches cake for Christmas and celebrates El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) as well as Halloween.
Many Latina bloggers are thriving in a bicultural world. They want to work with brands that recognize they are different but do not treat them as a completely separate market. Latinas live between cultures – they love pizza and hot dogs but also serve tamales for Christmas along with turkey or ham. Their lives and shopping carts are about additions not exclusions; they take what they like from the American culture and add to it.
• It’s not all about the numbers. Latina bloggers reach an engaged and loyal audience that is more important to them than sheer numbers, which, by the way, are usually not as high as the numbers for general market bloggers. While numbers may be smaller, it is important to note that their influence is stronger.
• Latinas are really passionate about what they write and that passion comes through in their posts, influencing not only other Latinas and Latinos but general readers alike.
• Latinas love getting involved in campaigns that are specifically created to take into account Latino culture or where they are given the freedom to talk about and tie their culture to the campaign. For example: Day of the Dead recipes or crafts instead of Halloween recipes, Lent recipes, talking about their mother’s or grandmother’s cleaning advice when talking about spring cleaning, etc.
For brands and marketers to succeed in reaching Latinos, they must fully understand and embrace their unique mindset and pay close attention to the cultural relationship they have with categories and brands. It requires working with the target market beyond market research to be able to recognize how to adjust the approach and message to truly resonate and affect their path to purchase.