You’ve probably heard this statement before during a marketing planning session… “U.S. Hispanics are brand loyal.” Which is then immediately followed up with “That’s why we need to get them to buy our products when they’re young… and they’ll be customers for life.”
Really? That sounds great! Now you’re thinking, “So all I have to do is get them to try and like my product one time and the money will start flowing in from all the repeat business.” Ehhh, not quite.
With the diversity and evolution of the U.S. Hispanic market today, you don’t want to make those kinds of assumptions. So to make sure, we decided to do a little research and see where today’s Hispanics stand on brand loyalty.
It was a three-step project…
1. First, we selected seven common product categories: bottled water, laundry detergent, toilet tissue, pasta sauce, dishwashing soap, orange juice and toothpaste.
2. Then, we asked a series of questions about buying specific brands within each of those groups.
3. Finally, we asked how they would respond if their favorite brand was not on the shelf when they were shopping.
Here’s what we uncovered…
The big takeaway… Hispanics and non-Hispanics rank about the same when it comes to brand loyalty. When asked if they “always” buy the same brands, 30% of Hispanics said they did vs. 29% of non-Hispanics. When we broadened it a little to include “mostly,” the results jumped to 56% for U.S. Hispanics. That makes them brand loyal, right? Well, yes, but no more so than non-Hispanics, who chose those same options 58% of the time.
In fact, when looked at individually, the three products that rated highest in brand loyalty were the same across both groups:
1. Toothpaste: Hispanics – 63%; Non-Hispanics – 63%
2. Laundry detergent: Hispanics – 62%; Non-Hispanics – 65%
3. Toilet tissue: Hispanics – 61%; Non-Hispanics – 64%
Both groups even agreed on what product they are least brand loyal to – bottled water – with both groups saying they “buy whatever is cheapest, regardless of brand” about 15% of time.
Dasani, Aquafina, Evian… are you listening?
So what happens when their favorite product is not on the shelf? This is when Hispanic consumers will respond differently than non-Hispanics.
For instance, when their favorite brand they usually buy was not available where they normally shop, 23% of Hispanics reported they will go to another store (compared to 16% of non-Hispanics). Is this the Hispanic brand loyalty we’ve been told about?
Perhaps, but if we add another group of respondents to the mix, those who said they would come back another day to get their favorite brand, 20% of Hispanics vs. 22% of non-Hispanics, the brand loyalty difference narrows.
Not surprisingly, the three categories for which both groups would endure this kind of inconvenience are the top three they rated highest loyalty: toothpaste, laundry detergent and toilet tissue.
A Hispanic is a Hispanic is a Hispanic
One really interesting note… even with all the diversity in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace, brand loyalty appears to be stable across all Hispanic consumer segments. That is, across demographics like Gender, Age, Acculturation, Geography and HHI, there was remarkable consistency.
Hispanic men and women had the same level of loyalty toward the products groups. The same applied to younger vs. older, less-acculturated vs. more-acculturated and so on.
This should make the ad agency’s job a little easier!
As much as we want to contrast Hispanic consumers to non-Hispanic consumers, when it comes to brand loyalty across common household goods, there are a lot more similarities than differences. One final note… there is a small subset of both groups that said when their favorite brand is not on the shelf, they will step out of their comfort zone and try a new brand.
Ahh, hope for the others…