Como Estan, Y'all!

When Jose goes to soccer league at the International Indoor Soccer Complex in Antioch, Tenn., he asks his Mexican, Salvadorian and Guatemalan teammates where to buy a Jeep. Well, as it so happens, Freeland Auto is less than nine minutes away and has an extensive showroom.

Jose searches for Freeland Auto that night and finds a more extensive website than its competitor, Beaman Car Dealership, which came up first on his search engine. One thing Freeland did not have, which Beaman did, is a Spanish-language website to peruse. For most of the 30 million Spanish-speaking adult Hispanics in the U.S., the Beaman site would be a big help. For Jose, even more so. Why? Because he is in Antioch, Tenn.

New Hispanic Destinations

Antioch is a suburb of Nashville. It is what Roberto Suro, founder of the Hispanic Pew Center, calls a “tertiary Hispanic market.” It is what researchers Mary Fischer and Maria Tienda have described as “New Hispanic Destinations” where Hispanics have no historical foothold (unlike Los Angeles, New York and other major metros). In these areas, Hispanics have arrived fairly recently, perhaps within the last generation and have grown significantly. In Nashville, Hispanics represent 10% of the population today, a 13-fold increase since 1990. 



Hispanics who arrive at these “New Hispanic Destinations” have more intense needs and, therefore, more intense appreciation for those who understand them. Unlike Los Angeles or Miami, where Spanish-language infrastructure has existed for decades or more, Nashville has not yet built out a cultural and linguistic capacity on the same scale.

So, if you are Jose, where would you go to explore a new Jeep purchase? Which real estate company would you choose to help you on a house hunt? Where would you go to receive medical care? The one or two Spanish-speaking car salespeople can possibly be your differentiator for an entire consumer segment. 

For marketers looking to understand the power of culture and language, depending on their ability to micro target, bringing creative solutions to “New Hispanic Destination” markets, may identify new profit pools. In general, foreign-born Hispanics tend to be much more segregated from non-Hispanic Whites than U.S.-born Hispanics. And for New Hispanic Destinations, “the largest segregation has occurred,” according to Fischer and Tienda.

If you have ever traveled abroad, to a country where you are not confident in the language, seeing that store sign in English, hearing that waiter or store owner that speaks English can bring a level not only of comfort, but trust. The same is true in places like Nashville, Raleigh, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Grand Rapids for millions of U.S. Hispanics.

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