Brand owners target Hispanic shoppers

16 September 2011

NEW YORK: Brand owners such as Procter & Gamble, State Farm and McCormick are adopting a range of strategies to engage the increasingly valuable Hispanic consumer.

Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, has recently started adapting Febreze air fresheners and Downy fabric softener, using scents found to specifically appeal to this demographic.

The firm is also launching a website aimed squarely at Hispanic buyers, and has hired the actresses Jennifer Lopez and Eva Mendes as endorsers for Venus razors and Pantene shampoo respectively.

"You've got to consistently shift your business model to target where the growth is," Melanie Healey, P&G's group president of North America, told the Wall Street Journal.

State Farm, the insurance provider, has partnered with NBC to run a campaign around the ALMA Awards for Latino performers on Telemundo and Mun2, alongside mainstream websites like E! and Style.

"The acculturation of this country is changing, especially with the younger demographic," Tim Van Hoof, advertising director at State Farm, said. "It's not as simple as saying, 'I'm going to reach Hispanics in print and with broadcast.'"

McCormick, the seasonings and spices company, has also yielded considerable success from two decades of focusing on the Hispanic customer base, according to Alan Wilson, the organisation's CEO.

"We've increased sales of authentic Hispanic products nearly 50% since 2005 and we expect to exceed $100m in sales in 2011," he said. "Extending our product portfolio is just one part of our outreach to Hispanic consumers."

Elsewhere, Macy's, the retailer, has allied with Latina magazine and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for Hispanic Heritage Month, and Miller Lite beer is backing the Adelante US Educational Leadership Fund, helping young Hispanic consumers go to university.

Hispanic Business, the specialist magazine, estimates Hispanic shoppers boasted $1tr in cumulative spending power in 2010, a figure set to hit $1.3tr by 2015.

This month, it also named AT&T, the telecoms group, as the "best company for diversity" in the US, having assessed leading brand owners based on a total of 32 related criteria.

"AT&T's commitment to diversity and inclusion begins at the top and has long been a business imperative that fuels innovation and growth," said Debbie Storey, AT&T's chief operating officer.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff