Friday, March 18, 2011

Speak Languages of Mexican-American Consumers

The consumer behavior researchers from Texas State University-San Marcos and Practica Group, LLC say Isabel, a Mexican-American grandmother, illustrates their message to retailers: In her kitchen working under a picture by American artist Norman Rockwell portraying the American holiday of Thanksgiving, Isabel cooked scratch tortillas on her earthenware griddle. Wearing her apron glorifying the state of Texas, Isabel told the researchers she considered it very important that her children know how to competently speak Spanish. When the researchers asked why, Isabel answered that this skill would enhance their employment opportunities in America.
     Isabel is an example of how most Mexican-Americans straddle two cultures in their consumer behavior. They aspire to assimilate into American society, but that assimilation is slowed because Mexican-Americans often stay in Mexican-American neighborhoods. Marketing experts at Heinrich Hispanidad speculate that, for the foreseeable future, Spanish is likely to be preferred over English among Mexican-American consumers.
     Almost two-thirds of Hispanics in the U.S. are Mexican-American. Researchers at Baruch College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studied what happened to bilingual Hispanic women as they switched between speaking English and speaking Spanish in American settings, like stores. The women felt more assertive when speaking Spanish than when speaking English. And when these women read Spanish text, as might be used in ads or on signage, the women were more likely to think of acting independently and taking educated risks. An assertive willingness to take educated risks is the sort of thing that can lead to larger purchases and therefore more profitability for you.
     So arrange to have Spanish available for your Mexican-American shoppers. However, also speak the language of aspirations to be an American:
  • Emphasize direct mailings in your marketing mix. While other consumers often consider direct marketing pieces to be no more than junk mail, research finds that Mexican-American consumers often welcome these marketing mailings as a tool for becoming better-informed Americans.
  • Along with a selection of Mexican brands for functional products—such as for cooking Mexican cuisine—feature prestige American brands, especially for indulgence products—such as fashions and accessories. Researchers at University of Texas-Pan American and University of South Florida found that, when compared to other American consumers, Mexican-Americans exhibit more favorable quality evaluations and purchase intentions toward Mexican brands. But research also finds that compared to other consumers, Mexican-Americans are more likely to maintain loyalty to American brands that satisfy their needs.
Click below for more:
Have Bilingual Staff for Bilingual Shoppers
Accent Values of Your Hispanic Target Markets

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