Within 10 years, Hispanics will account for over 21% of the population in the United States. There is a valuable opportunity to understand and proactively adjust to this coming shift in demographics.
What are you and your organization doing to appeal and speak to this growing group of consumers?
Many people know the basic Spanish word for hello is hola. Do you know what happens when you drop the “H”? The resulting word, ola, means wave. And wave is the perfect word to describe the Hispanic market in the United States; it’s growing by the day, gaining lucrative force, and coming your way! Moreover, if you don’t give any consideration to how it will affect your business, the opportunities could be washed out to sea.
Business in our country is becoming increasingly cognizant of Hispanic consumers because they are becoming increasingly powerful. The purchasing power of Hispanics was forecasted to hit 1.7 trillion dollars this year. Look for the signs in your own consumer experience…How many times have you called a customer service line to hear “for English press one, para Español oprima dos?” Even your entertainment experiences are increasingly highlighting Hispanic actors, characters, or subjects. ABC’s Magnum P.I. reboot features Mexican-American actor Jay Hernandez as the iconic Thomas Magnum. Netflix makes our stomachs growl with Street Food: Latin America and our hearts pound with Money Heist (the most popular non-English show on the entire platform).
By 2030, Hispanics will make up over 21% of the population of the United States. Take a moment and think about what that means for your business. The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population will make up 1 out of 5 consumers in fewer than 10 years. No other segment is even close to that pace of growth. Even if you’re not currently operating in a state with a large Hispanic population (think California or Texas), that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the numbers. There is a valuable opportunity to understand and proactively adjust to this coming shift in demographics. Is your business ready to make a splash?
Simply translating your current advertising, sales, or service materials into Spanish is valuable, but you can’t stop there; Hispanic consumers can’t be won over by a solely linguistic sales approach. This market segment is multi-dimensional, intersectional, and language is only one element. Think of it this way- Colombians and Mexicans speak Spanish, as do Cuban-Americans hailing from South Florida. Are these Hispanic communities alike? Absolutely not. The vibrant tapestry of Hispanics in this country may share a linguistic thread, but it’s essential to acknowledge their distinct cultures. In fact, a study conducted by PwC shows that reaching Hispanic consumers has become less about language and more about connection with the content. Culturally relevant news sources such as Mitu and the increasing visibility of Hispanics in media (remember Magnum P.I.?) show the power of representation.
So how does all of this affect your business strategy? You have to start by thinking about the specific populations that are already where you are, or where you want to be. What do those cultural pockets respond to positively? Are the most influential Hispanic consumers in your operational area older or younger? First-generation? Third-generation? Are you making an effort to understand them?
Here are some important points to consider regarding your business and its positioning with Hispanic consumers:
- What is the regional scope of your business? In other words, are you always going to operate in a singular geographic area, or are you in multiple places?
- How populous is the Hispanic community in your regional scope? The numbers may surprise you!
- Do you have a strategy that is properly equipped to sell to Hispanic consumers? (We’re not talking about overhauling your sales strategy. We are talking about honestly examining your sales/market penetration strategy so you’re getting the most out of it.)
- Even if your Hispanic customer base is small in numbers, that’s OK. Use this opportunity to think about your long game and generate ideas about how you could adjust if your regional scope were to see a change in demographics.
Chances are, one or several of these considerations will present you with an opportunity for improvement. That’s a good thing because addressing areas in need of reinforcement now could translate into bigger opportunities for the future. Winston Churchill once said, “If you don’t take change by the hand, it will take you by the throat.” Give your business the attention and positioning it needs to meaningfully connect with this important demographic and you’ll gladly say “Hola, ola!”