Right after starting Hispanic Trending, while searching for good information sources to share with you, I ran into the "Ask Mariví?" Blog. It immediately caught my attention. Featuring observations & comments about design for Latino appeal, Mariví Chong shares great insights with her readers and because them has been featured in Packworld Magazine, Shelf Impact and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Mariví, with 10 years of professional experience, is a communications designer at R.BIRD, New York. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master in Computer Graphics.
Bilingual and Latina by birth and heritage (born in Lima, Perú) she has first hand experience designing consumer products for both the Latin and US markets. Her unique mix of expertise includes Brand & Package Design, a background in Corporate ID and Advertising.
To reactivate the “Wonder Mujer / Super Hombre OnHispanics” interview series it is my pleasure to share with you Mariví’s take on Latino Marketing and Advertising.
Hispanic Trending: What trends are you observing in the Hispanic market growth?
Mariví: I am seeing more new products, variants or line extensions inspired by Latino tastes or scent preferences. A good example is Beech-Nut Naturales baby food (click on Hispanic Variety, under search by type), which besides introducing unique baby food flavors that are more appealing to Hispanics, they have taken care to extend their Brand with a new label.
Another trend is greater numbers in translation for everyday brands like Tide laundry detergent or Folgers coffee, among others.
And more magazine ads in Spanish from brands like Aveeno, Matrix, Neutrogena, L'Oreal, Clairol, Kellogg's, Toyota, Verizon, Colgate, etc.
How do you refer to the largest minority in the country, Latino or Hispanic? Why?
I use the term Hispanic most of the time. I find it more accurate and proper to use because of its main significance which is people whose country's official language is Spanish. I use the "Latino" term in instances where I am talking about a cultural theme. Latino is a warmer word that carries tradition, feelings, language, memories and many other good things.
What language should be utilized when marketing to Latinos Spanish, English, or Spanglish? Why?
English should be utilized overall when younger generations more educated audiences prefer it. Spanish should be a complement and is very useful for those who feel more comfortable in this language or for those who don't speak English. Consider who your target audience is and how you want the message to be understood.
Which source of information would you recommend to someone interested in learning more about the Latino Market?
The Hispanic Almanac and The Census Bureau.
Who is doing a great job marketing to Hispanics? Why?
McDonald's is doing a great job with their "Me Encanta" advertising campaign. Instead of translating literally "I'm lovin' it" they have found the right thing to say. Why? The "Me Encanta" expression in Spanish hits the right spot because it has a very positive attitude. It's a very nice thing to say something "enchants" you in Spanish, the meaning is so much different from English.
Ford is also doing a great job with its "Amigos-Familia" ads. Hispanics enjoy sharing almost every event with their friends and family, even if it is very small. If you are getting a car, it is a big deal. Focusing the ads in the joy of sharing it with your "Amigos and Familia" it is just great.
Univision.com is full of special interest themes, from "How To Buy a House" to "Immigration" to "Entertainment". It is one of few sites I have found with Hispanic relevant content that is up to date. They have articles I don't find in any English-only web or TV channel.
Should businesses have a multicultural/bilingual staff?
Big or small companies will have a better relationship with the Hispanic customer if the staff of your company is part of that same culture and understands the language. My multicultural background had a positive influence in my hiring as a designer for R.BIRD.
What social and cultural similarities would you say exist among all Hispanics?
There is a long list of cultural similarities, like language, faith, food dishes made from scratch, music, telenovelas, architecture, environment and history.
Many Hispanic families have arrived in the US in the last 30 years so the attachment to things in their country of origin is fresh. Many want to advance in life to support themselves and their families. They buy groceries and other products in small bodegas or Latino markets.
The other day I was reading a Latin magazine and it caught my attention that there are many traditional products we have inherited from Spain and that are still common among Latinos today. Subtle similarities using Maja soap, Heno de Pravia, Agua Florida or just having the same friendly attitude and catching all "dichos".
Should companies offer options to their customers to access their Website/Literature/Answering Services in Spanish? Why?
Extra information and extra service is of great value. It shows you care and people respond to that positively. It could be as simple as a few words that attract or make a connection between you and a customer. Even if someone speaks very good English, sometimes they are more comfortable speaking and thinking in their first language.
What are the most common misconceptions, bad assumptions and mistakes that you have encountered made by non-Hispanics about Latinos?
There is a misconception that everything Latino should be a "Mexican fiesta". There is also the poor assumption that Hispanics look only for inexpensive items and that is not true. We appreciate and buy high end, quality products just like everyone else.
What is your perception regarding Hispanics and their use of general market/English media?
Younger and more educated Hispanic generations are becoming attracted to English media. Two good examples are Latina Magazine and Voy Network. Both target the Hispanic audience in English and the message is getting across.