Financial Services Industry Strives to Navigate U.S. Latino 'Bothism'

Marketers often fall into the trap of binary thinking, hindering creativity and clashing with consumers seeking fluidity. While the industry has struggled to embrace bothism – the concept of merging seemingly opposing approaches for better results – multicultural consumers in the U.S., particularly bi-cultural Latinos, have fully adopted it. Many see themselves as American and Latino, not half and half, but 200%, wholly embracing their American and Latino identities.  

Honing in on the financial services sector, let’s explore cultural bothism among bi-cultural Latinos through the lens of language, age, and income to gain insights that can inform financial institutions' strategies to engage this diverse consumer group effectively. 

Language: Spanish vs. English 

When discussing how to reach Latinos, language tends to be the most polarizing topic. Traditional Spanish-language media portrays all Latinos as Spanish speakers, while newer media platforms targeting younger Latinos suggest otherwise. However, recent Pew Research data reveals a nuanced reality: 75% of all Latinos can proficiently converse in Spanish. Yet, this percentage varies significantly across generational cohorts, with second-generation Latinos at 69% and third-generation Latinos at 34%. Considering the youthfulness of the Latino population, with 25.7% of U.S. children being of Hispanic origin, 32% of Hispanics being under 18 and 26% being Millennials, it's evident that targeting specific generational segments is crucial. For financial products, the language strategy should be tailored accordingly: 

For immigrants, Spanish remains a safe bet. For Gen Alpha and younger Millennials, English is preferable. For older Millennials and Gen X, Spanglish can be effective when used authentically, as research indicates its power.  

Age: Older vs. Younger Latinos 

Marketers often highlight the youthfulness of the Latino population, with the median age at 30 compared to 41.1 for non-Hispanics. However, this demographic is also rapidly aging, with the number of Hispanic adults aged 65 and older nearly tripling since 2000 and projected to quadruple by 2060. This dual demographic reality presents unique challenges and opportunities, especially in financial services.  

Caregiving in particular is a significant concern, as Latino caregivers face financial strain while balancing work and caregiving responsibilities for both children and elderly family members. Financial institutions can address these needs through resources like multigenerational retirement planning workshops, multilingual financial education materials, customized financial products, the promotion of government assistance programs, and the provision of culturally sensitive advisors.  

Income: High income vs. Low Income Latinos 

In addition to language and age, income must be considered. Hispanic households had a median net worth of $52,190 in 2020, significantly lower than the $195,600 median for non-Hispanic households. Despite economic challenges, many Latinos still view the U.S. as offering more opportunities and better healthcare access than their countries of origin. Our research, the Millennial project, found that over 71% of Millennial Latinos believe in the American dream, compared to 55% of non-Latino Millennials.  

Homeownership represents a cornerstone of the American dream for many Latinos. In 2023, the Hispanic homeownership rate reached 49.5%, with a net gain of 377,000 owner-households. While facing barriers like rising interest rates and low inventory, Latino homebuyers remain resilient, utilizing co-borrowers and specialized programs to achieve homeownership.  

Financial institutions can assist Hispanic homebuyer hopefuls through accessible homeownership programs, community outreach and education, multigenerational financial planning, cultural competency training for staff and accessible financial resources. 

Navigating Latino bothism in financial services goes beyond the scope of these three examples, yet they serve as a framework for fostering genuine connections with Latinos. Marketers within the financial sector must transcend binary thinking and embrace the nuanced duality within this diverse consumer base, understanding how factors like language, age, and income shape their perspectives. By doing so, financial institutions can effectively tailor their strategies to meet Latino consumers’ needs and build meaningful relationships that drive long-term success. 

This blog post was originally published on MediaPost.

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Third Generation Latinx Brands and CPG: A New Era of Hispanic Marketing

The Latino community in the United States is changing rapidly, and this shift is reflected in the evolution of Latinx brands. The first generation of Latinx brands emerged in the 1980s, coinciding with the first large Hispanic immigration boom in the country. Many of these brands sold products from Latin America and marketed to Hispanic immigrants in their native language. Goya, established in New York City in the 1930s by a Spanish immigrant, is an example of a first-generation Latinx brand.

Second-generation Latinx brands emerged as the U.S. Hispanic population grew and CPG companies launched products targeting Latinos. These brands primarily relied on bilingual marketing and branding, using packaging and advertising that featured both English and Spanish. Fabuloso exemplifies the second-generation Latinx brand. While its origins began in the 80s in Venezuela, Colgate-Palmolive purchased the brand and introduced it to the American market in 1996.

Today, as Latino Millennials and Gen Z reach adulthood, a third generation of Latinx brands is emerging. These brands are defined by English-first marketing and branding and rely on cultural cues rather than language to connect with consumers. Nopalera is an example of a third-generation Latinx brand. Founded by Sandra Velazquez who grew up in Los Angeles and was inspired by her Mexican American heritage, Nopalera products are marketed in English but incorporate cultural references, such as cactus and Mexican iconography, in their branding.

The emphasis on cultural relevance, authenticity, decolonization, English-first marketing, and innovation sets third-generation Latinx brands apart. These principles are essential for CPG professionals to understand and integrate into their companies, brands, products, and marketing efforts.

Let’s take a closer look at each element:

Cultural relevance is vital to engaging with Latino consumers. To effectively connect with this demographic, CPG professionals must invest time in comprehending the cultural nuances of the Hispanic community and incorporate them into their marketing and branding strategies.

Third-generation Latinx brands must also be authentic and focused on products and marketing that reflect Hispanics’ lived experiences. CPG professionals can achieve authenticity by collaborating with Hispanic influencers, featuring real people in advertising and marketing campaigns, and creating products that align with the community's needs and preferences.

Also essential to the success of third-generation Latinx brands is a willingness to view efforts through a decolonization lens. This requires challenging dominant and often false narratives about Hispanic culture. CPG professionals can embrace this approach by learning the history of Hispanic culture, working with diverse creators and artists, and developing inclusive and respectful products. By doing so, they can contribute to a more authentic and equitable representation of the Latinx community.

English-first marketing is another defining characteristic of third-generation Latinx brands. By adopting this strategic approach and honoring cultural cues that resonate with Hispanic consumers, CPG professionals can connect with a broader audience while preserving cultural authenticity and relevance.

Finally, innovation. Third-generation Latinx brands are breaking traditional marketing norms by leveraging innovation to create new product categories, distribution channels, and marketing techniques. To remain competitive, CPG professionals should embrace innovation, experimenting with new technologies and strategies to connect with Hispanic consumers authentically and meaningfully.

To sum up, CPG professionals can leverage the unique characteristics of third-generation Latinx brands – cultural relevance, authenticity, decolonization, English-first marketing, and innovation – to engage with Hispanic consumers effectively. By emphasizing these principles, CPG professionals can foster long-term relationships with the Hispanic community while developing successful brands that genuinely reflect the depth and diversity of Hispanic culture.

This blog post was originally published on MediaPost

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Yo no juego fútbol: Latino LGBTQIA Consumers Are So Much More

Growing up as an Ecuadorian American, I felt that people heavily associated Latinos with soccer so much that it seemed synonymous. While I’m not a sports fan, I think it’s important to point out that Latinos are multifaceted, enjoying many sports and pursuing various interests. While we can have this discussion about Hispanics in general, in honor of Pride Month, we’ll take a deep dive into LGBTQIA Latinx sports enthusiasts who are not soccer aficionados to see what stands out.

In a study of 500+ LGBTQIA Latinx consumers that identified a favorite sport other than soccer, we found:

Demographics: the age range reported the most was between 23 and 38. Of which, 62% of respondents identified as bicultural, and 52% stated having a strong attachment to the US. Furthermore:

  • 16% are currently unemployed
  • 2.5% identify as non-binary
  • 37% identify as bisexual

Media Consumption: 9-1-1 (FOX), Grey's Anatomy (ABC), and The Good Doctor (ABC) were the top three most watched TV shows. No shows from the traditional Spanish language networks made the list. To see how traditional Spanish language networks performed with the majority of bicultural LGBTQIA Latinx sports enthusiasts, we asked which of the following Spanish-language networks have you watched in the past months, if any? About 40% have watched Univision, and less than 40% have watched Telemundo. Brands need to understand where their consumers are consuming media.

Brands: speaking of brands, among LGBTQIA Latinx consumers who aren’t soccer superfans,

  • 35% have consumed Grey Goose in the last six months
  • 17% go out to a casual dining restaurant 2-3x a month
  • 52% have consumed Arizona / Arizona Tea in the last six months

Financial: among this audience, digital current presents a significant opportunity, as:

  • 5% own digital currency as a financial product
  • 19% have invested between $500-$2,500 in cryptocurrency

Yet, 23% don't have a driver's license.

And finally, when asked which of these sports would you consider to be your favorite? Soccer came in fifth place behind basketball, football, and boxing.

My point. US Hispanics are a diverse population influenced by the cultures of their countries of origin and by acculturation to American ways of life. Brands who are successful in audience targeting understand these nuances and use innovative segmentation tools built on rich data to improve targeting criteria and consumer insights.

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Hypercultural Latinx, The Next Generation of Growth

Younger and more tech-savvy than their majority counterparts, Hispanic consumers present significant growth opportunities for brands looking to expand their consumer base. Yet, even with larger budgets and bigger teams, many of these brands stumble through their multicultural outreach. Worse case, they ignore them entirely, as is the case with the “hidden generation.” (more…)

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Hispanics are active holiday shoppers… are you ready?

The holiday shopping season is fast upon us and no one is more engaged in the shopping experience than Hispanics.

They shop often. They shop with family. They shop with friends. In stores. Online. Even for their pets.

Hispanic Consumer Holiday Shopping Trends

In a recent nationwide study of 500 Hispanics (men and women), ThinkNow Research received feedback on their shopping plans for the coming holiday season. Some of the findings were fascinating…


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