Can Hispanic Loyalty Survive The Recession?

Many companies I speak with are fighting tremendous pressure to pull back on their marketing and research spending for the Hispanic segment or are working with budgets that are already significantly smaller than in previous years. Yet my recent report on Hispanic’s reaction to the recession shows that brands actually need to be working harder to earn Hispanics’ coveted dollars. Advertising Age recently highlighted some of the key points I uncovered:

  • Brand loyalty is on the decline. In 2009, 61% of Hispanics agree with the statement “When I find a brand I like, I stick to it.” Although this number is still higher than in the general market, it’s down 9% from 2008 levels.
  • Reliance on advertising is down. At 31%, Hispanics are still twice as likely as non-Hispanics to feel that advertising helps influence purchasing decisions. But this positive feeling toward ads is a sharp decrease of 16% from the year previous.

Now let me throw in a couple other stats that I’d bet your familiar with:

  • Hispanics make up 15% of the US population, and they fueled over half of US population growth between 2007 and 2008.[i]
  • In 2008, Hispanic spending power was $951 billion, and it will reach over $1 trillion by 2014. Yes, I said TRILLION.[ii]

They key takeaway here is that, thanks to the economic hardships over the past year, Hispanic consumers are becoming more jaded about marketing and advertising. Other points in my report paint a picture of a consumer who, in spite of these changing attitudes, will be able to weather the recession better than most and be willing to rebound spending more quickly. Altogether, I think many a marketer has a strong argument to maintain spending in the Hispanic market in order to keep consumers engaged and loyal in good times, and be poised to recover Hispanic dollars once the recession lifts.


[i]In a May article, The Wall Street Journal used recent Census data to highlight that  although shows immigration is slowing due to the recession, the Hispanic market still continues to grow at a very fast pace.

[ii]The University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth produces an annual multicultural economy report that breaks out spending power. It’s by far the most consistent resource I’ve found for this kind of data.

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