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Latinos Turn the Marketing Switch Towards Anglo Consumers

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First Posted: Nov 11, 2013 02:12 PM EST
Anglos and Latinos in Business
“Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life," Nielsen reports. (Photo : Photo: Flickr)

Many American companies today are shifting their focus toward the Latino market in an effort to tap into a growing Latino population in the U.S.  While strategy and business models are relevant, knowing your consumer is the real key to success. 

And it's not just Anglos trying to figure out the best marketing approach towards Latinos, however. Latinos in the U.S. are also trying to tap into the Anglo market as well.

Whether you grew up watching "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" or your children are now watching "Dora the Explorer," both sides are discovering a new world that comes with more than just a cultural exploration, but the potential to generate millions in revenue.

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Latinos in business as well as Latino consumers have both a bilingual and cultural advantage because many stay connected to their roots while being immersed into a modern, American way of life.

"Latinos are emerging as a powerhouse of economic influence, presenting marketers an increasingly influential consumer group that can translate into business impact. The key is to recognize that today's modern Latino is 'ambicultural' with the ability to seamlessly pivot between English and Spanish languages and to embrace two distinct cultures. Understanding how to connect with this unique consumer profile will be key to successful engagement," Monica Gill, senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations at Nielsen, told Forbes.

The 2012 Nielsen report indicates that, "Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life."

Recently, Mattel introduced two versions of a Jennifer Lopez Barbie doll - a World Tour model and a Red Carpet version. The World Tour JLo Barbie wears a sparkly, mini-version of the Zuhair Murad costume Lopez wore onstage, accompanied by silver ankle boots. The Red Carpet doll represents the more sophisticated side of Lopez in a sleek gown with teardrop earrings and a chic bun.

The Barbie doll version of the 44-year-old "American Idol" judge is a contemporary example of the Latinizing of Barbie dolls. Thirty years ago, Mattel attempted to appeal to a more diverse generation of Barbie doll enthusiasts with its "Dolls of the World Collection." The collection was recently revived to re-target both the Anglo and Latino markets. The collection also includes many Barbie dolls from Latin America.

While Barbie's mass appeal is fascinating, the bigger picture here is Lopez's colossal reach across both the Anglo and Latino markets.

Lopez went from an ambitious Puerto Rican Latina from the Bronx, NY to landing No. 1 on Forbes Celebrity 100 List, besting media mogul Oprah Winfrey and pop singers Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. There's no doubt that many are impressed and envious of her savvy Anglo-Latino business model.

From her American movie roles, to cross-over Spanish language albums, fragrances, and endorsement deals with L'Oreal, Fiat, Gillette, Kohl's and Viva Móvil, among others, Jenny from the Block has found the right formula that leaves American CEOs' heads spinning.

"Jennifer's cross-over appeal is truly remarkable," Forbes adds. "From singing Latin ballads with ex-hubby Marc Anthony, to being the leading lady and wedding planner opposite Matthew McConaughey, JLo has demonstrated an uncanny ability to wear several hats and resonate with a variety of demographics and ethnicities. The secret to her success lies in tailoring her brand offering to appeal to both young and old, guys and girls alike."

Lopez has taken a big piece of the Anglo-Latino marketing pie, proving that the Anglo and Latino demographics can both be targeted and wooed with the right approach.

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