U.S. Latinos are known for brand loyalty. Based on longstanding statistics, it's expected that the same brand of toothpaste or toilet paper will be found in a Latino household for an entire lifetime -- a loyalty that might even be inherited by younger generations. That keeps marketers chasing the golden goose: Latino consumers.

But, there's surprising diversity and evolution within the U.S. Hispanic market, which shows that brand purchasing behaviors aren't remaining as predictable as marketers may want. In fact, ThinkNow Research recently tested the assumption that U.S. Hispanics are attached to brands for life by quizzing a nationally representative group of 1,000 Latinos, comparing their answers to a control group of 500 non-Hispanic consumers. 

The research firm focused on seven products: bottled water, laundry detergent, toilet paper, pasta sauce, dishwashing soap, orange juice and toothpaste. The firm asked the sample group a series of questions regarding specific choices and hypotheticals about what they would do if their 'favorite' brands were absent from the shelves. Beyond race and ethnicity, the research also considered demographics such as gender, age, geography and acculturation, noting remarkable consistency within particular consumer segments.

According to the results of their assessment, Hispanics and non-Hispanics ranked about the same when it came to brand loyalty. Thirty percent of Hispanics and 29 percent of non-Hispanic stated they "always" buy the same brand, across all seven selected product types when asked. "Always" and "mostly" was chosen 56 percent of the time by U.S. Hispanics, compared to non-Hispanics, who chose those options 58 percent of the time.

That said, brand loyalty is very important to Hispanics and non-Hispanics when it comes to particular categories. Toothpaste (63 percent), laundry detergent (62 percent) and toilet paper (61 percent) engender the most brand loyalty among Hispanics. However, laundry detergent (65 percent), toilet tissue (64 percent) and toothpaste (63 percent) are most important for non-Hispanic consumers. Bottled water, however, to the displeasure of FIJI, Dasani and Aquafina, has the least allegiance overall; consumers tend to buy whatever is the cheapest regardless of brand.

When favored brands aren't on the shelves at the supermarket or grocery stores, Hispanics and non-Hispanics respond differently. Twenty-three percent of Hispanics reported that they would go to another store to buy their ideal brand, compared to 16 percent of non-Hispanics, showing a touch of community's notorious devotion to brands.

Twenty percent of Hispanics stated they would go back to the store another day, compared to 22 percent of non-Hispanics, showing a narrowing of brand loyalty among Hispanics and non-Hispanics. A subset of Hispanics (10 percent) and non-Hispanics (11 percent) said that they'd venture out of their comfort zones to try out a new brand. 

Research also shows that when it comes to brand loyalty among U.S. Hispanics, the least acculturated Latinos (47 percent) are far more loyal than bicultural (38 percent) and acculturated U.S. Hispanics (34 percent).