Is brand loyalty among Hispanics a myth?

Several research studies have shown that Hispanics are more brand loyal than the average American consumer. This suggests that they would be less responsive to direct marketing campaigns and to factors such as price and quality. Direct response vehicles like coupons make up a sizable amount of newspaper FSI (Free standing insert) advertising. A recent study co-sponsored by Advo, the Food Marketing Institute, and New American Dimensions LLC, on the grocery shopping habits and advertising preferences of Hispanic consumers, rejects the theory that Hispanics are more brand loyal than the average consumer.

“Only those Hispanics who are most un-acculturated – meaning they are foreign-born, less educated, and have spent only a small part of their lives in the U.S., display above average brand loyalty,” the study's authors conclude. According to the study, “the fact that this audience segment accounts for only about one-fifth of the total Hispanic marketplace means that marketers can't simply rely on branding and brand identity to attract the other 80% of Hispanic consumers who are not inordinately brand loyal. Price, quality and packaging must be of increasing concern when trying to reach the Hispanic consumer.”

High direct mail recall

The study also shows that an average of 55% of Hispanics recall advertising information delivered in the mail through direct-to-home flyers, while only 39% recall advertising communicated through television ads. An average of 25% of Hispanics recall advertising information delivered in newspaper inserts, and 11% recall advertising in newspaper ads.

Asked about his thoughts about the efficiency of direct mail advertising, Kirk Whisler, president of the Latino Print Network and publisher of Western Publication Research, told Portada® that direct mail can be very powerful, although its costs can be too high.

Various experts interviewed by Portada® emphasized the importance of educating the Hispanic consumer through FSI advertising. According to these experts, education would increase the redemption rate of coupons targeting Hispanics.