We recently published research by Vision Critical according to which Fanta, Oprah and the Red Cross are the favorite brands among Hispanics. The article got many responses from our audience which asked for more details about the insights. We talked to Ryan Barker, EVP Marketing and Analytics at Vision Critical, who will be presenting at our 7th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference next week, to get more insight into his research.
Why it matters: Brand marketers of Fortune 1000 companies need to know that what may resonate with the average U.S. consumer, may not necessarily do so with the Hispanic demographic. “If I was a retailer I would be taking a very close look at Wal-Mart, Bestbuy, Amazon and Subway – and certainly not replicate, but perhaps emulate some of the behavior and actions that these brands are taking, to connect so strongly with the Hispanic market,” says Barker. Regarding the high place of Oprah in the Hispanic list, Barker notes: “Always be caring, always be human, always be truthful.”
While, according to Vision Critical’s research Fanta, Oprah Winfrey and the Red Cross are the three most popular brands for Hispanics, the general market population embraces Google, Amazon and Microsoft. These are striking differences. In addition, Google is the top brand with the general population, while it doesn’t even make the list with the Hispanic audience. To Vision Critical’s Ryan Baker that is a big flare. “It says something about the overall reliance of the general market on Google, as the major source of knowledge organization and general information searches. For the general pop group, for any form of information, Google is the default – and the data would suggest this is not true in the same way for the Hispanic market. It’s a cultural difference. When you look at the top three brands in the general pop market, they are all technology related brands – and it’s also interesting that amazon.com resonates very well with both market groups.”
To Barker, the fact that Oprah and American Red Cross are at the top of the Hispanic list is tells him about the humanity connection that is so important to the Hispanic group. “The Fanta data from the Hispanic segment shows a lot of strength in being competitively unique and meaningful across both perceptions in production and marcom. So in the Hispanic list there are these humanity, people based brands and then these indulgence brands like Fanta and Twix. Then there are shopping and eating experience brands that are highly connecting with Hispanics like Wal-Mart, Bestbuy and Subway. And then there are these entertainment brands like Disney and Spike TV, Nintendo and Microsoft games – which are very different from the entertainment brands that the general market connects with. So it’s like people, small indulgences, highly valued shopping partners and key entertainment sources for the Hispanics.”
Barker notes for the general population a strong reliance on Google as the key information source. “I think it’s interesting in regards to content that both National Geographic and the Discovery channel are high up the list. Both these brands provide interesting, informational data – that to some extent allows people to escape to other worlds – a bit of fantasy about an adventure, learning and getting away from ‘normal life’. And then there are these tried and true brands that transcend time like Lego, Betty Crocker and Jell-O that continue to have this high level of regard – because of the way people have grown up with these brands – they enjoyed them, and now their kids enjoy them – again with the general pop group. They are brands that are full of memories for people, that maybe keep them rooted just a bit – in a world that is moving at 5000 miles an hour. These brands have maintained their connection because they are highly valued experiential brands. They are a jumping off point or a conduit to a great memory for people. To a lesser degree this is also true with Reese’s and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They are comfort or little indulgence brands – the way that perhaps Twix and Fanta are for the Hispanic market. And then you have trusted rocks like Tylenol and Dawn in the general pop group, dependable friends. It’s all fascinating… isn’t it?”
According to Barker, the big learning that is being demonstrated by the data, is that there are many different ways, different combinations of behavior traits for brands to get to love. “Sometimes it’s communication centric, but not most often. By this I mean it’s the holistic value of the brand, sometimes offered up in many ways to many different consumers – part science and part art… art head and then a big part heart.”
My big learning from our survey is the importance of the collective group of actions from a brand. Different levers or actions resonate very differently with different customers – the key is to constantly deliver added benefits or actions that create or enhance a meaningful connection – and to take actions that continue to set the brand apart from a competitive uniqueness perspective. I call these delightful surprises. The key for the Hispanic market is to really understand what these actions should be. What can we learn from the DNA and actions of those brands that are currently strongly connecting with Hispanics? If I was a retailer I would be taking a very close look at Wal-Mart, Bestbuy, Amazon and Subway – and certainly not replicate, but perhaps emulate some of the behavior and actions that these brands are taking, to connect so strongly with the Hispanic market. And from the learning of Oprah, always be caring, always be human, always be truthful.”