As Female Hispanic age cohorts continue to grow and currently represent 18 % of the total 2016 U.S. female population, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, so do their share of wallet and extraordinary influence on the Health and Beauty Care (HBC) market. Nielsen’s recently published report Latinas 2.0 details that in 2016, the total indexing averages among Latina consumers of HBC product lines surpasses the indexing of White Non- Hispanic shoppers in specific product lines including Cosmetics, Women’s Fragrances, Grooming Aids, Ethnic Beauty aids among others. However, beyond the quantitative data, what other criteria are driving HBC categories by the Latina shopper? Let’s look at five of these:
1. Lifestyle benchmarks supersede traditional acculturation variables: The marketing of HBC lines is increasingly becoming dependent on the correct granular recollection and interpretation of consumer insights based on lifestyles vs. the standard use of acculturation variables. My point here is that the traditional quad matrix of preferred language, media usage, cultural affinity to the country of origin and years residing in the U.S. begin to lose relevance as Latina consumers increasingly shape their HBC purchasing on everyday experiences and the influencing of peers or celebrity endorsements. This is not to say that the aforementioned acculturation variables are not useful, but they do lose relevancy as U.S. born consumers expand their dominance and influence in these extremely dynamic product segments.
2. Category demand is driving consistency in traditional media advertising expenditures: Does it come as a surprise to see that over the past four years, three of the Top 10 brand advertisers in Spanish language media are HBC corporations? Based on the figures reported in the Ad Age’s 2017 Hispanic Fact Pack booklet, the combined investment of P&G, Genomma Lab International, and L’Oreal was valued at $799 million. This clearly correlates to the enormous appetite Latina shoppers have for these product lines. Keep in mind this only considers measured media, so it would be interesting to quantify other media expenditures which may not be measured.
3. In-store merchandising and personal selling are necessary to successfully connect with Latina HBC shoppers: Seeing is believing. For retailers and brands alike, it’s important to illuminate retail space with shades of yellow, orange, and red evoking optimism, warmth, cheerfulness, and audacity always liked by Latino shoppers. Also valid are the shades of green, blue and black which communicate serenity and elegance. This kaleidoscope of colors is of utmost importance for the contemporary Latina shopper who knows how to bridge different color patterns. HBC brands also depend on generating compelling product usage experiences among Latina shoppers if they expect to make significant brand loyalty inroads. This explains why bilingual beauty consultants are essential touchpoints that can make a difference in a retailer’s sales.
4. The advent of Latina-influenced HBC digital content: Behavioral segmentation is rapidly changing how brands communicate to Latina consumers. The recollection of values and lifestyle nuggets create a vast reservoir of creative ingredients that become the storylines that these women narrate every day. It also expands their size and influence in the digital arena, especially in mobile usage. To further support the assertion of content generation, the 2015 edition of the Siempre Mujer Hispanic Beauty research document found that more than 70% of all Latinas rank YouTube as their preferred source of information when assessing the purchase of beauty products. When everything is said and done, it exponentially escalates the use of creative materials incubated in a digital environment.
5. P.R. and influencer marketing, vital components in Latina HBC marketing: These communication disciplines are supremely strategic in the marketing process of HBC lines to Latina consumers. Their aspirational and trendsetting purchasing habits are embedded traits of the HBC purchasing process. A key benchmark highlighted in the Siempre Mujer Hispanic Beauty study reveals that more than 70% of all Latina HBC shoppers obtain information from Social Media channels leading to their eventual product purchases in these categories. Likewise, a full 55% of them gravitate to the bilingual context that bloggers provide in social media further magnifying the importance of the Latina Millennial shopper according to the same source.
The HBC categories represent some of the biggest opportunities to successfully franchise Latina shoppers, and given its relentless pace, it promises to be filled with excitement and challenges for those marketers and retailers targeting multicultural female consumers in the years to come.