Innovating Under The Latin Influence

Posted by Arturo on January 30, 2014  /   Posted in Blog
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by , over 1 hour ago

imageInnovation is the life blood of any successful business; without it ,companies cease to offer brands, products, services and experiences that delight their customers. Eventually, companies that don’t disrupt themselves with their own innovation get disrupted out of existence by more innovative players. But finding great new ideas and turning them into products and services that customers love is no easy task. Just ask any entrepreneur, top executive, marketer or anybody with the word innovation in their title.

The technology revolution has opened up the world to infinite possibilities of how to make just about any product, service or experience better and more relevant to people. There has never been a better time for innovators. Now anybody with a great idea, smarts, creativity and hustle can literally disrupt an industry. While this is an incredibly exciting time in the world, it is also a time in which the world is changing faster than anybody can adapt to it.

For marketers, this is a very sobering reality. Just go to any marketing conference and you’ll find countless talented marketers racking their brains trying to figure out how to successfully market in the noisy and crowded social media world. In this rapidly changing environment, untapped sources of powerful yet easier to grasp innovation opportunities are at a premium.

It turns out that in the U.S., there is also another force that has changed our society and which also offers up countless innovation opportunities. This force is the huge Latino wave that has had a profound influence on how Americans see the world, live their lives and choose what they buy. This Latino wave is creating a gold mine of potential innovation opportunity that has not been mined that much. It is the opportunity to innovate by infusing brands, products and experiences with the Latin inspiration that Latinos and mainstream consumers love to give your business an unfair advantage.

So how can marketers capitalize on the tremendous Latin inspired innovation opportunities?

It starts with getting under the Latin influence. Most of us have been influenced by the growing Latino culture and presence in our society but  many times we don’t consciously realize it. To truly get under the Latin influence is to immerse yourself in the Latin world and fully experience it  to the point that it inspires great innovation ideas that can propel your business. Start by going to the Latino neighborhoods in your city, experience the food, go shopping, walk around, notice how people interact with each other.

Go to a museum and experience the art, speak with Latinos and try to befriend some of them. If you are lucky, you’ll get invited to a BBQ with a Latino family. Enjoy a great time with delicious food, a couple of beers maybe, Latin music and interesting conversation with your Latino hosts. Then, take it further and book a trip to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia or to whatever is your favorite Latin country. Take it all in again.

I can promise you that you will enjoy getting under the Latin influence; you’ll discover a world full of life that is stunningly beautiful, flavorful and passionate. After you are done with this experience, you’ll probably not want to live without it. You’ll be inspired by the beauty, the flavors, the colors, the people and the experiences you had.

It will be almost impossible for you not to come up with ideas for new products or new ways to enhance  your current products after these experiences. You’ll be surprised at how Latin inspiration can be applied to many different consumer categories that don’t seem obvious at first.

If you are struggling to come up with innovation ideas, look to the biggest cultural wave that has changed this country in recent years for inspiration. You’ll be surprised and delighted by what you find. Then run to put on your innovator hat and use all your new Latin inspired ideas to get an unfair edge over your competition before they do.

Are you under the Latin influence yet?

Source: Mediapost Engage Hispanics

Upscale Latinos: “The Most Influential Segment since the Baby Boomers” According to Nielsen

Posted by Arturo on January 22, 2014  /   Posted in Blog
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Upscale Latinos: “The Most Influential Segment since the Baby Boomers” According to Nielsen

family hisp

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 – 2:30pm

At 53 million strong and growing, the strength and influence of the U.S. Hispanic population is less and less doubted. More often, the question is: how to begin targeting such a dynamic population?

A recent report from Nielsen and the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) unveiled a powerful core segment of “upscale Latinos” that control 37 percent of the group’s $1.3 trillion spending power. Following distinctive purchase behavior, close in age and geographically concentrated, the elite grouping is being hailed as the most influential segment since the baby boomers and represents a very viable bulls-eye target for cause marketers.

What do we know about them?

  • 15 million strong and growing (about 29 percent of total U.S. Hispanic population)
  • Incomes of $50K-100K, typically supporting a family
    • 85% have a household with 3 or more
  • Younger than upscale non-Hispanic whites (33 years old compared to 39 years old)
    • 75% under the age of 45
  • Primarily gathered out West
    • 60% live in the Southwest and Pacific Region
    • As of 2012, there were approximately 4.8 million Latinos in Los Angeles County, the largest concentration of Latinos in a county (2012 Population Estimates)
  • They live in a world of cultural duality
    • Not trying to assimilate, enjoying the freedom to be bicultural
    • 3/4 speak both English and Spanish
    • More than 1/3 watch content in both languages
  • Trendsetters and technologically savvy
    • More likely to use smartphones and own iPads than their peers
    • 50 percent more likely to manage their financial accounts from their mobile device

Hot Buttons: Opportunities for Intersection

I. Their Children: the Emotional, Physical and Financial Future of their Legacy

  • Upscale Latinos take pride in their success and ability to provide a healthy, stable home environment for their families. Through entrepreneurialism, education and investment they are building their American Dream and will listen to causes tied to higher education, healthy living and financial planning. Behaviors like going to college (more than 50%), making investments (50%) and maintaining savings accounts (86%) point to their forward thinking.

II. Themselves: Personal Indulgence

  • Though deeply devoted to providing for their families, Upscale Latinos have the disposable income to pamper themselves as well and are outspending upscale non-Hispanic Whites on health and beauty products. Empowered by their greater financial freedom, Upscale Latinos are indulging more on themselves which suggests they will respond to opportunities that celebrate their success and worthiness of special care.

SOURCE: Vickie Fite, SVP Multicultural Specialty, MSLGROUP

The New Marketing World

Posted by Arturo on January 07, 2014  /   Posted in Blog
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The old marketing model doesn’t work anymore, the internet of things and the rise of the collaborative economy will change the relationship between brands and consumers forever. Brands will need to figure out how to survive and thrive in a world in which authentic storytelling and remarkable connected experiences make all the difference…

The Latinspired Retail Solution

Posted by Arturo on December 09, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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The Latinspired Retail Solution

By Arturo Nava
Get the basics right to capitalize on the bigger Latin opportunity

The search for a success model to capitalize on the Latin opportunity continues. It continues because consumer marketers are caught between the fear of having to invest significant dollars in a Latino-specific initiative and a total-market approach that most haven’t figured out how to execute well or isn’t right for them.

When it comes to shopper marketing, most marketers and retailers know what Latinos are looking for in terms of retail experience and assortment. According to the Path to Purchase Institute, Panavista and Catapult’s Winning with Hispanic Shoppers report, the way to Latinos shoppers’ loyalty is paved with:

  • Abundant fresh produce and groceries;
  • Friendly service;
  • Reasonable prices;
  • Short distances to the store;
  • A Latin-inspired broad product assortment; and
  • Fun shopping experience filled with surprises and delights.

However, there are still widespread barriers to change that are preventing more retailers and marketers from acting on this huge market opportunity. The lack of robust insights, the fear of significant investment in Latino-specific programs and confusion over what a total-market shopper marketing approach means are key culprits.Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have realized this and are acting on these insights, focusing on freshness and marketing the produce section heavily to Latinos. The strategy is working as they are starting to gain trips.

Unlike brand marketing, shopper marketing needs to be driven by the specific local shopper needs. There is a big difference in the size of the Latin population and its influence on the mainstream across markets. In some markets like Los Angeles, 50 percent of the shoppers are Latinos and the rest have been heavily influenced by them. In other markets like Portland, Maine, the proportion of Latinos will be in the single digits and the level of Latin influence on the mainstream is low.

So, how can you craft a scalable winning solution that enables you to better capitalize on the Latin opportunity without the complexity of multiple hyperlocal approaches?

Latinspired Solution
The Latin opportunity is not only the Latino market opportunity, it is also the opportunity to win with the mainstream consumers that are being influenced by Latinos and are adopting Latino purchasing habits, beliefs and attitudes.

It starts with understanding what “Latinspired” means and determining what are the Latinspired markets in which to offer it. Latinspired is about getting the assortment and experience basics right. If you don’t get the basics right, it doesn’t matter what programs you run. You will miss out on the opportunity to drive more trips and increase the size of the shopping basket because the experience will not be convenient enough.

The Experience & Assortment Basics
Latinspired means nearby, just-in-time grocery replenishment; good relationships with the attendants; Latin grocery and convenience store staples; and fresh/healthier assortment.

It is inspired by the Mexican small corner store (tiendita), Puerto Rican/New York bodegas and Latin-American farmers markets (mercados sobre ruedas), in which shoppers buy the fresh grocery staples they need every day. They feel welcome and are very loyal to the stores and markets they shop because they find what they need and are treated very well by the attendants they have known for a long time.

Latinspired also involves:

  • Freshness: Fresh produce at the front of the store is critical to appeal to Latinos and Latin-influenced mainstream consumers. If the market is in a Mexican-influenced area, think freshly made tacos and tortas instead of the typical hot dogs. The freshness will create a sense of abundance in the store that is sure to drive traffic.
  • Sufficient assortment of Latin-inspired groceries: Obviously, you will need to steer the assortment to the predominant Latino heritage in your area (Mexican, Caribbean, South American or Cuban). For Mexican areas, think Mexican-style bakery items like Bimbo, guacamole, authentic salsas, Latin-inspired dairy products like crema and Oaxacan cheese, and Mexican candy. For markets with a higher Latino population density, consider a Carniceria (meat section) with multiple fresh meat cuts. Make sure you also have the basic staples that all consumers expect in a c-store (cold beer and beverages, snacks, etc.), and you will have created a c-store assortment that will help you grow your business with Latinos and non-Latinos alike.
  • Healthier/all-natural products: Many retailers, particularly c-stores, have been working on upgrading their image and trading up consumers for some time now by offering healthier, less processed and more all-natural, even gourmet-type products. The Latin- inspired assortment is filled with more all-natural products that will appeal to the growing health-oriented mainstream shopper.
  • Digital shopper tactics: Latino Millennials are a fast-growing segment that will represent 80 percent of the growth among all Millennials by 2015. These shoppers use mobile devices at nearly twice the rate of non-Latinos, according to the Latino Shop study by the Center for Hispanic Leadership. It is critical that retailers fully leverage digital shopper tactics as part of their Latin-inspired approach.
  • Personal touch: Courteous attendants who treat shoppers with respect and build long-term relationships with customers are particularly critical with Latinos who are loyal to companies that build friendly relationships with them. Putting a focus on investing in friendlier customer service will help you build better long-term relationships with all your customers.

Arturo Nava is managing partner for Marketealo, where he helps companies capitalize on the Latin-influenced total market.

Source: Hispanic Retail 360 December 2013 issue

How John Paul Mitchell made millions building Patron into a global brand

Posted by Arturo on November 01, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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John Paul’s success formula: We are in the re-order business not the selling business, high quality products, give back and create brands that make a statement.

For American Restaurant Chains, the Future Is Mexican

Posted by Arturo on October 29, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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For American Restaurant Chains, the Future Is Mexican


The Doritos Locos Taco from Taco BellPhotograph by Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times via Redux

The Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell

Yum! Brands’ (YUM) most profitable fast-food chain in the U.S. isn’t Pizza Hut or KFC–for years, it’s been Taco Bell. With the success of Doritos Locos Tacos, the upscale Cantina Bell menu, and breakfast (available nationwide next year), Taco Bell’s comparable sales have been up for seven consecutive quarters, including a 2 percent increase in the most recent period.

The chain’s financial results are just one sign of the growing popularity of Mexican food in the U.S. Data from food researcher Technomic show that sales at Mexican-style restaurants grew 9.3 percent in 2012, outpacing the 5.8 percent increase among all limited-service restaurants. In fact in the U.S., tortillas outsell burger and hot dog buns, tortilla chips eclipse potato chips, and salsa tops ketchup, according to an Associated Press report.

“We know that for the U.S. to have a successful year, it’s important for our most profitable U.S. brand to do well, and we certainly have a lot going in our favor at Taco Bell,” said Yum chief executive officer David Novak during a recent earnings call. The late-night gordita joint now accounts for 60 percent of Yum’s operating profits in the U.S. There are 5,704 Taco Bells in the U.S., about 32 percent of Yum’s total in the country.

The burger-and-fries business, meanwhile, has seen better days. McDonald’s(MCD) same-store sales grew only 0.7 percent last quarter, Wendy’s (WEN) was up 0.4 percent, and Burger King (BKW) fell 0.5 percent.

Mexican quick-service restaurants offer “high value and appeal with millennial consumers and affluent groups,” says Darren Tristano, an executive vice president at Technomic. Popular burrito purveyor Chipotle (CMG) has led the way, and the 1,525-store chain just reported a same-store sales increase of 6.2 percent in the last quarter.

Even casual-dining giant Chili’s Grill & Bar (EAT), where comparable sales fell 1.9 percent last quarter, is looking for a rebound via its Mexican menu. “When you look at tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, that category represents really the biggest category that we have at Chili’s. Bigger than burgers,” said Wyman Roberts, CEO of Brinker International, Chili’s parent company, during an earnings call on Wednesday. Chili’s Mexican food, he said, will give the chain an edge over casual-dining rivals.

The plan for Chili’s is to focus on that part of its menu. A spokesperson for the restaurant chain wrote in an e-mail: “Mexican is a menu category our guests have given us all the permission in the world to expand, and with Southwestern ingredients already a part of our flavor profile, it is the natural next step in Chili’s menu innovation.”

So while burger and pizza chains remain the most popular in the U.S., diners and those trying to capture their attention are increasingly moving in a south-of-the-border direction.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Marketing To Latinos: ‘We Don’t Fit Into A Box’

Posted by Arturo on October 28, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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Latinos are one of the fastest growing segments of the population, but marketers aren’t always keeping up with them. Host Michel Martin speaks with Chiqui Cartagena, the Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Univision, and author of Latino Boom II.

A Glimpse into Mexico City’s fantastic bar scene

Posted by Arturo on October 27, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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Chelada – Finally a Michelada in a can done well !

Posted by Arturo on October 26, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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Finally a Michelada in a can done well ! If you haven’t tried Modelo’s Chelada I suggest you do. The taste is surprisingly close to that of a freshly made Michelada, it is refreshing, tangy and with a little kick plus it is made with authentic Mexican beer. Very smart for Modelo to get in this space, their strong Mexican brand equity gives them permission to be the leader. I bet a large portion of their loyal following will try Chelada and like it. Beer drinkers that like Mexican style beers and are feeling a little adventurous will probably give it a shot too. It was about time for a Mexican beer brand to offer a better Michelada…


Safeway Teams Up With Chef to launch Mexican Inspired Food brand

Posted by Arturo on October 26, 2013  /   Posted in Blog
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Safeway Teams Up With Chef for Mexican Food Line

Sep. 16, 2013

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has partnered with Food Network host Marcela Valladolid to create a branded line of Mexican products.


Photo courtesy of Safeway.

The Marcela Valladolid line, available at all 1,400 Safeway stores, includes ready-to-cook meats, corn and flour tortillas and tortilla chips.

The retailer will also feature recipes based on the new products on its website at

“Hispanic shoppers are important to Safeway and we are excited to team up with Marcela to bring this innovative brand to all our shoppers seeking a real Mexican eating experience,” Joe Ennen, senior vice president of Consumer Brands for Safeway, said in a statement. “Marcela has been a fantastic partner for us to work with on our mission to make authentic Mexican foods accessible and approachable for Safeway shoppers everywhere.”

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