Dispatches From The Millennial Mega Mashup: The Influence Of Hispanic Millennials

May 07 2012

Jake Katz, Ypulse’s Chief Architect, opened the Millennial Mega Mashup telling conference attendees that “we’re a collective thinking about what’s happening with [Millennials] from a lot of different perspectives.” Today, the conference focused not on only on what makes certain cultural moments particularly Millennial, but also how those moments reflect Millennial Hispanics. Their cultural reference points are different, from family dynamics to language and slang to shopping.

 

Millennial Mamis Are Similar To — And Different From — Millennial Moms

Patricia Shibata, VP, Multicultural Practice Lead at McCann Worldgroup, was on site to talk about how Hispanic Millennial Moms are both similar and different from Millennial moms overall.

When most people think about older Millennials in their 20s, they think of them going to bars and concerts, but with Hispanic Millennials, it’s a different picture. Many are in the role of parents — 26% of Hispanic women become moms by age 19 — taking their kids to playgrounds and having family time. But they are Millennial moms first and Hispanic second.

Because of that, there are many similarities among Hispanic Millennial moms and Millennial moms in general, as well as some key differences. They celebrate their differences, but also realize they’re connected to a larger group.

Hispanic moms are experienced. They still worry about if they’re doing a good job as moms — or a better job than other moms, as competitive Millennials. They use online communities to interact, share, and learn.

Latina Millennial moms feel confident, more so than Millennial moms in general, but they still want to share and connect with other moms for advice.

Their primary concern as parents is to be the most supportive mom they can be, putting their children and family ahead of themselves — which is also true among Millennial moms in general. Reflecting their Hispanic culture, Latina moms also want to be stylish moms who are good cooks.

Hispanic moms also over-index on wanting their children to be successful. That stems from the same drive they inherited from their immigrant parents. Achieving the American dream is still important, and her child’s success is a reflection of her success. Some 42% of Hispanic Millennial moms worry about their children retaining their culture.

Hispanic Millennial moms have a positive opinion of technology. It simplifies their lives and provides them with a means to keep in contact with their families. They make a direct connection between technology and achieving success in their jobs and overall lives.

Hispanic Millennial moms are willing to give their children phones at a younger age because it gives them a means to stay connected with their families. Their phones are their lifelines — they can give it to their child and he or she is entertained, they can check email and stay connected with friends and family, it’s even their bank. Considering what all their phones do, no wonder they think of the devices as giving them super powers. The downside to mobile technology? It keeps them from going outside and playing with their kids.

Hispanic Latino moms have more close knit communities than Millennial moms in general. They’re engaged in organizing carpools and barbecues and social activities. They’re transporting that sense of community to social networks. They love to share their experiences, advice, and discoveries not only with other moms they know, but also with the wider mom community. A quarter even think virtual networks are better than their personal networks for parenting advice. They find it easier to connect with other moms with the same problems and get frank advice and more diverse opinions.

 

The Latino Mobile Phenomenon

Alexander Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer of elwiri, introduced his session by mimicking teens today, texting. They text constantly, even when they’re talking to their parents, they’re texting friends. For brands, if you’re not connecting with them on their cell phones, you have a lot of catching up to do. It’s their go-to device for buying, consuming, social media, connectivity… Among Hispanic Millennials, they’re even more likely to have smartphones, and their cell phone usage is growing four times as fast as the general population.

There’s also a retro-acculturation trend among Hispanic Millennials. In past generations, the American dream was an ideal, and it was a negative stereotype to be Hispanic. Now, it’s going the other way — Hispanic culture is everywhere, from mainstream movies to music to food, and the culture is cool again.

There’s a significant first mover advantage in Hispanic mobile content. We’ve seen the stats, but brands haven’t done much about it yet.

Hispanic Millennials are younger, brand loyal, and early adapter of technology. Their phones are status symbols that they upgrade often. They’re key brand ambassadors because they have 10 times the number of friends on Facebook compared to the general population and can amplify a brand message.

Social media has fostered personal promotion. They’re very willing to share, and they’ll confide in others on social media. They comment and start a dialog; it’s a way to create their personal brand ego. Brands can create a bond with Hispanic Millennials by enabling them to build their personal brand.

Reaching Hispanic Millennials, brands should keep in mind what we’ve learned from general Hispanic marketing. The “translate button” isn’t enough — Hispanic Millennials will spot that; a brand needs to take the cultural nuances into consideration. Hispanics markets are very different — in the West, the influence is Mexican, on the East, it’s more of a melting pot, from Cuban to Dominican to South American. Understanding the complexities of each market is important; winning one segment while offending or alienating another isn’t a successful strategy.

The variable to each campaign is based on the brand’s knowledge of the consumer. But it’s not an option to reach Hispanic Millennials; brands have to do it.

Reaching young Hispanics on mobile is key because cell phones are replacing computers. They may still have a home computer, but they spend the most time on their phones and tablets. There isn’t much Spanish mobile content available. There are a few apps, mostly news, but other Hispanic apps tend to be language agnostic, so there’s an opportunity. Delivering content in Spanish is a bit of a shock value. Even acculturated Hispanics speak Spanish — they maintain their Spanish language at home because their parents want to help them maintain their heritage. Delivering heritage-focused campaigns in Spanish imports the cultural reference points.

 

Macy’s And Sentient Decision Science Study Latina Style

Macy’s is updating its image with both Millennials and Hispanics, bringing the store in line with the products and shopping experiences both groups want, according to Karen Scherbaum, VP Consumer Insights & Strategy. But it soon realized it also needed to understand the Hispanic Millennial demographic.

That started with learning about acculturation, who to focus on, and their different ideas about young Hispanic consumers. The acculturation issue is changing — immigration isn’t the main driver of population growth, and the old models don’t work anymore. Looking at the languages they speak, at home it is driven by their parents and grandparents, but among their friends, it’s their choice.

As Aaron Ried, Found of Sentient Decision Science noted, old models of research don’t work either. If a consumer can’t tell you about their behaviors, you won’t be able to accurately predict their future purchases. If they won’t tell you about how they feel, can you trust what they say is important? In the research project with Macy’s, it became clear that value is a key in shopping. Hispanic Millennial women spend a similar amount as Millennial women in general on shopping, but they distribute their dollars differently. They spend more on accessories and beauty than Millennial women in general, and less on clothing. And not all Latinas are created equal — their spending varies by age and acculturation. The key is understanding the tradeoffs that make her willing to spend.

In researching those passion points, Macy’s investigated their own preconceptions about Latina style. Comfort is important to all Millennials, but Hispanics are more likely than their peers to want their wardrobe to reflect a modern, feminine, sexy, youthful style. Macy’s wasn’t surprised to learn that young Hispanic women want to match their accessories, show a little skin, and incorporate sparkle and detail in their look. But the surprises were how they want to reveal skin, which differs from Millennial women in general. Latinas want to incorporate color in their wardrobe, but not much more so than young women in general. They prefer prints over solids, but again, not much more so than non-Latinas.

Ultimately, Macy’s learned that just because a strategy has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it will work again. It learned not to take everything consumers say at face value — they’ll all say price is important, but there are things they’ll spend on. And finally, it learned not to discount the diversity within the diverse audience that is Hispanic Millennials. 

 

Stay tuned for more from the Hispanic Millennials Intensive session at the Millennial Mega Mashup coming soon…