Have the past two years made an indelible impression on the American consumer?
Absolutely. The retail market took a big hit, and we’re only now seeing shades of recovery.
The good news is that the “new” American retail consumer is not necessarily too conservative, but is taking a more holistic approach, to balance what they need with what they want. They’re going through a careful, complicated decision-making process for every purchase, according to analysts in a recent report on the country’s changing demographics.
What does this mean for brands? More than ever, brands “need to communicate who they are in a way that’s authentic, real and accessible so people can find their way to them,” they noted.
One major instep to this new type of marketing communication is to target audiences not just by geography, household income, and age but also by language, ethnicity, and culture. The Latino population in the U.S., for instance, is “no longer merely a niche,” and represents the fastest-growing demographic in the States, offering an “unprecedented opportunity for sales growth.”
Though they are by no means a monolithic group, there are certain characteristics that marketers can be aware of:
- The significance of family and Catholic values resonates strongly throughout a majority of the Latino population.
- Hispanics are twice as likely to adopt new media formats and innovations as non-Hispanics. About 24 million Latinos are online, many of them via their mobile devices. Text-messaging campaigns targeting Hispanics have twice the rate of return compared with the general market, and social media is also highly effective.
- This might go without saying, but Spanish language sales reps and websites translated into Spanish will serve companies targeting the Hispanic market.
When targeting Asian-American retail consumers, the report notes:
- Asian-Americans may be a sliver of the market now, but they are poised for growth. By 2020, the population is forecasted to be 23 million. In 2050, Asians could be as much as 20 percent of the U.S. population.
- More than 90 percent of Asian-Americans are online.
- The Asian-American consumer has a strong sense of loyalty. If you can get a few in this community to really believe in you and your product and trust you as a business person, you can count on the fact that they are going to be bringing you additional customers.
- As jewelry is a central part of wedding ceremonies in many Asian cultures, there is tremendous opportunity there. Asians are very active consumers of high-end jewelry per capita, higher then any other consumer segment in the country.
- Cause-related marketing can be particularly effective in targeting Asian-Americans. Show that you share common values. Education is an easy one. Asian-Americans view a brand as part of the community, because they see it as helpful in reaching life’s achievements.