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Issue 3
October 2010
For companies interested in developing the Hispanic Market
In This Issue
Hispanic History: The Mexican Revolution
Cultural Differences: Greetings
U.S. Hispanics and Acculturation
Hispanic Facts - Cultural Values - The Family Unit
About Our Founder
Beatriz Aguirre-Gutai
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Our Mission:
"To Inspire People and Organizations to see a Vision of what is Possible and Achieve Personal, Professional and Financial Success."

A direct selling expert with over 25 years of proven leadership experience in Hispanic markets. Beatriz served as V.P. of Sales and president of U.S. Hispanic operations, including Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, for JAFRA Cosmetics International. She transformed an under-performing operation into a high-performance organization and moved it from the third performing business to the second fastest growing business in the portfolio - achieved double digit growth in sales, net activity and distributor base - base grew from the low teens to 50,000.

"I have a passion for the Hispanic market and I believe in its potential. I founded Hispanic Market Strategy Group, to assist companies who are interested in targeting this diverse and lucrative market," says Beatriz.

Read about Beatriz

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Hispanic History

1910 - 1920
Mexican Revolution
First major group of Hispanic immigrants enter the US.

Francisco I. Madero, Pancho Villa and Pascaul Orozco mobilized the Mexican people to fight injustice and remove President Porfirio D´┐Żaz, who had become a dictator and ruled Mexico for thirty years. The revolution became the 20th Century's first modern social revolution, destined to change Mexico's society and economy.

The war resulted in a flood of Mexican immigrants into the United States. The choices were simple for Mexicans who opposed the fighting: hide away or leave the country. Many of the Mexican citizens chose to head north, immigrating to the United States. The turmoil of the war, the danger, the economic catastrophe and social chaos surrounding the revolution pushed Mexican natives north. Some revolutionaries and federals fled to the United States in order to plot further incursions into Mexico.

More than 890,000 legal Mexican immigrants came to the United States for refuge between 1910 and 1920. The Revolution had created a state of turmoil to the south, and Mexicans sought the peace of the north. The railroads hired a bulk of the Mexicans for construction and maintenance.

U.S. immigration officials noted that the poor and the sick constituted most of the Mexicans fleeing north. In 1914, during the strongest flurry of fighting in the revolution, the upper class of Mexico began to immigrate in big numbers as well.


Cultural Differences

Cultural Aspect: Greetings.

Mainstream American:
A solid handshake or a wave of the hand.

Hispanic Culture:
A gentler handshake, hug or kiss on the cheek - the number of kisses, depends on the country of origin.

Have Questions?

Do you have a specific question about the Hispanic market that you would like me to answer in this newsletter? Send me an email and I will be happy to consider it.

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Greetings! Top Forward to a Friend

"Hispanic" or "Latino", which term is correct? Have you ever wondered why some of us call ourselves Latina(o)s and some of us call ourselves Hispanic? What is the difference? To confuse things more, when people with origins from a Spanish-speaking country are asked, "what is your background?" the majority usually give an answer that identifies them from the country where they or their family originated from - Mexican, Guatemalan, Puerto Rican, or Colombian. etc.

Latino, is used in some cases as an abbreviation for latinoamericano or "Latin American". The term "Latin American" was used for the first time in the nineteenth century when the French occupied Mexico (1862-1867), since they wanted to be included in what was considered Spanish America.

The terms Hispanic and Latino tend to be used interchangeably in the United States. The terms were first adapted by the US government during the 1970 Census, in order to identify all persons which originated from a Spanish-speaking country into one group.

Some people prefer to use the term "Latino", because to them it is more representative of people that originated from Latin America. But then, what about the "Latinos" who originated in Europe? The Spanish, Italians, French and Portuguese, these groups also have Latin roots; therefore, shouldn't we consider them "Latinos"?

If you ask ten different people about their background, you will most likely get ten different answers. Each one of us has our own preference and definition for what we call ourselves. Here's mine:

When identifying ourselves as a group, I prefer to use the term "Hispanic". I believe the term is more inclusive and encompasses all persons who meet the following criteria:
  • Spanish speakers and persons belonging to a household where Spanish is spoken
  • Persons with Spanish heritage by birth location
  • Persons who self-identify with Spanish ancestry or descent
When someone asks me, what is my background? My answer is, "I am Hispanic, I was born in Mexico."

There are twenty three different Spanish-speaking countries represented in the United States. Each country has a unique national history, cultural background, demographic profile and level of development. We cover a wide racial spectrum - we are white, African, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American, Mestizo or Mulatto. We have differences; however, we also have many similarities. We are vibrant, loyal, family oriented, expressive, demonstrative, playful, fatalistic, romantic, colorful, dramatic, musical, hard-working, courageous, we share the same language and many of us have similar immigrant experiences. Identifying ourselves as "Hispanic" or "Latino", has brought us together as a group. We are creating a beautiful and colorful mosaic, made up of many different people, beliefs and cultures. Mexicans are marrying Puerto Ricans, Cubans are marrying Salvadorans, Spanish are marrying Argentinias and many Hispanics are marrying "Americans". The combination of cultures is endless.

When we are exposed to and learn to value and respect people whose culture and beliefs are different than ours, we allow ourselves the opportunity to grow, become more aware and open ourselves to wonderful possibilities.

In the end, does it really make a difference if we call ourselves Hispanic or Latino? In my humble opinion, No!

Have a wonderful and healthy October,
Un fuerte abrazo,

Beatriz Aguirre-Gutai
HispanicMarketStrategy Group

Helping you harness the Power of the Hispanic market!

U.S. Hispanics and Acculturation

I recently read and article on nielsenwire, written in November 2009, by Doug Anderson, SVP, Research and Development, at The Nielsen Company. He states that marketers who are looking to tap into high-growth population segments should turn their attention to the U.S. Hispanic segment, which grew at a rate 3.4 times higher than the total population between 2007 and 2008 and nearly ten times higher than the non-Hispanic white population. Over half of all U.S. population growth during this time came from Hispanics, raising Hispanics to 15.4% of total U.S. population - a year-over-year growth rate of more than 2.6%.

Continued Growth
In fact, that trend is expected to continue. Projections show the Hispanic population will reach nearly 20% by 2020 and over 30% by 2050--making Hispanics no longer a niche market, but a mainstream one. And unlike immigrant populations from the first part of the 20th century-when immigration laws stopped the inflow of people from countries such as Italy, Ireland and Poland--new Hispanic immigrants are expected to continue to come in large numbers for the foreseeable future, making the acculturation process much slower than it was for previous generations.

For marketers, careful attention around both language and acculturation are essential to success. While these concepts are closely related, they are quite different. Language may be necessary for acculturation, but even Hispanics with excellent English-language skills may still respond more favorably to advertising that is in the Spanish language or messaging that shows various aspects of Hispanic culture. Marketers must shift their focus from thinking about whether Hispanics can understand their advertising to creating campaigns that speak to the heart of the Hispanic consumer in the U.S.

Language and Acculturation
To accurately understand acculturation matters, language and acculturation need to be analyzed separately in ways that can be applied across categories and geographies so the purchasing behavior of both Hispanics and non-Hispanics can be compared and contrasted. Nielsen has created a measure of behavioral acculturation that tracks purchase data across nearly 700 different categories to determine how similar the purchases of Hispanic households are to the purchases of non-Hispanic households with the same overall demographic characteristics. Hispanic households are considered "behaviorally acculturated" when purchasing patterns match the behavior of non-Hispanic households.

The chart below shows the index of the behavioral acculturation measure for U.S. Hispanics with varying language preferences. A low index shows high acculturation-purchasing behavior is similar for Hispanic and non-Hispanic households. The higher the index, the more dissimilar Hispanic behavior is as compared to non-Hispanic behavior and the more behaviorally unacculturated the segment is. Not surprisingly, households that only speak Spanish are the least behaviorally acculturated.

Households speak only Spanish

Additionally, when U.S. Hispanics members of the Nielsen Homescan Hispanic Panel were asked to rate their personal levels of acculturation, those who defined themselves as following only Hispanic or Latino culture, purchased products very differently from demographically similar non-Hispanics. In this survey, the word "American" refers specifically to United States culture.

Level of Acculturation

Other predictors of behavioral acculturate include:
  • Length of time in the U.S.--recent immigrants are the least behaviorally acculturated, while those who have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years are just as behaviorally acculturated as those born in the U.S.
  • Language at home--those who speak Spanish at home are less behaviorally acculturated than those who commonly speak English, but even those who prefer to use Spanish at home are more behaviorally acculturated than those who only speak Spanish. For many Hispanic households who speak English well, but still use Spanish at home, Spanish-language advertising may resonate better.
  • Relationships--those whose friends are also Hispanic are less behaviorally acculturated than those with mainly or solely non-Hispanic friends.
  • Education--those with higher levels of education are more behaviorally acculturated than those with lower levels.
Seize the Moment Now
The pace of Hispanic acculturation in the U.S. will depend on many factors. However, it will likely never mirror the same assimilation patterns of immigrants from past generations. The ready availability of Spanish media (television, radio, newspapers, websites, etc.) and the easy ability to communicate with friends and family who have not come to the U.S. slows the pace of acculturation, as does the continuing influx of new immigrants who reinforce the native cultural experience in Hispanic communities. Unlike immigrants from earlier in the history of the U.S., Hispanics today can participate in society while still retaining strong aspects of their Latino culture-including a preference for speaking Spanish at home or with their families and friends.

While Hispanics will become more acculturated over time and over generations-particularly in their purchasing behavior-they are not likely to leave their Latino culture behind. Marketers who wait around for Hispanics to acculturate rather than actively reaching out to this growing market now will be left waiting.

To read the full article, go to:

The Nielsen Company, Homescan Hispanic Panel
Pew Hispanic Center-Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap (October, 2009)
Pew Hispanic Center-The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths Into Adulthood (October, 2009)
U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement 2008 (released September 2009)

Hispanic Facts
Hispanic Family

Cultural Values
Family Unit

Traditionally, the Hispanic family is a close-knit group and the most important social unit. The term "familia" usually goes beyond the nuclear family. The Hispanic "family unit" includes not only parents and children but also extended family. In most Hispanic families, the father is the head of the family - "El Macho", and the mother is responsible for the home - she teaches values and principles and is highly revered and respected by her children. Individuals within a family have a moral responsibility to aid other members of the family experiencing financial problems, unemployment, poor health conditions, and other life issues.

Family ties are very strong: when someone travels to another town or city to study or for a visit (e.g., vacation, business, medical reasons, immigrating to another country), staying with relatives or even with friends of relatives is a common practice. Families often gather together to celebrate holidays, birthdays, baptisms, first communions, graduations, and weddings. Hispanic families instill in their children the importance of honor, good manners, and respect for authority and the elderly. "Abuela" y "Abuelo" (Grandparents) are highly respected, their life experience is valued, they teach their grandchildren personal dignity and pride and pass on family history, culture and traditions. Preserving the Spanish language within the family is a common practice in most Hispanic homes. Children are cherished and are the inspiration behind their parent's hard work and determination. Parents are willing to take risks to provide their children a better life. Respect is the highest form of love.

Source: Ohio State University Fact Sheet - Understanding the Hispanic Culture.

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