Hispanic Millennials: Top Insights and Strategies

Millennials are young, influential, digital natives. They constantly multi-task, and, yes, also shamelessly take “selfies.”  Marketers often paint millennials with a broad brush, yet “The Selfie-Generation” or other narratives are too simplistic to articulate exactly who millennials—and in this case Hispanic millennials—really are. 

For example, marketers often think of Hispanic millennials as native-born. However, it’s important to remember that 37% of the nearly 15.3 million Hispanic millennials were born outside of the U.S. And that is still not the whole story: 81% of 18-year-old Hispanics are native-born, compared to just 46% of 34-year-old Hispanics.

Hispanic millennials’ connection to culture and language is strong regardless of where they were born – though this manifests differently depending on whether a person immigrated at 11 or at 18.

Hispanic millennials are a unique blend of nationalities, culture, and language, which results in a complex consumer segment.

 Top 5 Insights and Strategies

As part of our in-depth study, what we discovered about Hispanic millennials was not only enlightening, but also actionable. Below are five of the top insights and strategies to surface from this work (in no particular order):

Give Them the Best of Both Worlds

  • Hispanic millennials have a strong connection to both their Hispanic and American cultures. They are predominantly bicultural and native born. However, keep in mind that two out of five were born outside the U.S.
  • They are able to choose the best of both worlds and will respond positively to brands that speak to their unique identity—organically, creatively, and authentically.
  • Example: AT&T’s #BetweenTwoWorlds campaign is an advertising and social media marketing effort to connect with bicultural Hispanic millennials. AT&T was one of the first mobile providers that attempted to create an emotional bond between their brand and consumers before trying to sell their product.The spot clearly communicates their reality of living in two very different worlds and the way in which they fuse identities. This campaign stands out because of its authenticity. AT&T proves that they understand bicultural Hispanic millennials’ cultural nuances.

Go Bilingual on Social

  • Hispanic millennials are increasingly mobile and, therefore, social. According to Experian Simmons, in 2013, 96% of Hispanic millennials owned a mobile phone (compared to 72% in 2008), and 74% owned a smartphone. Social media has become their main channel for self-expression, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram being their top three favorite mobile apps. And “video” is the first word that comes to mind when they think about social media.
  • Engaging with Hispanic millennials on social media sites is crucial. Having a catchy hashtag is great, but make sure that you have a bilingual engagement manager who can answer comments promptly and build a personal relationship with Hispanic millennials. And don’t forget to add video!
  • Example: Que Rica Vida is a lifestyle website by General Mills that provides cooking, holiday, and health tips. The Hispanic-focused site stands out for its bilingual content and customer engagement.  The fluidity in responses is impressive—Que Rica Vida’s social media engagement managers adapt to their consumer’s language in real time and respond to comments in both English and Spanish.

Focus on Family

  • Hispanic millennials are as likely as non-Hispanic millennials to be married (28%), but more likely to have children (60% vs. 42%, respectively). Additionally, two out of five Hispanic millennials live with their parents.
  • Hispanic Millennials are likely parents. Ensure you highlight how your product or service can benefit their family, rather than focusing just on the individual.
  • Example: State Farm’s “Running” ads feature a trait of Hispanic millennials that is not often highlighted: parenthood. The ad taps into emotions by showing how the excitement—and craziness—of preparing for a baby can lead to accidents.The spot has two executions, with English and Spanish voiceover and, while it winks at Hispanic millennials through talent and language nuances, the core insight resonates with millennials regardless of ethnicity.

Show Them What You’re Worth

  • Hispanic millennials’ income tends to be lower than non-Hispanic millennials’. Two out of three Hispanic millennials earn an income of $20K or less, and one out of three looks for coupons before going shopping.
  • Offer coupons and discounts—digitally and in print—to drive trial with Hispanic millennials. However, don’t forget to highlight the quality of your brand to convince them their money is being well spent.
  • Example: P&G is known for their efficient and creative packaging communication strategy across products, and Always is a great example of communicating quality benefits through product packaging. Always highlights their unique “LeakGuard” protection innovation and uses strategic bilingual messaging, visuals, and colors to convey the product features and benefits. Always might be pricier than competing brands, but the product quality is front and center for consumers. There are also a variety of coupons and discounts available online.

Use Bilingual Support Effectively

  • Hispanic millennials often choose Spanish for in-person, service-related conversations; while they choose English for customer service over the phone because they either: (1) experience shorter waiting times due to more representatives speaking English, or (2) encounter representatives not fluent in Spanish.
  • Make sure you hire bilingual customer service representatives  in both physical locations and call centers. If you offer services in Spanish, consider hiring native Spanish representatives to make your customers feel comfortable and well taken care of.
  • Example: Comcast XFINITY has a bilingual website where they communicate product information in both English and Spanish. They also offer bilingual customer service by phone and through their chat feature. Although useful to any Spanish-leaning consumer, Comcast is able to reach more Hispanic millennials by giving them the option to communicate in their language of preference.

Hispanic Millennials: a Growth Opportunity

Understanding Hispanic millennials might seem complex at first, but authentically connecting with this rapidly growing segment is crucial for brands. As if that were not enough, Hispanic millennials are very influential consumers. Marketers who resonate with Hispanic millennials have the potential to see unmatched growth in their brands.

Take Action Now

These findings are a snapshot of Collage Group Learnings on Millennials (available for clients). The project covers eight topics ranging from demographics to shopping habits to case studies. To learn more, contact us.

This research provides a holistic, multi-disciplinary look at Hispanic millennials. It was driven by a combination of primary research through our online consumer community, and secondary research using ACS (American Community Survey) and Experian Simmons data. We also included a section highlighting case studies of successful campaigns that targeted Hispanic millennials.

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