Hispanic Millennials Are Key to a Sustainable Strategy

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Hispanic Millennials Are Key to a Sustainable Strategy

By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News - 08/15/2013

LAS VEGAS -- With Hispanics making up 20 percent of all multicultural Millennials, companies must include them in their marketing if they want to employ a sustainable strategy.

Marie Quintana, president of The Quintana Group, stressed this point as the ninth annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit got underway in Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon. Quintana is serving as mistress of ceremonies for this year's Summit, themed "Understanding Millennials' Path to Purchase."

What makes the younger generation so important, according to Quintana, is that Hispanic Millennials have the immigrant mindset at their core, while moving seamlessly between both worlds.

Just as the immigrant mindset is at their core, technology and social media are at their fingertips.

Generally speaking, Millennials are 18 to 34 years old, have a $1.3-trillion buying power and are highly opinionated, vocal and controlling. But not all Millennials are the same. As Jose Espinoza of shopper marketing agency Mercury Mambo explained, Millennials fall into six categories: Hip-ennial, Gadget Guru, Millennial Mom, Clean and Green Millennial, Anti-Millennial and Old School. Broken out even further, Latino Millennials fall into the Clean and Green, Anti-Millennial and Old School categories.

There are three key differentiators between Hispanic Millennials and general-market Millennials: Hispanic Millennials are focused on empowerment, cause marketing and technology, Espinoza added.

Dennis Devlin, CEO of Consumer Clarity, cited several examples of engaging Millennials, including Kum & Go LC convenience stores. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer launched a “Snaxpert” program that allows customers to share their favorite snack pairings and post them on social media. Devlin said this initiative hits two of the three musts for Hispanic Millennials by empowering them to voice their opinions through technology.

Just as importantly, Kum & Go contributes 10 percent of its profits to non-profit organizations with a focus on education and youth, he noted.

Overall, the rules of traditional marketing don't work with Hispanic Millennials, according to Victoria Clark, co-founder and chief creative officer of Gravy.

"You cannot talk to them; you must talk with them," she emphasized.

Companies must also remember that language is key. Juan Carlos Davila, senior vice president and general manager of the Hispanic Market Center of Excellence at Nielsen, cited that though 65 percent of  Hispanic Millennials are U.S.-born, almost 40 percent of total Hispanic Millennials are bilinguals -- a 73-percent increase in the last decade.

"They are made in the USA with Hispanic ingredients," Davila concluded.

The Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, produced by Convenience Store News parent company Stagnito Media, continues today and tomorrow.