Latino Consumers Present Growth Opportunity for Green Businesses

A recent Eco Pulse® survey showed that Latino Americans are not only the country’s fastest growing minority group, but are arguably the greenest group as well.  In fact, results showed that Latinos are significantly more likely to be searching for greener products than other populations.  When you consider that about 47 million Americans are Latino, or nearly one in six residents according to the Census Bureau, this is a market that small- and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to ignore.

In addition, according to MarketingProfs.com, buying power among the Latino population in the U.S. is also increasing at a rapid pace. Between 1996 and 2008, the median income of Latino households rose 36%, from $27,977 to $37,913, while the median for all US households increased at a slower 26%, from $39,869 to $50,303. And according to the Census Bureau and other studies, Latino buying power is expected to reach more than $1 trillion by 2011.  That puts Latinos ahead of all other minority groups.  In this day and age, the Latino audience carries significant purchasing power and simply cannot be ignored in a company's green marketing strategy. 

“GBB member businesses and their products may now resonate with a new demographic they haven’t previously considered,” says Marcos Cordero, CEO and Co-founder of the GBB. “This could definitely mean a growth opportunity for them!”

Latino consumers are more driven by emotion and direct experience, and less by data, than other consumers.  To be successful in reaching the Latino audience, you must understand that the messages that work in the Anglo market can’t simply be transferred verbatim to the Latino market.  Care must be taken to culturally adapt the message to capture its thought, meaning and feeling, not just the words.

In crafting your green marketing message to resonate with your Latino customers, keep in mind that family, especially extended family, takes center stage.  Extended families are characterized by strong and close bonds that extend outside the nuclear unit to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other, non-family members.  Latinos buy to enhance their experience with family and community, so when designing marketing campaigns for Latinos, pay heed to their:

  • Belief in the collective “we” and a focus on cooperation instead of competition - appeal to their sense of community by enlisting their support in your green programs.
  • Decision making based on word-of-mouth and cultural norms – use networking and community involvement as a way gain exposure for your green product or service.  Reward referrals.
  • Brand loyalty – take advantage of the Latino consumer’s tendency to pass brand preferences down from generation to generation by developing customer rewards programs and addressing marketing messages to multiple generations.
  • Sense of humor – humor and laughter are great ways to connect with these consumers, as Latinos consider playful teasing about a person’s physical attributes endearing.
  • Family values – any marketing strategies with family values themes have strong appeal, emphasize the green features of your products or services in a way demonstrates your commitment to environmental stewardship.

When developing marketing to address the Latino consumer, it takes more than the translation of your existing message to be successful. You must transcreate your message by adapting it to the cultural and community references that resonate with these consumers.  By framing your green marketing message in context that is experienced emotionally, you will open your business to new markets and enjoy the financial success that brings.