Monthly Archives: October 2011

Latino Talk Around Chicago

I attended two events last week, the Latino Policy Forum’s annual breakfast, Latinos and the Changing Face of America, featuring keynote speaker Ray Suarez, and the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, 4th Annual Hispanic Scholarship Gala, featuring Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director of the National Latino Education Institute.  Interesting enough the events had a very common theme, the Latino population is large, is young, is not graduating at the rates similar to their counter parts and a competitive American requires educated, talented individuals with a minimum of a college degree to fill middle skilled and high skilled jobs.  Lastly, Hispanics are expected to represent 50% of the nation’s labor force in the next 20+ years.

So, if you put all these things together, plus the factor that the baby boom generation will eventually start retiring in “masses”. The future is represented by a bilingual/bicultural community that speaks Spanish and English or one or the other.  These are the individuals that are the driving force of products and services. Latino’s are hitting the advertising sweet spot, entering a stage of life when consumers ‘consume’ the most: buy cars, electronics, homes, insurance, etc.  So how do you engage them?  In Spanish, in English, in both languages? How do you reach the multigenerational homes consisting of active grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts?  All with a different view of the world given the varying degrees of Purple? The short answer is… strategically and the approach must go beyond language.

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Why the Purple Group?

The economic recession caused by the financial and real estate meltdown combined with the new census that pointed to an ever-growing ‘multicultural’ society, has truly created a new game. Consumers are more conscientious, more value driven, savvier and more careful. Layer this with the fastest growing segment of the population, Latinos, and you get a new outlook, a new beginning. It’s time for brands to adapt or frankly…die. And no, brands are not too big to ‘die,’ as we have witness the past 10 years.

It is my belief that we have entered a new era where multicultural is essentially the total market. To be clear, let me define multicultural as I see it: in reference to a society, multicultural is the appreciation and acceptance of different cultures; but these cultures remain distinct and separate. We feel that we are on the cusp of change, we are experiencing a convergence of culture as the new generations acculturate, adapt and take on characteristics of all the cultures around them, transforming them into something new, the new American… what we call Purple.

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