Mercury Mambo Shopper Study Dispels Myth of Brand Loyalty of Hispanics

The findings of Mercury Mambo’s “Hispanic Shopper & Retailer Study” released in the fall of 2011 continues to garner the attention of the marketing world by dispelling Hispanic shopping myths long thought to be hard truths. Recently, Shopper Marketing magazine featured the results in an article entitled, “Insights Into the Brand Loyalty of Hispanics,” commenting that Mercury Mambo’s study on the effectiveness of Hispanic experiential and promotional marketing,  “erodes the common notion that Hispanics are fervently loyal to a small cadre of national brands.”

Conducted in Spanish, the study involved 249 consumers intercepted at malls, shopping centers, special events, flea markets, and other high traffic areas. Forty six percent were adults under age 30, with the rest being between the ages of 30 and 40. The study also interviewed 99 retail executives of 51 large chains and 49 small and medium ones that service Hispanics.

The results show that if marketers reach out to Spanish-dominant consumers in their language of choice, and also give them opportunities to experience their product in-store, those consumers are happy to try and even purchase new brands. What stops Spanish-dominant Latinos in most cases is their fear of trying a new brand when they don’t speak the language, can’t read the packaging and, therefore, are taking a risk.

Ninety percent of the consumers who said they’d participated in both supermarket price promotions and samplings over the past six months had purchased the featured product (both national and store brands). That’s up 12% over the previous year. Eighty-four percent had never bought the item previously, and 84% had not planned on buying it.

“The data brings to light the need to talk to retailers – not so much about price, but about added value like sampling, promotional partnerships and store circular con- tent,” agency partner at Mambo Mercury Liz Arreaga says. “While brand loyalty is a longstanding ‘tradition,’ purchasing a new brand becomes low risk to those who don’t speak English if they can try it. Strategies have high conversation rates.”

Key factors for brands to consider when planning in-store promotions for Spanish-dominant shoppers are language, pricing, community involvement and the use of many smaller prizes rather than one big prize.

When it comes to out-of-store promotions, 39% of consumers interviewed said they would be interested in receiving promotional offers through their cell phones as a way to make the experience more convenient and save money. Thirty one percent, however, said they didn’t feel comfortable using their cell phones to receive shopping promotions, with a small subset of those (7%) saying it might be too difficult to do.