By Estefania Degregori, Mambo Intern
Thoughts of press release in point of view of a young Latina:
With the rapid growth of Latinos in the U.S, it is of no surprise that we are quickly becoming an important costumer base to attract. However, some businesses have not figured out how to successfully appeal to Latino costumers in a way that does not disempowers us, and further fragments the population.
Jennifer Lopez has teamed up with Verizon Wireless to create Viva Mobile, a new brand of cell phones who specifically targets Latino costumers.
The new Viva Mobile stores will not only be located in cities with a high number of Latino population, but will even include things such as play rooms for children to attract Latino families.
Though I understand how important Latinos are becoming to the economy, I do not think going as far as creating stores for Latinos in specific is helping to “empower” us at all; I think it is doing quite the opposite.
In recent years, Latinos have not only began to fight for an immigration reform, but also to end prejudice and discrimination in America, and to find a way to successfully integrate ourselves into the American culture and way of life.
Creating a whole separate mobile brand just for us is only further highlighting our differences with the rest of the population’s and slowing down our acculturation process. Besides, cell phones are essential in today’s society and Latinos have been purchasing cell phones at high rates before this new brand was created, so, I do not see why Verizon thinks that adding play rooms to a store is going to attract the percentage of Latino population that does not own a cell phone yet. Especially when part of the Latinos that do not own a cell phone doesn’t because they either don’t have the means to, or can’t qualify for one.
Therefore, it is extremely important for businesses to keep in mind that what many Latinos want is to be part of the regular American society and to be treated as equals. Segregating us from the rest of society is taking steps backwards in the fight to equality.
Lopez emphasized that the in-store shopping experience would be different than it is at other carrier’s wireless stores. There will be a play area for children and there will be lots of devices for people to test out before they buy.