Mambo #5: Spotlight on Don Longo, Multicultural Retail 360 Editorial Director

Mercury Mambo has been a long time supporter of the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, the premier cross-channel event that focuses on retailing to the growing Latino market. Created in 2004 by Stagnito Media, publishers of such industry trade standards as  Convenience Store News,  and Progressive Grocer, the annual conference and expo brings together retailers, manufacturers, buyers and sales professionals from across the country. This year, organizers announced that “Hispanic Retail 360” would evolve into “Multicultural Retail 360.” We sat down with Stagnito Media Editorial Director Don Longo to learn more about the trends behind this change.

Name: Don Longo

Title: Editorial Director, Multicultural Retail 360, Stagnito Media

1. You recently changed the name of the organization from Hispanic Retail 360 to Multicultural Retail 360. What is the thinking behind the change?

At our 10th anniversary Summit last month in San Antonio we announced the rebranding of our Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, magazine and website as Multicultural Retail 360, a new media brand with an expanded focus on retailing to a broader range of multicultural consumers.

After 10 years of development and growth, and while Hispanic Retail 360 was at its height of popularity, it seemed like a good time to take stock of what we were doing and how we should position ourselves to continue our growth and remain relevant to the retail community for the future. Like Hispanic Retail 360, Multicultural Retail 360 will be unique. No existing media brand or conference addresses the issues that retailers face identifying and segmenting multicultural consumers shopping their stores, and then executing strategies so that they have the appropriate product mix and marketing messages for these customers at every store.

2. What type of feedback have you received?

We had unanimous support from our Retailer Advisory Board, and overwhelmingly positive feedback at the conference in San Antonio.

3. What shopper marketing trend(s) do you see emerging?

Probably looking to see the next evolution of Total Market strategy and how it will be executed and implemented by various companies.

4. What’s the biggest mistake you see marketers make when trying to reach multicultural consumer markets?

The two biggest mistakes we’ve seen are stereotyping ethnic consumers and thinking that general market campaigns can be used to reach all multicultural groups simply by changing the language.

5. What’s your favorite thing about the work you do?

Interacting with the creative, dedicated and passionate people who are trying to make their companies more responsive to the changing needs of the American consumer.