Consumer Trends for 2011 Are a Shoe-in for Hispanics

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I recently came across a thought provoking briefing by trendwatching.com that predicts consumer trends for 2011. As I read the brief, I was fascinated by how right-on they are and how Hispanics lie at the center of many of these trends. For this post I have highlighted the consumer trends I feel will be most impacted by Hispanics.

1. Random Acts of Kindness

Social media has created a window into the needs, wants and complaints of consumers. This combined with the general feeling of consumer disgust brought on by the recession creates an opportunity for brands to bestow random acts of kindness on their customers.

Marketers looking to capitalize on this trend should consider Hispanics. Not only do they represent over $1 trillion in buying power, they are also at the bleeding edge of social media. Random acts of kindness that reward both the individual and the collective Hispanic group will pay off handsomely for brands.

2. Urbanomics

Half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and millions are moving to cities each year. This trend bodes well for marketers as “urban consumers tend to be more daring, liberal, more tolerant, more experienced and more prone to trying out new products and services.”

Hispanics are at the heart of this trend with over 91% of them living in urban areas. Brands looking to reach urban audience should not neglect Hispanics, they are young, tech-savvy, bi-lingual and bi-cultural.

3. Pricing Pandemonium

Social media, group buying sites, and the explosion of smart phones have put an infinite amount of real time pricing information at the fingertips of consumers. This trend will force marketers to create a multitude of flexible and adapting pricing models for consumers.

In addition to being avid social media users, a recent report (pdf) by Scarborough Research found that smartphone growth among Hispanics is outpacing the general market and that Hispanics are heavy mobile users. Pricing models that incentivize likeminded groups of mobile users should be salient within the Hispanic community.

4. Online Status Symbols

We find ourselves connected online and collecting online and offline status symbols will help us identify who we are within this new context. Brands will increasingly offer badges, symbols and other rewards to consumers who interact with them.

Marketers should develop and distribute symbols to allow Latinos to identify with their evolving heritage and culture. Toyota did an awesome job of this with its “Somos Muchos Latinos” campaign.

5. Well-thy

Consumers are increasingly interested in improving their quality of life, and products and services that promote health will be hot in 2011.

There are significant and complex health issues facing Hispanics including high levels of obesity and diabetes. This is a great opportunity for marketers to proactively address the cultural and language barriers that affect the health of many Hispanics and ride this consumer trend.

6. Emerging Generosity

Consumers increasingly expect wealthy individuals and brands to give back to the community. The $600 billion challenge led by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge to donate most of his wealth to charity clearly exemplify this trend.

Maybe in 2011 Mexico’s Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, will pledge to donate his wealth to Hispanics. Does anyone know if Warren Buffet speaks Spanish? Maybe he can convince Mr. Slim.

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