In New York, more than 18% of the population is now made up of Hispanics, more than double what it was in 1980., Compounded with the growth of this population among the entire United States, we can see we have a massive evolution on our hands.
Similar to the expansion of the Hispanic demographic are the recent growth rates coming from the beauty and personal care category. Just last year, mass and prestige beauty sales totaled $32 billion.
Well, I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. We have two strong forces moving on a parallel path, but their influence represents only the tip of the iceberg. Now, imagine the supernova of Hispanic personal care marketing they’d generate if they united. So, what if the Hispanic market overtook the majority of beauty and skincare communications? Well, my question is, why not?
By the end of next year, Latinos’ spending power is expected to hit $1.5 trillion, much of which will be on beauty. In fact, Nielsen research suggests Hispanics spend more on cosmetics, health and beauty products than the general market. The question is, what’s holding marketers back?
1) Redesigning an audience profile takes time. Most brands like Revlon, Dove, and Pantene spend years trying to understand their core consumer. This often leaves the areas of opportunity or the I’ll-get-to-you-later groups in the dust, despite the market share they could foster. Why? Because a brand could spend 25 years investing in R&D and communications targeted at Caucasian women aged 18-45. So, why would they change their course now? Well, because in 10 years, their core user might not be Polly Parker from suburban Connecticut. It’ll likely be Joyce Mendez from Miami, Florida (I obviously made these ladies up).
2) In addition to target research, you’ll need a buffer year of educational programming. Take for example the suncare market. The educational divide among different ethnicities around sun protection knowledge is profound. Just last year less than 25% of Hispanics knew about risk factors for skin cancer, despite the fact that melanoma incidences among this demographic have increased by 20% in the last decade. In order to convince the 43% of Hispanics that rarely/never use sunscreen to purchase one, brands need to first help them understand that they need it – and that takes time and investment.
3) Not many beauty brands have had the guts to go after this market and do it right. This means there aren’t so many case studies out there to work from. An integrated program geared towards an entirely new market for you goes beyond hiring a Hispanic celebrity a la Pepsi and the beautiful Sofia Vergara. When we go into brand planning, we often look to other successful brand campaigns and ask ourselves, how can we do something just as great, but better?
Are these three reasons cop outs for ignoring Latinas? Absolutely not. Should they act as drivers for doing it right? 100%. So, in 2039, when 1 in 4 people ages 18-64 are expected to be Latino, will it be a new beauty brand made specific for Latinas leading market share among this demo? Or will it be one of the big name brands? Only time will tell.