The make-up of the American marketplace is constantly changing and evolving. Today, the Hispanic population has climbed to more than 50 million, and companies are beginning to realize the importance of this powerful market segment. If one can develop brand loyalty with this booming consumer segment now, just imagine what the possibilities could be down the road.
One way to begin is through consumer loyalty programs. Many companies have programs which reward their consumers for sticking with their brand. Giving away rewards such as airline miles, cash and discounts on future purchases invoke strong and positive emotions towards the company and have made rewards programs a vital aspect of marketing campaigns, no matter how big or small. Loyalty programs seek to increase customer awareness by raising satisfaction and value . Therefore, by creating loyalty programs specifically tailored towards the Hispanic population, and their wants and needs, companies can begin the process of not just capturing, but maintaining this ever growing market segment.
The Hispanic market presents huge upside and massive potential in regards to loyalty programs:
— According to a recent study, an astounding 38% of Hispanic consumers credit loyalty programs as the reason they choose a brand or company over another, compared to only 27% of the general population .
— In addition, over the last two years, participation in loyalty programs rose over 14% in the Hispanic market.
— Hispanics also tend to find loyalty rewards programs far more relevant than the general population. On a scale of 1-10, from “not at all relevant” to “extremely relevant,” Hispanics scored highest with an average of 6.9 compared to other market segments which scored as low as 5.7 .
— Hispanics have also shown that their involvement in loyalty programs is extremely high. 40% of Hispanic participants stated extreme involvement with loyalty programs .
— A Yankelvich study reported that 58% of Hispanics agree “it is risky to buy a brand you are not familiar with”  this means that it is extremely important to establish brand loyalty and trust with the Hispanic population.
All of these numbers and statistics lead to one simple solution: that customer loyalty programs are a great tool for brands to develop and grow relationships with the Hispanic market.
Several companies have already taken steps to market their loyalty rewards programs tailored to the Hispanic segment. In 2009, American Airlines AAdvantage program, one of the most successful loyalty programs, launched an 18 month campaign targeting Hispanics. Their campaign included TV, radio, print, online and social media as well as a sponsorship with MLS (Major League Soccer) to promote the loyalty program on Spanish-language TV channels . U.S. Bank, the fifth largest bank in the United States, has also been taking advantage of the growing Hispanic market. This year, U.S. Bank began a partnership with Avianca and TACA Airlines, offering credit cards that offer customers airline miles for each purchase they make using their cards.
The San Jose Group has worked with numerous companies on many loyalty rewards programs and campaigns over the past thirty years. For example, SJG worked with grocery store Dominick’s to create a new and culturally relevant platform. The campaign, “Un Mundo de Frescura”, successfully helped promote a discount program, the Fresh Values Card, that registering thousands of new Hispanic card holders all across the Chicagoland area. When the Disney Vacation Club needed help targeting Hispanics, The San Jose Group worked with their membership programs, creating a campaign that directly helped broaden their appeal to the Hispanic market.
In the U.S. today, there are over 1.3 billion customer loyalty memberships. In a marketplace flooded with numerous programs and in many cases where one consumer might belong to multiple loyalty programs, in order to stand out and break away from the masses it is important to appeal to the wants and needs of each segment, rather than clumping everyone together. George L. San Jose, president and COO at The San Jose Group, explains that, “In order to capture and maintain the growing Hispanic market, it is important that companies offer loyalty programs and rewards that directly appeal to the Hispanic population. If you make your consumer feel like this is a program that has been designed specifically for them, they are much more likely to stick with it.”
Loyalty programs offer companies a phenomenal opportunity to drive and create new business, while maintaining and strengthening relationships with their current customer base. In today’s supersaturated marketplace, the key to engaging Hispanic consumers in loyalty programs is by creating meaningful and relevant programs focusing on the individual needs of the Hispanic consumer.
The San Jose Group is a premier multicultural marketing agency with 30 years of experience. For more information about the agency and the campaigns mentioned in this article, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.thesanjosegroup.com
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