Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Immigration and Hispanic Consumer Behavior

Every 8 to 10 years the issues of undocumented immigration to the US resurfaces. Being it that most of the undocumented immigrants come from Latin America, and particularly Mexico, then the attention has been focused on them. There is no question that immigration policy is important and that it also important that businesses have the workforce they need. Also, it is important that those who want to work in the US can do it without risking their lives in a legal and orderly way. But this is not the core of this posting.

The focus is on the implications for consumer behavior that is affected by the immigration discourse and political ping-pong. Attention becomes focused on Latin American immigrants and even those who have all their documents in order or are US citizens many times become discriminated against because of suspicion and resentment. Those who have dark skin and who have accents become suspect. Common reactions to this marginalization is to stay home and to avoid much public attention. If this is the case, then online activities among Hispanic should be further enhanced by the privacy that online world offers.

Further, brands and marketers that elevate the self-esteem of Hispanics in the US are now in a perfect position to establish lasting relationships with them. Recognizing Hispanics for their important contributions to the economy, and also to the history of the US, are aspects that marketers can use to further their presence in Hispanic communities.

Marketing is about forging long lasting relationships. This is an important time for marketers to be proactive in elevating the self-esteem of Hispanic consumers and at the same time elevating the esteem of their brands.

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