At Communispace, we have successfully recruited and engaged Latinos in our communities for over a decade, and we launched our first of many Spanish-language communities in 2007. Although many companies want to engage this group using Spanish language only (and have their own acculturation algorithms for identifying who is and is not “Hispanic”), recent research indicates that these standard approaches may no longer be relevant. Latinos today are increasingly bilingual and U.S.-born, and second and third generations actively cultivate and experience a deep sense of Latino identity. It is this market of acculturated Latinos that is growing today. And it is this dynamic community—definitively Latin, yet American, too—to whom marketers need to relate more authentically.
We embarked on our latest research project with this imperative in mind. And while we have learned way too much to share it all in a blog post, I thought it would be fun (and enticing … the full report will be available in January 2011) to illustrate a few core themes. The two video clips that follow feature some of our Latino facilitators discussing how the research resonates with them.
Creating Family 2.0: Eddie, whose family is originally from Ecuador, discusses his experience of rediscovering his Latino identity and how today he is building a family grounded in his roots, but with an “American twist”:
Bonding Spanish, Office Supplies English: In this video clip, several community managers talk about how they can feel more or less “Latino” in different contexts; their dialogue really illustrates how multi-layered and dynamic Latino identity is. It also shows how the use of Spanish language can evoke and support identity in some contexts but not others:
Hopefully, these clips also illustrate the highly collaborative nature of this research project; throughout the process the research team, whose members are outside the Latino culture, worked closely with Latino community managers to design the study and interpret findings. It has also been extremely rewarding for me as the lead researcher on the project—everyone involved has readily shared their expertise and feedback, and lent their (considerable) passion and commitment to a cause they care deeply about.
The finished report will be available shortly after the first of the year. It will be prominently displayed on Communispace’s website and we will surely write about it again on Verbatim. So stay tuned!