The U.S. LatinX Market Needs A Better Elevator Pitch

LatinX are driving trends and shaping American culture. Furthermore, the astounding economic success of the Latino community deserves more in-depth coverage rather than focusing on outdated models like acculturation.

The U.S. Latino Market

There’s a market as big as India’s right here in the United States and it remains largely untapped and severely undervalued. That market has $1 trillion dollars of raw purchasing power right now and it is projected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. This market has been forgotten, underserved and undervalued for decades. The dismissal has a few pillars that are more folk tale than hard science. So rather than emotional rebuttal of folk tales, I want of offer my point of view as a market observer and entrepreneur living in the Silicon Valley.

The numbers

1 in 6 Americans identified themselves as Latino/a. Furthermore, Latino purchasing power is about 9.6% of the total in the US and is growing at an astonishing rate.

By 2020 it is projected that the purchasing power of Latinos would be $1.7 trillion as stated in this Forbes article where the author analyses the $1 Trillion Hispanic Market. Consider what Alex Ruelas, cofounder of the Austin-based ­marketing agency LatinWorks says:

The Hispanic ­market is no longer being viewed as a niche, minority market for a lot of companies. It’s becoming a fairly major part of the mainstream, and it’s helping to reshape the overall ­universe of consumers in a way that’s a bit surprising to people.

Furthermore, Glenn Llopis, founder of the Center for Hispanic Leadership, cites a few key characteristics of the Hispanic economic powerhouse.

Research indicates that online consumers, and Hispanics in particular, are influenced by value-added impressions that target them specifically. We need only look at Amazon to see how successful this approach has been with the general population. It is a model that other retailers can follow as they extend their online efforts to target and serve the Hispanic market. As the fastest adopters of new technology, Hispanic consumers provide myriad opportunities to reach them online, via mobile devices, and through social media.–– Glenn Llopis.

Why Are Big Brands Confused About The Latino Market?

The categorization of a diverse demographic into a single low value profile is widely accepted as industry standard –– and that is wrong. It diminishes the value of a consumer by not making it a priority. Brands need to simplify the message and make it appealing to consumers.

In a recent article about the success of the Yahoo! US Hispanic, Javier Garcia defines the diversity of these audience as an asset that needs to be understood and that needs to be addressed by a multi-channel and bilingual marketing strategy.

What can the Latino Community to continue to grow?

Assume Responsibility

Latinos in power have to own the responsibility of paving the way for the rest to follow. There needs to be a lot more people like Sol Trujillo speaking out for Latinos as the next engine of growth in the US.

Find Role Models Not Heroes

Culture moves fast and we need symbols of our progress and future while respecting our past. We must highlight the role models of today who are actively creating a brighter tomorrow.

Focus on Business

Yes, there is a huge immigration problem. Yes, it is unjust and something should be done about it and yes we should all be part of the solution. But there is a reality in this country: business dictates policy.

Latinos are, to a great extent part of the 99%, fighting every day to build a better future. We chase the American dream and we expect no volume discount. We came here to work hard and to build a better future for us, our families and the ones that will come after us. We need to build ourselves into a financial pillars of our communities and then build a road and lend a hand to others that want to follow your lead.

Stop seeking “mainstream” approval

Mainstream publications are validating Latino influence as you can see in the covers of Time , Rolling Stone and Forbes Magazines.

Latinos are shaping what being American means. Our hunger to improve and our believe that the American Dream is real is what keeps the LatinX community moving forward and growing. From subtle signs in e-commerce, like the success of a large internet retailer like casa.com (owned by Amazon) that is using Spanish in their URL to sell millions of families across America.

Latinos need to stand up and represent at all levels of business and politics.