Store Brands Need to Communicate with Spanish Speakers

Discussion
Oct 12, 2007

By George Anderson

A new study from Vertis Communications reveals that English-speaking Hispanics are open to trial of store brands but there remains some reluctance on the part of Spanish speakers.

According to the Customer Focus Opiniones research, 88 percent of Hispanics that speak English at home have a “positive reception” of private label but a much smaller percentage (61 percent) of Spanish speakers share the sentiment.

Of all Spanish speakers, 27 percent said they didn’t know enough about private labels to want to try them. As a point of comparison, only 14 percent of non-Hispanics answered the same way.

Jim Litwin, vice president of market insights at Vertis Communications, said in a company press release, “This data indicates that retailers with private label brands have an opportunity to market to Spanish-speaking Hispanic audiences by communicating to them in their native language. Incorporating relevant communication in marketing campaigns is imperative to establishing a connection with this influential audience.”

Interestingly, Hispanic consumers’ perception of private label improved along with their household income. Forty-four percent of adults earning less than $20,000 a year have a negative perception of store brands while 89 percent of those with household incomes between $50,000-$75,000 have positive perceptions of private label.

Store brand marketers appear to have an opportunity to reach Hispanic consumers, both English and Spanish-speaking, through the use of direct mail. Seventy-one percent of all Hispanic adults in the U.S. read direct mail advertising. Of those, 64 percent said they responded to a direct mail ad in the past 30 days. Responses were made by mail, phone, online or in-person.

Discussion Questions: Does the need for store brands to communicate with Spanish-speakers mean that private label packaging, for example, will increasingly be in Spanish? What do you see as the opportunity here and the means to realize it? How do you explain the more favorable view of private label based on income levels?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

8 Comments on "Store Brands Need to Communicate with Spanish Speakers"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
14 years 7 months ago

Notice how we are now calling it ‘private label’ as opposed to generic or no name? Private label exudes a more premium quality positioning and customers are starting to take notice. As for the Spanish element in labeling, manufacturers and vendors need to sell their products to customers who are willing to buy and if putting Spanish on the package would mean more sales (which I’m sure it would), vendors should seriously consider it and revamp and redesign based on demographics instead of shelf positioning. Remember, word of mouth marketing in the multicultural marketplace is probably the strongest marketing vehicle there is in attracting new customers to your brand.

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
14 years 7 months ago

Well you aren’t going to like this answer because it isn’t politically correct. We don’t need any labels in the USA written in Spanish, French, German, Polish, Redneck or anything other than English. To bend to the temptation to accommodate all this makes us a nation divided by language.

We are a great nation who has prospered beyond that of any other nation since the beginning of time. There are many reasons for our prosperity and a common language is one of them.

Eva A. May
Guest
Eva A. May
14 years 7 months ago
Imagine yourself in a country where you do not speak the language at all, and are forced to buy groceries in a store with no labeling in your language. You would not have a clue which products are branded or generic, and would probably be influenced by pictures on the packaging, nice-looking packaging, and awareness of a brand from your home country. In-store events such as free samples, product demos, etc., especially if they are done by someone who speaks your language, could be incredibly effective. And advertising/promotions in your language would also be extremely effective. Well, that’s what shopping is like for many first-generation U.S. Hispanic consumers. Unless a brand is communicating to them in Spanish, how will they know if it is a store brand, private label, or regular brand? Even if it’s extremely popular in the US, how is a non-English speaker going to know that it’s an extremely popular brand other than seeing lots of a certain brand in a store? My guess is that certain private label brands enjoy very… Read more »
Ben Ball
Guest
14 years 7 months ago

Sorry, but this looks like a case of “spurious correlation” to me. Higher income and more developed English language skills are also associated with Hispanics who are second/third generation and, therefore, more assimilated. Could it be the assimilation that foments store brand acceptance and not the language per se?

James Tenser
Guest
14 years 7 months ago

Any message that cannot be understood by the intended recipient may as well not be received. This is why store brand products need at least partial Spanish labeling in markets where a significant minority of shoppers are not fluent in English. This is not a moral or legal obligation, just a pragmatic one.

In some cases, familiar name brand logos may carry sufficient trust for Spanish-speaking shoppers. But store brand labels tend to rely more on words than images. The store brand purchase decision is generally based on a value calculus–the shopper reasons that the product is a better deal for the money than the comparable name brand. Absent some product knowledge to assure quality, this reasoning would be impossible.

Since first generation Spanish speakers represent the largest language minority in our country, it makes sense that retailers who count these shoppers as customers would make some effort to communicate clearly on package labels.

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 7 months ago

Supermarkets with strong private label programs might consider focused target marketing to Hispanics, using sampling and coupons, direct mail in Spanish, and Hispanic media. The economic problem for the supermarkets: private label awareness seems to be lowest among the folks with the least disposable income, so the target group might not be lucrative enough. Of course, there are many more low-income folks than high-income, so that may help the economics.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
14 years 7 months ago

Buying branded products reduces risk especially for consumers with limited English skills and/or limited incomes. They are the CPG equivalent of a “sure thing.” If private label could develop the same reputation in the Spanish speaking community there’s no reason they shouldn’t do well.

Brian Anderson
Guest
14 years 7 months ago

Marketers who choose not to devote significant time and effort to the Hispanic population are missing out on a vital consumer segment that is growing faster than any other minority group in the United States. Being a global market place means breaking the code to connect with all segments.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

How likely is it that retailers will begin to produce store brands just in Spanish?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...