Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Duality of Language and the Corona Case Study

In picking up where we left off yesterday, I wanted to touch on the duality of language in the Hispanic market. The Hispanic market is a rather complex market to tap because of its bilingual nature - Spanish, English and even the mix of the two, Spanglish.

Spanish speaking Hispanics may be complex to market to but they are relatively easy to target. However, what about English speaking Hispanics? When is it appropriate to market to Hispanics in English? What about marketing to those that are bilingual?

These questions go back to the culture, family dynamics of the household, the relative roles that each member assumes and the role of both English and Spanish. As I discussed yesterday, language is intertwined with and defined by one's previous cultural experiences. According to the 2003 Yankelovich Multicultural Monitor, Spanish is most often the language of the Hispanic home while English is often the language of work and school. What's interesting is that 80% of the US Hispanic population uses Spanish at home but 70% of these people also claim to understand English very well due to the necessity of speaking English in the workplace and at school. This duality of language is pervasive in Hispanic life. For instance, when you quantify the time spent watching tv in the US Hispanic market, Hispanic consumers watch just as much tv in English as they do in Spanish.

As you can imagine, the issue of language can present both problems and opportunities for the marketer. For instance, on one hand, choosing a language to market to Hispanics requires a real understanding of the target market. On the other, there is also an opportunity to capitalize on the ever growing English speaking Hispanic market.

Anyhow, this discussion leads into another rather good case study - Espanol Marketing and Communication, Inc. and Corona Extra Beers (another crappy website).
What's interesting here is that Corona, through it's US importer, Barton Beers, sought out Espanol to market to the US Hispanic market (specifically Mexican American males of legal drinking age). Over the years, US domestic beers had been targeting the US Hispanic market with solid success.

Through quantitative and qualitative studies of the market, Espanol was able to determine US Hispanic consumers tended to be loyal to their home country's beer. Mexican beers were perceived as being premium beers to be consumed on special occasions where US beers were consumed on the other more regular occasions. Additionally, Espanol discovered that Corona's popularity in America was a great source of national pride for Mexican Americans.

Based upon this understanding of the market, Espanol positioned Corona to the Hispanic market as "proudly Mexican" (orgullosamente mexicana). Corona's communications tapped into this sense of pride through visualizations and messages that reinforced Mexican culture.

The result of understanding the cultural aspects of the Hispanic market has been a growth in sales and share for Corona Extra. And, like the book points out, in an industry known for advertising by using scantily clad women, sports and humor, Corona and Espanol showed how their unique approach of using national pride and culture was able to reach Mexican Americans.

No comments: