Localization: The Booming Hispanic Market
Having already discussed the importance of localisation, we will now drill down to look at where you could look to expand your global outreach. The focus of this piece is on the booming Hispanic/Latino/Spanish-American market.
There are approximately 24 native Hispanic countries in the world. Subsequently, demand for localization has increased but businesses are still failing to acknowledge the regional differences between Spanish speaking countries, and adapt to each locale accordingly.
Between 2000 and 2010, American-Hispanic buying power more than doubled (Selig Centre for Economic Growth). Latino’s make up a sixth of the American population. Failing to ‘speak’ to this consumer market in the right way will inevitably damage profits.
The Spanish language in translation – adapting across borders
Many businesses will assume that having a Spanish language version of their website is enough. However, multilingual SEO and the ability to enforce a brand message that locals can relate to depends on how well a business localizes by region.
That’s not to say a business needs to completely re-write its content; but it does need to be aware not to fall into the translation trap of thinking Spanish is the same across all borders. What may denote ‘high quality car’ in America may translate into something completely different (even offensive) in the Dominican Republic. Check out these top 10 advertising blunders made by well-known global brands.
Language isn’t static – nor are the buying behaviors of any market, including that of Latino consumers
Statistics collated by The Economist suggest that nowadays, only 23% of young Hispanics born in the US prefer to be communicated to in Spanish rather than English; a dramatic reversal of opinion from that held in the 80’s. Despite the certainty that Spanish will continue to dominate much American advertising space for a long time to come, this shift towards its relative decline creates a new consumer group; the Spanish-influenced, English speaking Latino group that remains true to the distinct sociographic trends associated with the culture, but shows variance with regards to consumer habits.
Whether brands subtly address the Hispanic market in generic advertising or target as a completely separate audience, one thing is for certain; fail to neglect the biggest demographic trend in recent American history, fail to remain competitive. It’s that simple.