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Global Language Solutions Offers Marketing and Communication Tips for Reaching the U.S. Hispanic Community

Understanding the role of culture in a diverse business climate

NEWPORT BEACH, CA - November 17, 2006 - Whether the label "Hispanic" or "Spanish-speaking" community is used, this is a group of about 45 million, economically diverse people, living in the U.S. with an approximate spending power of $750 billion per year currently and projected to reach $1 trillion by the year 20101. It is no secret that states like California and Texas have a large Hispanic demographic. However, a lesser-known fact is that in the majority of other states, ones that most would not identify with a large Hispanic demographic, Spanish is the most frequently spoken foreign language. For instance, Illinois has over two million Spanish-speaking residents.

Numbers like these have caused the marketing world to stand up and take notice of its growing Hispanic customer base. It is a segment that is clearly demanding to be addressed within its own cultural dynamics.

All communication is cultural - it draws on ways we have learned to speak and give nonverbal messages. Analysts and scholars attach technical terms to these characteristics and beliefs that can be confusing, such as whether or not a culture is high or low context and individualist or collectivist. These are best addressed by multicultural experts; however, for those that want to get a jumpstart on the learning curve, here are a few tips from Global Language Solutions for targeting your marketing messages to the U.S. Hispanic community:

1. Reinforce a strong sense of family. Family is of the highest importance to Hispanics, and family members participate in both the shopping experience and the decision-making process. Appealing to the entire family or centering your product or service around a wholesome family image, recognizing the importance given to elders will go far with the Hispanic audience.

2. Formality is key. Do not use first names, but rather Mr., Mrs., Sir, or Ma'am unless invited to use familiar names. Respect, especially for elders, is extremely important.

3. Build relationships and trust. There needs to be a familiarity or acceptance of trust before engaging in a business proposition. U.S. based companies typically like to move quickly when garnering new customers. Expect the lead time and efforts to be greater in the acquisition of new customers. The upside of this, is that Hispanics tend to be much more loyal to brands than their English-speaking counterparts.

4. Focus on the group and the community as opposed to individual achievements. In collectivist settings, members are rewarded for allegiance to group norms and values, interdependence, and cooperation. Wherever they go, their identity as a member of their group goes out in front. Why is this important to your business and your marketing efforts? Because of the strength of family and the close-knit nature of the Hispanic community, word of mouth or referral-based marketing is a huge asset. Keep this in mind when marketing to new customers. Maintaining one happy customer is very likely to lead to many more new customers down the road.

From the differences in formality to breakdowns in communication based on a misinterpretation of nonverbal communication, understanding the important cultural differences before engaging in business or social settings can make or break a relationship.

For additional tips on marketing to Hispanic-Americans, as well as incorporating cultural sensitivity into your business initiatives and promotions, whatever the culture or language, please contact GLS or call +1-949-798-1400.

1HispanTelligence®, the research division of Hispanic Business Inc. (2004)

Note to Editors:
The above tip sheet is a partial list. To request the entire tip sheet or for reprint permissions, please email GLS or call +1-949-798-1400.

About Global Language Solutions:
Global Language Solutions (GLS) is a full-service translation company delivering solutions in over 100 languages to increase its clients' multicultural and international market share. Its clients include public and private companies, convention centers, government agencies, and multinational organizations across a variety of industries. GLS has several industry tip sheets available including: How to Select a Translation Provider; Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Translations; Using Interpreters in the Legal Setting; and more.

Company Contact:
Inna Kassatkina, President
(888) 766-6454 or (949) 798-1400

Media Relations Contact:
Melissa Gillespie
Mobile: (760) 522-4362
E-mail Melissa for reprint permissions and all Media Inquiries

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