Mobile Devices Evolution and Impact on Our Lifestyles

This article is Part 2 of a previous article, Mobile Devices—Our Lifestyle Connections What came first, the earbuds or the iPhone? Perhaps future generations will ponder this question when all other music mediums from records to compact discs, from 8-tracks to audio cassettes and from Walkmans to Discmans are long forgotten and the earbud headphones and iPods are as inseparable as the chicken and the egg. – Cassandra Bremer, Junior Executive at The San Jose Group Fact: more people go to bed and wake up with their smartphones than they do with other people. Okay well, honestly, I cannot declare that a fact, but I would be willing to believe it. Recently, my night time novels spend more time collecting dust than being read while my iPhone’s crossword, Words-With-Friends and Draw Something apps have become a part of my bed time routine. When I wake up in the morning, next to my alarm clock, my phone is the first item I reach for to check the weather and play music. At this point, if somebody asked me, “why do you have a cell phone?” I might look at them and respond, “why do you wear shoes? Because you need them.” We do know smartphones have impacted our lifestyles, but not to what extent. For instance, are we as a culture more likely to use smartphones to communicate via email, text or phone conversation? To get some answers, we distributed a short interoffice survey around The San Jose Group. The Results I’m willing to bet Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) from NBC’s Saved by the Bell used the cell phone solely for communication purposes—it was not capable of performing other tasks. Our survey results, on the other hand, show a shift has occurred in function and usage. Communication utilities, specifically texting, emailing and calling, just holds the majority (55%) as the most used functions; the remaining 45% falls under entertainment. In other words, almost half of the time we use our phones, we are using them for entertainment (music, games, etc.)....

read more

A Brand is a Knot into which Relationships are Tied

Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins are in quite a predicament. Because of Guillen’s recent controversial remarks about a certain Cuban dictator, the baseball team who is all ready struggling to fill the seats in its new stadium just offended its target audience. The target happens to be among the largest MLB fan population in the United States and also one of the most brand loyal populations: Cuban/Latin Americans. Guillen’s lapse in thinking before speaking may cause the Marlins to lose money and their fan base. The Marlins had not even earned their target over, let alone built loyalty when Time Magazine released the article in which Guillen claimed to “love” and “respect” Fidel Castro. Having just begun the season with a new stadium, new management and new expectations, the Marlins were hoping to increase their fan base by gaining a following among the Latin population in Miami, particularly those residing in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium. Now, just seven games into the season, they have obviously not earned any loyalty and are conversely facing possible boycotts until Guillen resigns or his contract is terminated. Brand loyalty, in theory, is a two way street. I invest in your products, and you continue to provide me with top of the line goods and services with guaranteed satisfaction. In that sense, brand loyalty is about building and maintaining a relationship. As with any relationship, purchasing decisions are eased into, they do not happen instantly. Like a first date, I’ll try the brand out. It’s going okay, so I’ll take it to the next level: tell my friends about it. After a while, the brand becomes a part of my life/ identity (I don’t even consider looking at any other brands). Much is the same when the brand relationship comes to a negative end; the fall outs are hard. If a brand offends me, they can do nothing to get me back. I might have a moment of weakness and return to the brand—give them the chance regain my...

read more

Hispanic Grocery Retailer: Bodega vs. Big-Box Store

Apr 10, 12 Hispanic Grocery Retailer: Bodega vs. Big-Box Store

Posted by in CPG

Big-box chains have been expanding their ethnic offerings to better serve general and multicultural consumers. Supermarkets and superstores have been increasing aisle areas for ethnic products, adding signage and bilingual staff and even revamping entire stores in areas densely populated by Hispanics. As big (general market) businesses advance into established ethnic neighborhoods, is there room for traditional bodega-style grocery stores to survive in this context? According to a study sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute, over half of all U.S. Hispanics shop at ethnic grocery shops (bodegas, carnicerias and panaderias) – that’s more than 25 million consumers. Only 12% of U.S. Hispanics declare bodegas as their primary store. Another key finding suggests that a third of all Hispanics’ grocery dollars are being spent in ethnic stores and smaller, local-level grocery stores. This pattern is clearer among foreign-born Hispanics as well as in heavily Hispanic areas. Their shopping behavior and frequency create a complex picture that defies simple, linear explanations. For example, take shopping frequency among Latinos. Latinos go shopping more than three times the general market consumer average by making numerous small, fill-in trips. That’s more than three times the general market. Forty percent of these trips are to bodegas, other traditional Hispanic stores and smaller grocers. In terms of cultural drivers, Latinos tend to see shopping as a social occasion rather than a mandatory chore. They often shop in the company of their families, and take their time to select products based on quality, price and promotions. Contrary to popular belief, low-income, Spanish-dominant Hispanics are more brand loyal than their higher income U.S.-born Latino counterparts. While Hispanics overindex at Wal-Mart and Target, the big-box advance into ethnic merchandising does not herald the end of the bodega segment, but rather a complementary relationship. Despite Spanish signage, competitive prices and bicultural staff put in place by big retail nowadays, the bodega still provides a unique shopping experience, one that is specially valued by foreign-born Latinos as well as third-generation Latinos going through nostalgic retro-acculturation. The...

read more

Painful Advertising Mistakes – #2

We continue our blog on Painful Advertising Mistakes when launching a campaign to a multicultural market. Painful Mistake #2 Rule: Be mindful of Hispanic cultural beliefs. “Come to the Bank for an ‘Action of Last Resort’” According to “Top Ten Mistakes Companies Make Marketing to Hispanics,” by The Marketing Edge Consulting Group’s Beth Goldstein, the word “mortgage” carries negative connotations to some Spanish speaking people, for it translates to, “action of last resort.” Additionally, in some Spanish speaking countries, banks are not viewed as a place people trust, and in the United States, some Hispanic immigrants have a phobia of handling financial matters outside of the Spanish language. As a result, many Hispanics are cautious about using banking services in the United Sates. If a bank suggests a Hispanic immigrant take a mortgage out on his/her house, the immigrant might be even more cautious because he/she does not see it as a good thing, but as the last resort. Moral of the Story: With a culture as large as the Hispanic market, advertisers must gain an understanding of the many facets of the Hispanic culture. Advertisers should educate their target audiences on their products—making sure not to use language that might scare their target market away. Stay tuned for Painful Mistake #3 in a future...

read more