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Pretty Revenue Picture Ahead for Beauty Brands That Target Latinas

By: Peter Filiaci
Posted: November 29, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Unlike the more general U.S. culture, which claims that beauty is only skin deep, the Latina consumer clearly says that her outer beauty is a reflection of her inner beauty. It is also clear that this emphasis on appearance was instilled from a young age by her mother. These insights were later validated by a national phone survey of both Latinas and non-Latinas conducted by Experian Simmons.

Latinas were 45% more likely to agree, “How I look on the outside projects the way I am on the inside.” Wearing makeup and looking good is essential to these consumers, more so than their non-Hispanic counterparts. Sixty-nine percent of Latinas (vs. 46% of non-Latinas) agree that, “It’s very important to wear makeup and look good.” Forty percent of Latinas (vs. 30% of non-Latinas) agree that, “I always have makeup on when I leave the house.” The research also showed Latinas were more likely to use multiple products in a typical day across skin care, hair care and cosmetics.

Given the cultural importance of looking good, it’s not surprising to hear that price is not a significant purchase consideration. In fact, Latinas were much more likely to agree that “price isn’t the most important factor—it’s getting exactly the beauty products I need” (68% of Latinas vs. 56% of non-Latinas); and they are much more likely to equate brands that are expensive with brands that work (32% of Latinas vs. 19% of non-Latinas). This willingness to spend in order to get just the right product was probably best articulated by the Latina who said, “My face has no budget.”

The rewards are clearly high for the companies and marketers who get it right with Latinas. IHS Global Insight projects Hispanics will contribute 37% of all spending growth in the personal care category over the next five years.

The great news for marketers is that the Latina consumer actually wants to hear from you. Latinas are more than twice as likely to feel that ads for beauty products are educational. But, she does expect marketers to do their part. She wants to see herself and her lifestyle reflected in advertisements: It’s an acknowledgment of her spending power as well as an indication that the product is truly for her.