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Marketing Beauty to the Hispanic Consumer

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 20, 2012

From left, Alexandra Vegas, P&G; Graciela Eleta, Univision; and Linda Levy, Macy’s, discussed Marketing Beauty to the Hispanic Consumer.

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According to Levy, who leads marketing customer centricity for all families of business at Macy's, “At Macy’s, we over-index with the Hispanic customer, and the beauty customer is even higher. It’s off the charts, and with the Hispanic customer, we have the data now to support it.”

Vegas, who began her marketing career more than 17 years ago as a hair care assistant brand manager in Procter & Gamble’s Caracas, Venezuela office, has been the driving force behind the growth of such top-tier brands as Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Pampers and Ace. She noted the youthfulness of this market, saying, ““It’s interesting how young the Hispanic population is, with 34-35% of the Hispanic population younger than 18 years of age. With the beauty industry the Hispanic population gets involved early, as with quinceañeras.” She cited the customary celebration of the 15 year-old girl’s birthday in Latin culture, a coming of age for young Latinas in the community, as well as an opportunity to dress beautifully and wear makeup. “Understanding the way the brands work with the Hispanic customer is essential,” she said.

Eleta agreed regarding overall attitudes, “The importance beauty has for Hispanic consumers is significant. From an early age, it’s important to have the right ponytail, makeup etc. For us, outer beauty really reflects who we are. I know I’m stereotyping, but it’s all right. For Caucasians, it’s more about fitness and lifestyle. For Hispanics, it’s all about the end, the lipstick and the blusher.”

Eleta, speaking about color cosmetics, also noted the preference for natural cosmetics. She cited the use by Hispanics of lemon, Avena, or Porcelana, a skin lightening and fade cream, for the skin. “We’re looking to enhance our own beauty. Brands like Trésemme and Pantene, which target frizz are big in the Hispanic market; as well as products that offer corrective measures for skin and sunspots,” she said.

Latinas also over-indexed in fragrance as well. “It’s off the charts for Hispanics," said Eleta. "Whether it’s J-Lo or also super prestige.” Likewise, she cited the male Hispanic propensity for grooming products and the concept of “vanidoso,” a type of vanity for men, which is actually a positive. “Way before metrosexual became cool, Hispanic men were using moisturizing and personal care products,” she said.

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