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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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Levy—who has held leadership roles with prominent brands in the industry, including L’Oréal’s Lancôme, Wella/Procter & Gamble and The Estée Lauder Companies —noted the Hispanic customer is very important at Macy’s, and discussed the changes that have taken in place in Macy’s retail strategies. “Now we know who this consumer is and it’s been an evolution. When it comes to the skin care category, for example, Clinique, Lauder and Lancome, these commercials break into the Hispanic consumer market, both with a literal representation of Hispanics in their message and marketing, as well as with spokesmodels, and on behalf of Macy’s we’ve always been in this space. But, with the beauty consumer, we’re really there now,” she said.

“In the areas where Spanish is spoken more predominantly, we make sure our beauty representatives speak Spanish. We’re also selecting the appropriate color ranges. If it’s not the right color for the consumer, you see that consumer only once, so we make sure we have the colors and products to reach the community. Throughout the store we convey this understanding of the consumer, and for fragrance, which is off the charts, it’s about how we make it happen in the store.”

Vegas added, “At P&G, we embrace everyone’s similarities but celebrate the differences. The way you talk to the customer is key, and you need to know that with the products. For example, you can’t fulfill the hair care needs of the Hispanic consumer with volume shampoo. Hair is a different category where you have to design special products, unlike with diapers, for example, since diapers are for every baby. With diapers, it’s how you talk to the customer.”

In response to a question about making marketing that is more inclusive, Vegas said, “The Latin market is also influencing the general market. For example, Sofia Vergara and Eva Mendes are P&G representatives, and product ranges hold appeal for a wide audience, from mass consumers seeking the value equation to prestige consumers, for whom ‘me’ time is important. Even though the Hispanic market over-indexes in lower income, it’s amazing that in the beauty category they’ll go the extra mile and get the fragrance or cosmetic product they want.”

Levy responded to the need for tailoring the product assortment, saying, “Right now we know who the consumer is, and while we used to offer everyone the same stuff, we now continually look at the sell-through and have the range in cosmetics and beauty that the customers want. We are focused on making sure that the products and brands we have are there for the market.” Focusing on star products for the store, Levy said, “When Paco Rabanne hit the shelves, the momentum was incredible. It’s the whole 360 as you’d say at P&G, but you have to have the right model, and Paco Rabanne has heritage, which means a lot. However, the juice is the most important. We all know that fragrance sells like wildfire in South America, so we have to make sure it’s right.”