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Latinos ‘Sleeping Giant’ of Sustainability Marketing

Latinos are the fastest-growing demographic in the nation, yet few companies are reaching out to this group in their sustainability initiatives, according to research by advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi.

According to The Myth of the Sleeping Giant: Why Latinos are the Fastest Growing Segment the Sustainability Industry has (N)ever Seen, “the vast majority” of US companies – even those who are spending serious dollars to connect with Latinos – are not messaging to this audience about environmental sustainability.

The recent presidential election was an acute demonstration of how influential the Latino population is, and will increasingly be, but a series of myths exist in the sustainability community as to why this “sleeping giant” should not be targeted, the report says.

The first myth is that Latinos are not environmentalists. In reality, “deep-rooted cultural connections and health reasons” give rise to an innate support of environmental conservation and stewardship among Latinos, the report says. Other myths include thinking that Latinos don’t want to buy green – but, in fact, that demographic tends to be more loyal to brands that contribute positively to their communities and the environment, the report says.

However, despite these misconceptions, there are a number of companies that have successfully targeted the Latino community with sustainability initiatives.

NBCUniversal’s Green is Universal campaign is a good example, the report says. The campaign, which, for one week each year, invites viewers to learn about green issues by integrating such themes into its programming, runs across most of the company’s channels including Spanish-language Telemundo and mun2, the bilingual cable network that targets young Latinos.

General Mills’ Qué Rica Vida campaign, which promotes healthy eating and living to Latinos by embracing culinary affinities and providing recipes, health tips and deals on General Mills products, is another good example of a well-targeted and successful campaign, the report says.

In a column for Environmental Leader on reaching Latinos, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, president of Gracefully Global, argued that demonstrating powerful sustainability examples from Latino leaders is a great place to start.

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