Unless you’ve been living under a rock, did not follow the elections, or have not seen the many attempts of brands (not to speak of politicians on all sides) to Hispandering (our favorite and most successful one thus far is Honda’s hilarious one), Latinos are at quite an interesting juncture in their history in the United States. Although we have been a presence in the United States since, oh well, the US of A was a tiny little baby, people have taken notice of Latino’s (growing) buying power. As a result, Latino buying practices are being scrutinized and dissected. Back in October of last year, we had the opportunity to sit front row at one of the organizations trying to figure out precisely what makes Latinos tick. I’ll let you guys read and decide for yourself.

Here are some of the most interesting findings:

1. The Latino American is diverse. They are comfortable carrying multiple identities, living in an “ambiculture” of sorts I explain in depth in the Latino Rebels article. While this may not come as a surprise to Latinos, it certainly seems to be a point missed by brands trying to engage with this audience. Just ask ATT that ruined a potentially interesting, powerful new ad by referring to Latino’s ability to live in two worlds as an “identity crisis.” 

2. Space, maintaining a connection to old while forging new nooks of existence, really does matter to Latinos. For instance, Latinos in the New York and Tri-State Region maintain strong ties to communities historically known as Latino enclaves. Yet, at the same time, great growth is also occurring in neighborhoods yet untouched by our diaspora.

3. Spanish or English? Both por favor. Yet again, Latinos defy odds, and in a country where most immigrants assimilate English as a prevailing language, Latinos have opted to navigate both languages, regardless of how fluent we are in one or another.

4. Think you aren’t getting any younger? For the case of the Latino population that’s not the case. When compared to other groups, the Latino population is not only growing, it’s also getting younger. This is a great opportunity for brands to catch the attention of this group from a very young age. (Spare us tired jokes about Latinos having babies.)

It’s up to brands to wield this knowledge authentically to engage with Latino audiences in effective ways. Interested in reading a more in-depth and equally succinct account of Nielsen’s findings? Head over to Latino Rebels.