BY JIM LEGG
Executive Vice President, The San Jose Group

When analyzing the Hispanic population in the U.S., we’ve noticed firsthand the transformations taking place within the segment throughout the years. One that is undoubtedly worth highlighting is the emergence of a new cultural identity — the Nueva Latina. This new segment represents the largest (26%) and fastest-growing Hispanic woman sub-segment of the entire U.S. Hispanic women population with a marketing size of four million.

A few key areas to focus on when examining this new sub-segment are the ways in which the Nueva Latina’s profile differentiates from the traditional and/or unacculturated Hispanic woman.

“Marianismo”

In many instances, when describing the role of the Hispanic woman, we have used the term “marianismo” as a defining characteristic. It is the tendency for a woman/wife to embody characteristics such as emotional, kind, instinctive, whimsical, docile, compliant, vulnerable and unassertive. These qualities tend to perfectly fit and provide balance within a machismo society where women are expected to raise their children, be spiritually pure and submissive to the demands of men.

For the most part, we continue to see the unacculturated, traditional Hispanic woman conform to marianismo. However, the farther we move along the acculturation spectrum, and closer towards the Nueva Latina, the less we notice marianismo.

Evolution of the Nueva Latina

As the Nueva Latina embraces some of the American cultural values such as being more self-reliant, assertive, impervious and driven, she continues to maintain some characteristics of the Latina culture, such as being emotional, instinctive and family oriented. She is proud to embrace the duality of her American and Hispanic culture and does not defined herself as from one place or another, but rather from a blended place that is her own.

The Nueva Latina is best described as a second-generation Hispanic (or has lived half of her life or more in the U.S.), college educated and a career woman. She is open to change and feels she has control of her destiny. In addition, she firmly believes in developing relationships where both males and females are mutually vested in contributing financially, emotionally, and sharing household responsibilities.

Language Preference & Media Consumption

A greater number of Nueva Latinas prefer to communicate in Spanish (45%) over English (31%). Although we notice this trend in her language of preference, her media consumption skews towards English. Sixty percent of Nueva Latinas prefer either general market programming, such as “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars,” or English-language content that is culturally relevant to her lifestyle, such as “Ugly Betty.” This dichotomy could be attributed to the lack of media channels in Spanish, particularly television channels, that provides relevant content that reflects her new reality and lifestyle.

The Challenge

Hispanic marketers are not only challenged with selecting the appropriate media channels that will best reach the Nueva Latina, but also with creating relevant content in her language of preference. To be effective in reaching her, it is essential that we have a deep understanding of her needs, desires, and inspirations to allow us to connect her and our brands at the core. Perhaps by simply understanding that she views her success through her own personal achievements, marketers will have better insights into how to communicate with this new and unique sub-segment of the Hispanic woman.

Story courtesy: MediaPost Engage:Hispanics