Brandweek Demo Memo: Hispanic Men Get Real

NEW YORK Say adios to machismo. Hispanic male immigrants are now among a new generation of men who are conquering cooking, cleaning and shopping as necessity breeds invention. For them, a quick call home provides comforting advice for brands and products that will make life as a single guy, or soltero, livable.

Latinos who come to this country to work as day laborers in construction, landscaping and restaurant jobs often find themselves on their own with many learning to cook meals, clean house and shop for the first time, according to a recent story in The Washington Post.

Many of these young men, mostly ages 21-34, reach out to loved ones via their mobile phones for advice about domestic chores: How much bleach do I use? How long do I simmer a pot of beans? These calls also keep them connected to family, creating a sense of home in this country (cooking up family favorites) and avoiding pitfalls like excessive drinking and loneliness, per the Post.

As such, brands that provide simple ideas and solutions for daily living are primed to extend their offerings, filling the unmet needs of this emerging market.

“There are obvious brand categories — cleaning, food, convenience, furniture, appliances and cultural imports — that as these men learn to build a home for themselves in this country, make a cultural connection and build their comfort zone here,” said Barbie Casasus, senior director and consumer strategist for Latino markets and fashion at Iconoculture in Minneapolis.

“Ikea, for instance, does a lot in the Hispanic market, but they’re talking to families,” she added.

Import brands and products from Mexico and Latin America are “the safe bet” when it comes to connecting culturally with recent arrivals, who have an affinity to familiar brands from home.

“They will gravitate to Goya [food], Bimbo [bakery products] or Jarritos [soft drinks],” said Casasus. “There’s so much that brands can do to connect as gender roles shift among Hispanics and women take on more responsibilities outside of the home and the expectations for men increases.”