In Miami supermarkets, Goya is a familiar brand to Cuban- American families. But in the Southwestern U.S., it’s a “new” brand to Mexican-Americans, and in New England, Goya foods are often marketed in English to acculturated Hispanics and non-Hispanics as well.
“With such wide variety in the Hispanic market, we feel like our firm is a laboratory for our clients,” says Alain Groenendaal, president and CEO of Wing, part of Grey Global Group, a WPP company. “We are always trying new things, building new platforms and exploring unconventional ideas at the junction of the U.S. Hispanic, general and Latin American markets.”
Today, much of Wing’s work revolves around assessing the “sweet spot” in the Hispanic market, then stepping back to look at the bigger picture. He adds: “From a targeting perspective, brands and agencies should be having strategic discussions right from the beginning: Who’s using the product now? What’s the growth opportunity? How can the consumer be motivated?”
Insights from Wing’s team are helping to shape the launch of XIGO, a brand offering over-the-counter pills to boost the immune system. “The name, positioning and packaging for the general market were all developed through our Invention Workshop process and were based on a Latino-inspired, more natural approach to taking care of yourself that appeals to all ethnicities,” says Groenendaal. “More brands should consider taking this holistic approach. For Pantene, Wing’s big picture expertise has made Latin America the fastest-growing region in the world.”
With offices in New York and Miami, Wing stands at the intersection of North and South America, working with multinationals like P&G in both regions and helping international brands establish themselves in the U.S. Hispanic market. “It used to be that Latin America and the U.S. were very different markets,” says Groenendaal, who has worked in Brazil, Chile and Puerto Rico. “Now the increased economic power of U.S. Hispanics and the growth of the Latin American middle class have reduced that disparity, opening the door to market synergies.”
On the other hand, Groenendaal says it’s important for brands to recognize that the U.S. Hispanic market is a group of cultures that live together. Goya provides a lesson in that diversity since its foods are purchased by different Hispanic and also non- Hispanic consumers in different regions. In New York, he says, many Anglos grew up with Goya and understand the brand but are not regular buyers.
“Identifying the target consumer was essential to developing our strategy,” says Groenendaal. “Rather than teach ‘gringos’ to use Goya products in Latino dishes, our message revolved around using Goya products to spice up meatloaf, salads and other traditional American meals.”
Wing’s campaign drove consumers to Goya’s Web site to learn more about the brand’s products and recipes. “People who are into cooking often want to try new foods and new recipes,” says Groenendaal. “The campaign tripled Goya’s Web site traffic and substantially increased sales, while building the overall brand.”
Founded in 1979 and reinvented in 2009, Wing is a pioneering communications agency in the Latino market, offering services ranging from advertising to brand consulting to packaging. “We are really in the business of invention, seeing things from a different angle and helping clients redefine their strategies,” says Groenendaal. “Our team comes from a non-traditional background, and we have the feisty spirit of a creative shop combined with the scale and resources of being part of the global WPP network.”
Wing serves a range of clients including AKL International, Eli Lilly, Goya Foods, P&G USA (Downy, Pantene, Cover Girl, Olay), P&G Latin America (Pantene), The Ad Council and The Partnership for a Drug Free America. For more information, see www.insidewing.com