Acculturation is incorporating traits from other cultures while keeping the traditional customs and the native language close. The Hispanic population is divided into three types of acculturation: Non-acculturated, semi-acculturated and fully –acculturated.
Although the Hispanic market actively embraces new technology platforms, they are loyal and remain faithful to their roots. This is known as acculturating by incorporating other cultures (American) while keeping loyal to traditional cultures of your own ethnic group.
Because the Hispanic market represents the largest ethnic group in the U.S. and has a buying power which has grown 45% in the last 5 years to $1.38 trillion, it is important that companies wanting to do business with this demographic understand the nuances within the Hispanic population.
Recent Hispanic immigrants are among the non-acculturated. They operate mainly within the Latino culture, speaking, reading and writing primarily in Spanish. They stay within their communities, and deal mainly with other Spanish speakers. The non-acculturated come mainly from Central America and Mexico. They are heavily influenced by churches, discos, Wal-Mart, video stores and street advertising in Spanish.
The semi-acculturated also speak mainly in Spanish but navigate freely in both cultures. They hail primarily from South American, Puerto Rico and Cuba and are influence by Hispanic organizations, the workplace and professional associations.
The fully acculturated are among the native born Hispanics. Most Hispanics in the U.S. are native born and that number continues to grow. It has been shown the Hispanic Millennials are heavily influenced by social media. They are more willing to consume media and are heavy users of mobile devices. Those companies who advertise in both Spanish and English seem to connect with these Millennials confirming their traditional connection to their culture yet communicating to them in English. They cherish their cultural language yet immerse themselves in the American culture.
Companies who acknowledge and address these acculturation differences will do very well in marketing to this dynamic and growing market.