Middle-class Hispanic families living lively lifestyles in city-centric neighborhoods
The Gen X families in Hispanic Harmony have done well in their adopted homelands. Many of the adults are Mexican-born immigrants in their 30s and 40s who’ve only recently moved to mid- sized cities in Texas and California. Most are married and raising school-aged children in their single-family homes or rental houses. Despite their mixed educations - many have less than a high-school education, while some attended college - they earn decent incomes from blue collar, sales and service-sector jobs. In their neighborhoods known for high mobility rates, Spanish is the language of choice at home and in the marketplace.
Hispanic Harmony lead relatively active, family-centered lifestyles. They play team sports like soccer, basketball and baseball. They’re close enough to rural areas that the older kids can ride horses and go rock-climbing. The adults in these city neighborhoods like the nearby nightlife and go to bars, billiards halls and comedy clubs. Although they don’t have the money for long trips, they do make regular journeys to their hometowns in Mexico.
As consumers, Hispanic Harmony make an attractive market for clothing and cosmetics retailers. They’re price-sensitive shoppers who look for affordable fashion items at stores like Sears and Family Dollar, but they’ll also spring for fancier items at boutiques where the clerks speak Spanish. Many in this segment are aspirational consumers who are in pursuit of novelty and change - as long as they can afford it. While they dream of owning luxury cars, for now they drive utilitarian vans and pickups that can double as work vehicles for their blue-collar jobs.
The family, work and religious values of Hispanic Harmony are somewhat old-fashioned. Despite their worries about money and their family’s health, they’re generally happy with all that they’ve achieved and are optimistic that they’ll continue to do better. They describe themselves as workaholics who are trying to advance their careers. These aren’t active community members who join business and civic groups. They have low levels of political involvement and are unlikely to vote, reflecting their belief that neither party will make much of a difference.
Hispanic Harmony are selective media consumers, preferring Spanish-language to English- language media. Their interest in most traditional American media - newspapers, TV and magazines – is low. Their fondness for all kinds of music helps explain their tendency to listen to the radio, particularly stations that place salsa, Tejano, Latin rock and Mexican music. They look to the Internet as a cheap way to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Whereas many middle-aged families are annoyed by advertising, these households appreciate companies trying to communicate with them. They like learning about popular culture and products that will help them feel assimilated. Because they like to shop as a family - and learn what’s popular from their kids - they’re fine with advertising targeted to their children.
Hispanic Harmony are middle-class immigrant families characterized by moderate educations and limited assimilation. Nearly nine out of ten householders are Hispanic; three-quarters were born in Mexico and most have only recently come to America. The adults tend to be middle- aged, married couples in their 30s and 40s; most of their children are still in school. The adults have mixed educations, with nearly half having less than a high school education and more than a quarter having done some college coursework. A majority work at blue-collar jobs and about a third have sales and service-sector positions. Most often, the men work in construction and transportation jobs, while the women are homemakers.
Hispanic Harmony tend to live in mid-sized cities along the Southern border with Mexico; half live in either Texas or California. Most of the families own their homes, typically single-family houses that were built since 1980 and are valued at $150,000. About one in five households live in a rented house - double the national average - and they sometimes face overcrowded conditions. In these dense city neighborhoods, nearly two-thirds of all households have lived at the same residence for fewer than five years.
With their mid-scale incomes and modest educations, Hispanic Harmony have low-key lifestyles. After long days at work, they like to head out to a bar, billiards hall, movie, comedy club or dance performance. When they dine out, they favor comfort food at chains like Denny's, Hometown Buffet and Perkins. They're weekend athletes who like jogging, soccer, basketball and baseball. Many of their cities aren't too far from rugged areas where they can fish, ride horses or climb mountains. The younger generation also likes to spend its free time skateboarding, in-line skating and boxing.
Although there's little discretionary income to spend on travel and cultural activities, these consumers often purchase home electronics and cosmetics. They travel to foreign destinations; they’re more than twice as likely as average Americans to go to Mexico. In fact, more than a quarter of these households visited Mexico in the last three years.
As shoppers, Hispanic Harmony look for bargains. They’re price-sensitive consumers who avoid going shopping unless they truly need something. They like to shop with friends and family, and they tend to favor nearby mom-and-pop shops and specialty stores. However, they will go to discount chains for the selection and bargain prices - stores like Sears, Family Dollar and Big Lots - and they will frequent mid-market mall retailers like Old Navy, Express and Victoria’s Secret. When it comes to wheels, they buy pickups, vans and SUVs - used and American-made are just fine by them.
These busy families make for middling media fans. They’re below-average consumers of TV, magazines, newspapers and the Internet, and they’re only average radio fans despite enjoying a wide range of music - everything from children’s and teen pop to Latin rock and Tejano music. They do watch children’s TV programming on channels like Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network, but they prefer Spanish-language media to anything mainstream. They’re much less likely to want to keep up with American news, sports and music than Spanish contemporary culture.
Perhaps because of the lack of Hispanic-targeted advertising, they are a responsive segment for marketers. Hispanic Harmony trust the information they read in newspaper ads. They often notice ads at bus stops and on trains. They like to hear about products and services by email and click on email ads. They remember advertised products when shopping, and their children help them make product choices for the whole family.
Hispanic Harmony have an optimistic view of life; they are happy with their situation but are still trying to make it better. Their main focus is their family - they want to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle and have the time to enjoy their home life. To that end, they work hard and try to seize opportunities to help them advance in the workplace. They’ve cultivated a close circle of friends and want to be respected by their peers. They worry about threats to their communities in the form of crime, violence and pollution.
Hispanic Harmony don’t generally get involved in their communities. They are not a politically- opinionated segment and many do not register to vote, believing that it won’t make a difference. Most are unlikely to belong to any political party. Although they attend religious services, they’re not overly concerned about supporting family values. More family-centered than community- involved, they belong to no civic groups more than the average.
Hispanic Harmony worry about their own family, making a special effort to have a healthy lifestyle. While admitting that fast food fits their lifestyle, they prefer to buy organic foods at the supermarket. If they’re not feeling well, they seek medical information from friends and the library. They’re not shy about going to the doctor and are willing to pay extra for medicine not covered by insurance.
Hispanic Harmony have decent incomes of about $60,000, but most of that goes for daily expenses and their mortgages. Now middle-aged, these Gen Xers haven’t been able to turn any extra cash into savings or income-producing assets. A majority has no investments, and many confess that they “know nothing about finance”. Many others are highly leveraged and are paying off education and car loans. Only about half of the segment’s households carry a credit card - though Visa Gold and MasterCard Gold are popular brands - and nearly two-thirds are more comfortable with debit cards, using them mainly at ATM machines. With their limited budgets, these consumers make only a modest market for both credit and insurance.
Hispanic Harmony make only a modest audience for digital media. They mostly use the Internet for information and communications, going online when they want to find a car or a job or to catch up with friends and family in their home country. They often join chat forums, check out message boards and keep up with the latest in pop culture through entertainment sites devoted to books, the arts, humor and multimedia. They also like to share content and videos using Websites like myspace.com, gaiaonline.com and facebook.com. In these households, kid- friendly Websites are also popular, including disney.com, poptropicana.com and clubpenguin.com. While the adults here are just now entering the digital arena, they are more comfortable with telephony, and they use an Internet-enabled phone and will access the Internet with a cell phone or DSL connection.