While past Hispanic generations often focused on assimilation with the general population, as the Gen Z Hispanic adult population grows, a dominant trend is emerging. Hispanic GenZ are becoming more comfortable reclaiming their heritage and engaging with Spanish and Bilingual content. We at Santiago Solutions Group view Hispanic Heritage Month as a key opportunity to further educate marketers on the cultural insights of the Hispanic segment and what it means to be a Hispanic Gen Z in the United States.
This shift in reclaiming Hispanic heritage appears after many generations felt pressure to assimilate. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center report, 11% of American adults with Hispanic ancestry do not identify as Hispanic. Furthermore, the more generations a family has been in the United States, the less likely they will teach their children Spanish. This feeling of whitewashing one’s culture to appear “less Hispanic” often stemmed from shared experiences of feeling ostracized in school, work, and society. As a result of this desire to assimilate, many third-generation or higher Hispanic individuals tend to disconnect from their heritage and the Spanish language. In fact, while 71% of U.S.-born second-generation Hispanic parents speak to children in Spanish, less than 50% of all third or higher-generation Hispanic parents do[i].
Unsurprisingly, the Gen Z Hispanic segment has a new perspective and pride for their Latino culture and a growing motivation to get back to their roots. In recent research, it was found that:
- Half of Hispanic GenZ use Spanglish often when speaking with family and friends, compared to 40% of Millennials, 28-34% of Xers, and Boomers.[ii]
- Many Hispanics found that learning Spanish improved their family relationships and found it very fulfilling to communicate with older relatives.[iii]
- A significant portion (40-55%) of Gen Z Hispanics consume media in both English and Spanish:
Younger Hispanics are very immersed in media, and value seeing authentic representations in movies, social media, music, and even advertising. Representation and using Spanish (or Spanglish) is a key step for brands in optimizing their growth in the US Hispanic market. In other studies it is found that:
- Advertisements with a Spanglish duplicate drove 54% more clicks and 72% more engagement than their all-Spanish or all-English counterparts[iv].
- analysis indicated that in-language spots outperform mass-market spots by 1-3 quartiles among Hispanic Bilingual Media Viewers. In-language spots also resulted in a 10% lift in purchase intent, an 11% enhancement of brand perception, and a 16% increase in brand trust among the Hispanic bilingual market.[v]
- Companies can also offer services with both English and Spanish options, following the lead of brands like DishLatino[vi], who solely cater to Hispanic audiences. Newer streaming services like Canela.TV and Nuestra.TV, both of which are diverse owned and targeted media (DOTMs), have joined the entertainment space to connect with younger bilingual Hispanics.
Looking toward the future, with more of the Gen Z Hispanic community becoming adults, it’s clear that the Hispanic culture in the United States will continue to thrive and contribute to the nation’s vibrant mosaic. It’s now up to marketers and decision-makers to meet the new Hispanic consumer where they’re at and build strategy and content that reflects Hispanic culture authentically. Proper market research and marketing plans can be created uniquely for a brand’s target Hispanic consumer. Santiago Solutions Group is a proud Hispanic-owned business, and we pride ourselves in the expertise and guidance we can provide to brands to capture the Hispanic community’s heart, trust, and loyalty.
[ii] Latinos and Spanish: Views and Experience | Pew Research Center
[v] Hispanic Marketing Council: Navigating an Increasingly Critical Hispanic Cultural Environment – Cultural Inclusion Accelerator