Economic Borders taking the place of National Borders

13 Jan 2005|spalacios

I was reading “The Rise of the U.S. Hispanic Market” on my trip to and from Monterrey, Mexico this week. While there are some big questions I have with the author’s perspective many issues, there was one idea that struck home. That idea is the articulation of the North American Cultural Area (NACA) as an emerging market. This idea suggests the Hispanic market in the US is extending beyond political borders, creating a new type of consumer who requires different products and services. It struck home because

for over two years now, Cheskin has been advising clients about the next great opportunity in Hispanic marketing – the transnational consumer.

In fact, I was in Mexico with our Mexico country representative, Maria Flores Letelier, working with clients on creating offerings and strategies for both the U.S. and Mexican markets. Increasingly, our work with Hispanics in the U.S. and in Mexico is showing how the flow of ideas, brands, products and services are affording our innovative clients to seize advantage through deeper consumer insights. Knowing how brands, products and services need to be tweaked, offered differently or all in all re-created is what we are working on more and more.

Large actors, like Citibank, HSBC, Bank of America in the financial services realm are creating a new financial infrastructure that is paving the way beyond traditional remittances for new products and services that reach Hispanic on both sides of the border. Insurance companies are looking at the same phenomena, offering health insurance across the border to both ex-pat American retirees in Mexico and to extended family members of Mexican and Mexican Americans in the U.S. Media companies are redefining programming to address different life experiences and narratives of the cross border cultural collide. Food and beverage companies and consumer goods companies like Proctor & Gamble, retailers like HEB and Walmart, are at the early stages of understanding and responding to NACA’s potential.

It is pretty exciting stuff, involving new market creation and innovation. Our deep cultural connections on both sides of the border are being facilitated by the convergence of technology, free market economics (10 years of NAFTA) and the accelerating of growth in the market. Personally, I love to be working on what’s next.

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