ResearchMar 27th, 2024

Brand Loyalty and the Hispanic Community

Brand Loyalty Hispanic

Brand Loyalty for the Masses

There is no shortage of conversations about the value of brand loyalty. As Forbes points out in an article from a few years ago, when you think of sports apparel, you immediately think of Nike’s Swoosh.

How does Nike capture deep customer loyalty and permanently rent positive space in our brains? It’s simple. They are relentless in understanding their customers and successfully promoting the idea that they sell quality products at affordable prices. They tie their products to people we admire - think Michael Jordan - and they use data to drive everything that they do so that their product connects with us emotionally. We like them so we buy their products.

How does their brand loyalty translate into dollars? That’s easy. Look at this graph from Statista and you’ll see that an image is worth 1,000 words.

Brand Loyalty within Automotive

That little exercise with Nike shows that brand loyalty, when done well, translates into dollars for smart companies.

What does brand loyalty look like in the Hispanic community and what might this mean for car dealers?

Let’s start with Toyota. Back in 2015, Toyota celebrated being the number 1 car brand for US Hispanics for 10 years. No joke. And if you check the stats, they have remained at the top ever since.

In 2022, Automotive News pointed out that Toyota had been Number 1 for 19 years and over that time the “Hispanic contribution to the brand’s overall US sales has doubled to 24% from 12% in 2010.”

We’ve seen the same thing in our annual survey of US Hispanic car buyers since 2020. Every year Toyota has been at the top of the list (although in 2023 we found them to be scrapping with Nissan for first place).

This isn’t an accident. Since 1987, Toyota has sought to build a strong relationship with the Hispanic community. Year after year they have created ad campaigns that both promoted their vehicles and echoed values that are important to US Hispanics. And year after year many of their dealers have engaged Hispanic shoppers in ways that build trust and brand loyalty in the community.

What Can Dealers Do to Build Brand Loyalty for US Hispanics?

Lesson 1 to Build Loyalty: Treat People Well

Our first chunk of data from our survey teaches you what you shouldn’t do if you want to build loyalty. In response to the question “Which of the following difficulties have you encountered when trying to purchase a vehicle in the area where you live (you can select more than one difficulty)?”, you can see pressure points where things can go wrong. Prejudice, communication difficulties, ID issues, and difficulty finding a dealership are all problems that a dealer can avoid with good management. If a dealer wants to build a good reputation (and thus build brand loyalty), they can treat their shoppers well, have bilingual salespeople, communicate clearly in the advertising what identifications are accepted, and can promote heavily that they have staff who speak Spanish.

Lesson 2 to Build Loyalty: Advertise in Spanish

Our data over the last 4 years shows that when shoppers are asked if they would travel further to shop at a dealership if they marketed to them in Spanish, the majority consistently say “Yes!”.

Advice: Advertise and post a portion of your organic content in Spanish to connect with your community.

Lesson 3 to Build Loyalty: Speaking Spanish and Treating Hispanic Shoppers Well Create Referrals

Referrals are a powerful indicator of brand loyalty. In our surveys, we have consistently found that when we ask Hispanic buyers if they would refer someone they know to a dealer who speaks Spanish and treats them well, the vast majority say “Yes!”. For the last two years, around 75% said that they said that they were very likely to do so. Those are some compelling numbers.

What Does All This Data Tell Us?

Successful dealers already know that if you personalize your services, understand what your customers want, and then treat them well, it’s money in the bank.

Building brand loyalty contains the same characteristics. In Toyota’s case, Toyota didn’t just market to US Hispanics in Spanish, they instead made a concerted effort to understand Hispanic culture and then communicate that understanding through their ads and the programs they used to encourage their dealers to sell to the community.

This strategy by Toyota is backed up by other research by the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Their research of 1,427 US Hispanic adults showed that the community is loyal to brands that “exhibit respect for [Hispanic] heritage”. Simply put: cultural understanding and authenticity count in advertising.

In our case, our data agrees with these ideas and tells dealers that they should:

  1. Eliminate all obstacles to building a good reputation in the community. They should hire bilingual staff, market to the culture to let everyone know that their dealership welcomes Hispanic buyers and do anything else that makes the buying process as easy as possible.
  2. Advertise in Spanish and then treat everyone who visits well. This will generate referrals and build loyalty.
  3. Apply logic to the findings and create a referral program to capitalize on the goodwill that you’re building in the community.

More things can be done to create loyalty, but the truth is that all begin with understanding your market and treating your customers well. Do that and you’ll build a loyal following that will be the source of new and repeat customers for years to come.

    With over two decades of experience revolutionizing the automotive industry, Adam leads SurgeMetrix who, through Bilingual Marketing Strategies, AI powered SEO, Market Intelligence Analytics, & Cybersecurity solutions, help dealerships build new markets. 

    Focused on data - finding it, understanding it, leveraging it and protecting it -  Adam is invested in providing solutions which help dealers make informed decisions about how best to sell cars.

    View full profile
    Curated, quality insights?
    Content worth the click