Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Branding Implications of the Relationship between Hispanic Familism and Brand Related Behaviors: A Latent Variable Model Approach

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Branding Implications of the Relationship between Hispanic Familism and Brand Related Behaviors: A Latent Variable Model Approach

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Hispanics have been in what is now the southwestern U.S. since the 1500s (Marin & Marin, 1991; Alonzo, 1998). The growth of this ethnic population has been the result of both a relatively high birth rate and consistent migration and immigration of individuals from other Spanish language countries of origin. This growth and geographic concentration of Hispanics is reinforced by their shared language, religion, and cultural world view. For these reasons it has been noted that Hispanics share more cultural similarities than differences (Webster, 1994).

Today, U.S. Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the U.S. With a current population of over 50 million, Hispanics are expected to triple in size by 2050. The Pew Hispanic Center states that Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin Hispanics account for about 78 percent of all U.S. Hispanics. In addition to their size, the U.S. Hispanic population has a considerable amount of purchasing power. The Selig Center suggests it will reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, accounting for about 11% of the total U.S. buying power. Currently, a significant amount of this buying power is concentrated in the states of California ($253 billion), Texas ($175 billion), and Florida ($101 billion). As a testament to the importance of U.S. Hispanics purchasing power, Jeff Humphreys notes it is larger than the entire economies of all but 14 countries in the world. Given these demographics characteristics, brands wishing to remain viable will undoubtedly have to consider how the U.S. Hispanic market fits into their marketing and branding strategies. This, in turn, underscores the importance of continuing to improve our understanding of Hispanic consumer behavior (HCB).

Many studies concerning Hispanic consumer behavior (HCB) have been conducted. One major area of emphasis has been brand loyalty. Understanding brand loyalty for U.S. Hispanics is important, as brand loyalty is essential factor of the long-term success of brands and companies. With this in mind, the goal of the current study is to investigate for U.S. Hispanics the relationship between familism, a Hispanic core cultural value, and consumer behaviors conceptually related, positively or negatively, to branding. Using two independent samples of U.S. Hispanic adults, the current study takes a latent variable approach to understanding how familism is related to the consumer behavior measures used.

The remainder of the manuscript is organized as follows: first, background of the terms Hispanic and ethnicity are noted. Next, the differences between cultural values and core cultural values are presented. This is followed with the identification of Hispanic core cultural values. Next, the conceptual overlap between familism and brand loyalty is suggested. Then a brief review of research on U.S. Hispanics and brand loyalty is given. Finally, hypotheses between familism and brand loyalty related outcomes are presented. Targeting and branding implications for U.S. Hispanics are then presented and discussed.

The Terms Hispanic and Ethnicity In Brief

A common misconception related to the term Hispanic is that it refers to a race of people. To the contrary, the term refers to an ethnicity, defined by the sharing of common cultural values and behaviors (Betancourt & Lopez, 1993; Foster & Martinez, 1995). An ethnic group is comprised of individuals and their descendents who share common cultural values and behaviors, who live outside the ethnic group's geographic region of origin (Cohen, 1978) and in a new cultural context with other ethnic groups (Johnson, 1990). Thus, the term Hispanic is used to refer to individuals who trace their origins to any of the Spanish-speaking nations of the world (Flores-Hughes, 1996). Hispanic ethnicity has been conceptualized and operationalized as a psychological construct comprised of two primary components, ethnic identity and cultural value(s) (e. …

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