This past month, I had the pleasure of sharing in a panel presentation about the importance of Latino marketing and branding. Presented by the Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence (GRAPE) and hosted at Amway headquarters in Ada, Michigan, the panel discussion featured myself and three other invited guests – all respected Latino/a professionals in West Michigan. What followed was an engaging and well-informed discourse, not only on the subject of Latino marketing, but also about acculturation, demographic labeling, and even politics.
GRAPE is an non-profit organization started in 2009 by local Grand Rapids entrepreneur John Potter. The organization hosts several events throughout the year that seek to provide collaborative learning opportunities for its members and local business professionals. At the encouragement of its Latino constituents, GRAPE sought to begin a dialogue about Michigan’s growing Latino demographic and the impact it will continue to have on businesses and organizations. I was honored to be vetted as part of a September panel discussion dedicated to the topic of Hispanic marketing.
Entitled, Latino Branding: A Critical Marketing Trend, the panel’s participants along with myself included: Jorge Martinez-Bonilla, Research Director for LatinoEyes, a research consultancy division of C+R Research; Luciano Hernandez, the owner of industrial design firm Tiger Studio; and San Diego native Roya Bruce, Educational Marketing Director at Herman Miller. Monica Robles, Senior Business Development Specialist for Amway North America, was the moderator.
I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and questions from those that attended the event. There were many insightful moments, such as when one of the audience members asked our thoughts about Latino voters and what kind of impact they will have on upcoming elections and the future of politics. Fortunately, GRAPE records their events for the purpose of documentation and sharing online, so a video presentation is available. Please access the video below to see and hear the panel discussion (1 hour, 9 minutes):
Thank you to John Potter for the invitation, to Monica for hosting and moderating, and to Jorge, Roya, and Luciano for their professionalism, friendships, and bringing their a-game to the discussion.