The recent holiday season has been time for me to both celebrate and reflect. Music has often been the soundtrack to our celebrations and I tend to reflect on the origins of holiday music and how it has become so beloved.
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.
Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with the Minneapolis design firm Cue to discuss their organization’s redesign of the popular tequila brand el Jimador. The tequila was introduced in 1994 and has since become the top selling tequila in Mexico, competing in a saturated market of over 1,300 existing tequila brands. Responding to competition within an increasingly changing demographic base in both the U.S. and Mexico, el Jimador needed to find new ways to appeal to the new multicultural consumer. I was fortunate to spend a few minutes speaking with Ed Mathie, the managing director for Cue, about their efforts to strengthen el Jimador’s brand expression, and get an inside look at how engaging and value driven brand strategies are developed and implemented.
I am a big fan of Mexican-American singer Lila Downs and her music. So naturally, I was quite inspired by a recent video of her (above) where she was interviewed not only about her music, but also about her life experiences growing up as a bi-cultural individual between the U.S. and Mexico. As someone who also grew up influenced by both Caucasian and Mexican-American backgrounds, Downs’ interview delivered some resonance for me. Even though I cannot equate my own experiences with those of Downs, many of her reflections did ring with a certain amount of familiarity. This motivated me to consider the many multiracial and multicultural individuals in our communities and what they mean for us as a nation. Results from the 2010 Census have revealed that the multiracial populations increased by 50% (to 4.2 million) over the last decade. This has made multiracial individuals the fastest growing youth group in the U.S. Are we on the verge of a change in the way people view themselves within the context of race and culture?
I recently had the honor to be interviewed by the Columbus, Georgia marketing firm Nao Media & Consulting. Nao Media is the brainchild of Chris Craft and works in the fields of music, sports, and information technology. We spoke about inspirations from my journeys to Mexico and Puerto Rico, the development of Latino Branding Power, and future plans with Hispanic marketing. With permission, I have re-posted the Q&A session with Nao Media consultant Yu Miyagawa.