Humanizing Your Brand

  |  December 20, 2010   |  Comments

A look at how other brands are creating a more personal and human experience with Latino consumers. Last in a two-part series.

When I started writing part two of my "Facebook: The Latino Way" column, the below tweet came to my mind.

razzetti-tweet

I could replace the word "people" with "Latinos" and it would make even more sense, especially considering the social nature of Hispanics. As Jerry Rocha, VP of media solutions at Nielsen, shared at ad:tech, 62 percent of Hispanics participated in social networking vs. 38 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Facebook is the place where Latinos hang out, interact, and look for information. Facebook has become an open diary where all relevant (and sometimes trivial) experiences are posted and shared with all our friends, fans, and followers.

Some marketers like to use the expression "consumer generated content." But for consumers, life is about creating (and sharing) experiences, not content. The conversations and experiences are authored by the public; brands should act as curators.

Humanizing Your Social Media Approach

As we discussed in the previous column, humanizing is about being consumer-centric. Like Nike, that speaks from a point of passion and has no promotions on its entire Facebook wall. Or Pampers, that centers the conversation around real mothers' stories on the "pequeños milagros" ("small miracles"), the way Latina mothers refer to their unique experience of having a baby.

Let's review how other brands are creating a more personal and human experience with Latino consumers.

The Art of Storytelling

Telemundo understands its audience and knows that Latina women (and many men too) love novellas. And if it wasn't enough with its contemporary offering that varies from very serious to classic romance to even thriller, the company uses Facebook as a way of extending the experience. Facebook plays a key role, serving as a connection between the fan and the network when the show is not on the air. Rather than simply promoting its shows and novellas, it creates original content, providing the user a very rewarding experience and connection.

"We are Story tellers, and in the NEW NOW, the consumer looks for these stories in any time and in any platform," said Borja Pérez, VP of integrated solutions and digital media at Telemundo, "that's why we naturally have evolved to become Multiplatform Story Tellers."

Telemundo personalizes its "voice" and strategy for each novella depending on the tone and feel of the storyline. This approach has been very effective. The Telemundo Facebook page has over 43,000 fans, while the individual fan pages range from 40,000 to 245,000 for "Niños Ricos, Pobres Padres."

"Our target is much more aggressive online and tends to demand more than the average General Market consumer," said Pérez. "Our fans are actually happy to see more of us" he added in reference to them posting more often than a general market show would do (six to eight updates per day versus three to five, respectively).

The Voice and Face of Your Brand

When Pepsi launched its "Yo Sumo" ("I count") platform, the brand was after Hispanics that are young at heart and have the passion, drive, and determination to realize their individual ambitions and dreams, and, what's more important, to create a lasting impact for their families and communities.

"The goal of the program was to shine the light on the individuals whose contributions, big and/or small are changing the landscape of this country," said Aldo Quevedo, president of Dieste. "Facebook is a natural stage for these individuals to share their stories, and in turn, for Pepsi to acknowledge and celebrate them".

The brand created a website and added Facebook plug-ins, and has a Facebook page that has around 7,000 fans.

Pepsi established a more personal relationship with the Latino consumers by allowing them to express their voice. But also by giving a face to this initiative: Eva Longoria. She was chosen because of her appeal, relevance, and, of course, her reach. And most importantly, because Eva embodies Pepsi's youthful optimism and her commitment to the Latino community. Ms Longoria also directed the "Latinos Living the American Dream" documentary based on real human stories submitted by Pepsi fans (over 600 submissions).

The True Colors of Passion

No need to explain the craziness that an event such as the soccer World Cup can create among Latinos.

Univision created an integrated approach to capture their enthusiasm for soccer. Viral tools on its Facebook page were implemented, including fan page links, a Twitter feed, and hub pages that actually drove users to "Like" the page.

Most interestingly, during the live streaming of the games at UnivisionFutbol.com, fans could utilize a Facebook live stream plug-in to share comments and see what other users were saying about the game. The results: 117,000 fans across Spanish- and English-language pages and over 300,000 referrals traffic.

"We want to make sure that we create destinations that will be relevant for a long time and will continue to engage users over time," said Kevin Conroy, president at Univision Interactive Media.

For Univision, mobile plays an important role in extending the experience and "engag[ing] users in the social media space, whenever, wherever and however they want to access it," concluded Conroy.

Learnings for Your Online Presence

Facebook can help humanize your brand and create a deeper interaction and engagement with your Latino audience.

From storytelling to giving Latinos a voice or leveraging their passion through new tools, brands are finding innovative ways to effectively engage online Hispanics.

We can all work on humanizing our "personal brand" by getting in touch with our friends and family more by phone or, even better, face to face. This holiday season, use social media with moderation. Happy Holidays!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gustavo Razzetti

Gustavo Razzetti is EVP, Managing Director of Lapiz, the Latino shop of Leo Burnett. He has 20+ years of experience in integrated marketing communications in U.S. and Latin American markets.

A change agent, with the expertise of transforming agencies into digital at the core shops, Razzetti has become one of the leading voices when it comes to understanding the new market dynamics of US Latinos.

Former Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer at Grupo Gallegos, president of GlobalHue NY and CEO of Euro RSCG Latino. Razzetti's career is marked by extensive experience working with top consumer brands such as Comcast, Walgreens, Verizon, Nestlé, Chivas Regal, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and BBVA, and 200 others. He also served as CEO of Euro RSCG both in Puerto Rico and in Argentina. Prior to that, Gustavo was CEO and founding partner of WhyNet - the no. 1 interactive agency in Argentina.

Strategist by conviction, digital pioneer by choice, leader by evolution; Razzetti has received recognitions that include Effie awards, Gran Prix AMBA, Euro RSCG's CBI Award, and Strategic Planning Director of the Year, McCann Erickson. Many of the campaigns he strategically led won Cannes, Clio, New York Festival, London, and FIAP awards, among others.

On a personal note, Gustavo loves scuba diving, bicycling, gourmet cooking, and fine wines.

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