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Ancestry DNA kits revealing how we self-identify not actually who we are September 28, 2017

William Faulkner’s 1932 novel “A Light in August” famously features Joe Christmas, a man living in the South who passes as white but suspects he has black ancestry. If Christmas lived today all he would need is an Internet connection to find out the truth. Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, and African Ancestry have become very successful in helping people shed light on their genetic background. With just a few hundred dollars and a saliva sample for a laboratory analysis, you…

Slowdown in Latino shoppers has big box retailers revamping their outreach August 7, 2017

Target is worried. Latinos, one of its key demographics, are shopping less. The news alarmed CEO Brian Cornell so much that at the July Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, he told an audience that “there’s almost a cocooning factor” among Latino shoppers. “They are staying at home. They are going out less often, particularly along border towns in the United States. You’re seeing a change in behavior.” Cornell’s comments echo those of Robert Kaplan, the president and CEO of…

A smart growth strategy for craft brewers? Latino Millennials July 6, 2017

America loves beer and in recent years, craft beer. According to Nielsen, beer drinkers in this country bought $34 billion in beer in fiscal year 2016. However, that total doesn’t tell the whole story — Growth last year was driven primarily through dollar sales and not volume; in fact, beer sales per unit have remained the same for five years. The craft realm has taken a similar hit; fiscal year 2016 showed dollar sales growth reaching 2.9 percent. Why is…

How to deal with corporate roadblocks? Open your own business June 6, 2017

Where you get your car fixed, pick up the cleaners, or grab a bite to eat is likely to look much different in coming years. And although we’ve seen a steady climb over the last 10 years, the ownership of small businesses in the U.S. is growing more in the direction of minorities, immigrants, and women. This shift coincides with the overall growth of entrepreneurship in this country, but it also shows just how minority groups have grown with deeper…

Sports Creating Cross-Cultural Opportunities in Las Vegas May 16, 2017

Even though the city was built on gambling and vice, the new Las Vegas has proven to be so much more. A-list theater and restaurants dominate the Strip and there are family friendly opportunities around every corner. In 2017, this is definitely not the Vegas of your childhood and even your parents’ childhood. It also doesn’t have the demographics of many years ago. The 2015 U.S. Census reports that about 31 percent of Hispanics live in Clark Country, Nevada. That…

Why Authenticity Matters: Developing Relationships with Consumers is the New Normal May 1, 2017

In theater, authenticity means believability — The audience is momentarily transformed to believe the actor is actually the character he or she plays on the stage. In marketing, authenticity involves a similar transformation, but one that lasts longer after the curtain lower. Authenticity when related to brands means messages that are of genuine or verifiable origin, and show the consumer respect opposed to talking down to them. In other words, authenticity involves qualities that are in direct odds with what…

Exposing unconscious bias will strengthen agencies in their diversity outreach April 6, 2017

Marketers can’t help who they are. Where they were born, how they were raised, which schools they attended (or not), how far they have traveled — These and many more factors comprise their biographies. But sometimes, when biographies that are more similar than different are assembled in one room, something happens that can sink a campaign: Unconscious bias. We often think of bias as involving a conscious decision. This is certainly the case when it comes to dealing with Civil…

Will Trump Chase Hispanics from the Republican Party for Good? September 22, 2016

Donald Trump has not made it easy for the GOP. He is wildly controversial, which is his appeal for voters looking to upset the system and the source of the scorn many have toward the billionaire presidential candidate whom moderate Republicans fear will permanently drive native-born Hispanics from the party. Were they there in the first place? Immigration and issue involving voting rights, education, and other issues have kept Hispanics at a distance from the party. During the 2012 election,…

Hamilton uses color-blind casting to shed new light on history August 1, 2016

The Broadway musical “Hamilton” is everywhere. Did you score tickets? If you did you know the Herculean effort you took to get them. There’s no doubt the musical is the cultural event of this year and likely next year too. What makes “Hamilton” especially relevant is that it purposely uses color-blind casting to and unorthodox musical styles to subvert the familiar story of the Founding Fathers. Creator and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda has cast many of the historical figures — all…

Admit it: You love your telenovela. May 4, 2016

The seductive mistress, the beautiful couple, the Cinderella damsel, the evil twin sister, the exotic locations and the endless cachetadas (slap on the face): All these storytelling elements have made telenovelas the number one entertainment genre for Hispanic households in the U.S. Spanish for “television novel,” the telenovela emerged decades ago and quickly became an outlet for Hispanic audiences to view romantic portrayals of their own people that they were not seeing on western television, where Hispanics are more likely…

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