In 2005, in light of the U.S. Census, Macy’s came to an important realization about their clientele: about 20% were Hispanic. The iconic, “all- American” department store had to start speaking Spanish if they wanted to keep these consumers coming back. Yet before they could get there; the brand’s language of fashion first had to be developed.
Back then, the NOT yet national retailer was still working on their expansion plans. This was particularly challenging since their TV ads were already running nationally yet, their popular Sunday inserts and radio spots for example, were customized by region. Therefore, we had to adapt the advertising to not only unify the brand nationally but also connect with consumers on a local level. All the while, being mindful that different Spanish-speaking segments (ie. Mexicans vs. Caribbeans) traditionally have very different ways of referring to fashion.
How we did it:
Fashion as a ‘third’ language. Through painstaking research and consumer feedback we unified the ‘language’ that is fashion. We did this by recording every single term heard from the two largest US Hispanic segments; Mexican and Caribbean. Then, we brought it all together and built one “glossary” that all segments could easily understand.
From here, we worked with Macy’s general market agency to develop the now famous campaign of celebrity-branded lines. Together, we chose the “Stars of Macy’s”, ensuring they had cross-cultural appeal… and in some cases, going as far as teaching these famous ambassadors to speak Spanish!