June 10, 2016
Chilean native Isabel Valdés likes to say she was born “at the end of the world.” But in the realm of multicultural marketing, Valdés came at the beginning. She is the creator of InCulture, a research methodology that looks far beyond language to define consumer habits. For these reasons, Multicultural Retail 360’s Retail Advisory board has named Valdés the first inductee into its new Multicultural Hall of Fame.
Valdes will be celebrated at the Multicultural Retail 360 Hall of Fame reception on Thursday, August 25 in San Diego.
Launched in the mid 1980s, InCulture looks at all behaviors that can affect shopping patterns. A pioneer, Valdés used InCulture to help establish Hispanics as valuable marketing targets more than two decades before the immigration peak of the early 2000’s. Her methodology has become the gold standard for studying ethnic consumers. Thirty years after its inception, the growth and complexity of the U.S. Hispanic market makes Valdés’ approach more meaningful than ever.
“She helped build the [multicultural] industry from the bottom up and gave the ethnic consumer a voice, developing an approach that served as an underpinning for a growing industry,” said Dr. Jake Beniflah, executive director, Center for Multicultural Sciences. “She was first to codify and define the InCulture methodology when the Hispanic `industry’ was ascending and being born. Many companies didn’t want to spend a dime unless they knew how these consumers differed.”
InCulture defines what customers want, understand and value. It involves looking at anything from income and acculturation to bathing and mowing the lawn. “I created a method that let me observe the lifecycle of a brand, product or service in the U.S. and match the knowledge, brand and category knowledge of immigrant consumers,” said Valdés. “It’s not just language. To sell me is to know me—that’s what InCulture marketing is. If you want to bring the consumer to retail, you must identify the cultural gaps.”
The Multicultural Hall of Fame reception is included with registration for the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit.
For sponsorship information, contact Milly Santana at [email protected] or 201-855-7610.
Isabel was honered recently at Aguilar Productions Multicultural Marketing Awards conference, which appeared in the “People & Players” section of Ad Age magazine.