Hispanics make up the second-largest ethnic group in the nation, exceeding 50 million people and accounting for 16.3 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This number reflects a 43 percent increase in 10 years.
By comparison, the Asian population grew from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010.
But despite these numbers, the pool and spa industry still fails to actively market to these groups, says Don Riling, vice president of sales and operations for Olympic Hot Tub Co. in Seattle.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me that there isn’t more marketing to the Latino community, the Asian community, the black community. It’s never made any sense to me at all,” he explains.
In addition, by promoting the industry to gay and lesbian consumers, hot tub dealers can establish a connection to minorities and potentially gain significant market share. In fact, a membership in a local gay chamber of commerce can increase a business owner’s outreach to other demographics, says Sam McClure, director of affiliate relations for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
The NGLCC works collaboratively with several other business associations connected to communities of identity, including the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (which certifies minority-owned businesses), and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (which certifies businesses owned by people with disabilities).
By joining a local NGLCC chapter, spa dealers will ultimately be reaching out to nearly every minority group possible in some way, McClure says.
“The buying power of all those organizations combined would be mind-boggling,” McClure notes. “Any business that’s working in today’s economy that is not actively marketing to every consumer that makes sense for their product is just not paying attention.”