Relevant Cultural Touchpoints Present Unique Business Opportunity

August 15, 2007

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Quinceañera celebrations, the balls in which 15-year-old girls are presented into society as a transition to adulthood and marriage, are a long-standing tradition in Latin America that has been transplanted to the U.S. by Hispanic immigrants. Families are known to pour thousands of dollars into fancy parties, dresses and other accoutrements that are outdone only by wedding festivities.

Big business has taken notice of what for many years existed in the cultural background and is now moving to cash in. Quince Girl magazine began publishing last year, Seventeen magazine now sponsors a Quinceañera contest, Quince celebrations have been featured in MTV´s My Super Sweet 16 and Hearst announced today that it is launching MisQuinceMag.com.

The Miami Herald recently ran a story on how Royal Caribbean is capitalizing on the Quinceañera business by offering destination Quince celebrations, for which family and friends pack into one of the ships and head out for a weeklong cruise highlighted by the formal dance. Disney has also jumped on board, offering a range of packages for celebrations at their Orlando theme park. Quince expos are also popping up in various places across the country, and it is not just Hispanic-owned businesses that are peddling their products and services to the families of the young girls.

What is interesting about this trend is that business is capitalizing on a cultural icon in a way that transcends language, but leverages a tradition that is uniquely relevant to Hispanics across generations.