Jennifer Lopez realizes that Latinos use mobile and the web differently (i.e. a lot). There are numbers to back this up -- during her address at Verizon Wireless' presentation at CTIA conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Lopez noted that Latinos spend an average of 1.5 more hours online than non-Latinos. Even as a diverse group, Latinos over-index when it comes to smartphone usage, watching digital videos, and jumping on a trend or device early.
With Viva Móvil, Lopez hopes to adapt the way mobile devices are marketed and sold to Latinos in order to better suit their needs. But it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what this means. We do know, for instance, that Viva Móvil products will be available both on Facebook, GetViva.com, and through brick-and-mortar stores that will be springing up in cities like New York (on June 15th), Miami, and Los Angeles, and will feature a fully bilingual staff. Lopez is the primary shareholder of the company, which she is launching in collaboration with global wireless provider (and the largest Latino-owned business in the U.S.) Brightstar and Moorehead Communications, (a third-party retailer responsible for Verizon Wireless' stores). Verizon will act as the company's exclusive wireless provider.
I asked Lopez and Verizon COO Marni Walden not only how, exactly, this staff will be trained to best deal with Latino costumers, but also what unique, specific needs Latino customers have when it comes to buying and using mobile devices. Put another way, what does this growing, connected, mobile-addicted group need that isn't currently being offered by other mobile retailers? Lopez focused on the need for "friendliness" and a "welcoming" environment, adding that Viva Móvil stories will feature play areas for kids. This will be a place to visit with one's whole family, and where bringing family members to help make buying decisions will be encouraged. But, beyond offering a bilingual staff and a play area, how is it any more "welcoming" than current mobile stores? I couldn't get a definite answer.
As the company's Chief Creative & Marketing Officer, Lopez also has a hand in steering the brands' look and feel. When I asked what we can expect the stores to look like, she emphasized a "modern, clean" design that, again, would be "welcoming." The GetViva site offers a glimpse at what the stores will look like, including its logo, as well as some of the devices, plans, and accessories offered, like crocodile and ostrich leather covers for your smartphone.
So, Latino mobile consumers, get ready for interactive shopping experiences, luxury leather smartphone accessories, bilingual customer service... And that "welcome" feeling, of course.