News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday May 22, 2013.
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Verizon Wireless today announced that it will be the exclusive distributor of a new carrier named Viva Movil that specifically targets, markets to, and serves the growing Latino population in the United States. Partnering with Moorehead Communications and Brightsar Global Wireless, the largest Hispanic-owned business in the U.S., Viva Movil will be a carrier that aims to change the retail experience to "reflect the way that Latinos shop."
The "way Latinos shop" mission can be attributed to Jennifer Lopez, who is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer that helps market and promote the company. Lopez has worked with Verizon for the past 18 months to prepare for the launch of the service and is also the majority shareholder in the company. Verizon does not have a stake in the company but serves as the exclusive wireless provider for Viva Movil, which will offer a tailor-made experience to Latino wireless consumers. Viva Movil will operate on Verizon's network.
Viva Movil will create retail stores that have:
- Play areas for children in stores because Latinos are more likely to shop with their children
- Affordable prices and offers because "Latinos love deals," as Lopez said
- Working product testing zones so customers have a chance to test devices
- An entire staff of sales people and managers who are bilingual
A cynic could easily wonder why Viva Movil would chose to pander to Latinos yet cite features that consumers of any race would enjoy. Carriers regularly offer deals and hands-on displays in stores, so the only real differentiating factor is a staff that is entirely Spanish-speaking. At the moment, Viva will launch with only phones already available on Verizon, but the company says it will eventually launch its own devices.
According to Lopez, Viva's mission is to create a shopping experience unique to a population part of a rapidly expanding market. Latinos account for 67 percent of population growth in the United States, so they represent a key consumer group. Latinos spent $1.2 trillion in 2012 and are expected to spend $1.5 billion by 2015. As a result, the company hopes to become a recognized name now.
Viva Movil will launch in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. More cities will be supported later this year once Verizon, Brightstar, and Moorehead select markets to support. Until then, consumers outside of those traditional areas with high Latino populations can shop at GetViva.com.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.