Fewer women guided by retail & brand loyalty
Women's influence on brand choices and the US economy as a whole is increasing, according to the final instalment of a four-part series of reports exploring trends affecting women, published by Sphere Trending and Michigan-based professional women's network Inforum.
The report, entitled 'The New Consumer', observed that American women are now better educated than ever before, and have more earning potential than in the past, and that they are using advancements in education and the workforce to increase their power at every level of the marketplace.
Women consumers have apparently been empowered by new tools (e.g. technologies and social communities), inspired by new values (e.g. health and wellness, and spending less to get more) as well as bringing new attributes to business (e.g. supporting local businesses, and using multi-tasking products).
The key finding for marketers is that today's female consumer no longer feels the need to be guided by brand or retail loyalty. "She listens to her own instincts, which have been honed through years of savvy consumerism that began when she was a child," explained Terry Barclay, president and CEO for Inforum.
Women are also guided by a desire to determine their own destinies. For example, they want increasingly to feel in control over when and if they get married, have children, buy a home, or enter the workforce.
"Like the workplace, and the housing market, the market for consumer goods increasingly has a female bias," Barclay concluded. "American women today are better educated and have more earning potential than before, and the new responsibilities that women are taking on financially are driving them to be smarter, more value-conscious consumers. And all of this comes at a time when the web makes it easier than ever to compare purchase options before deciding on a purchase."