Today's blog post turns the spotlight on a woman who definitely embodies the phrase "She's SO Empowered," California's First Lady Maria Shriver. She might have grown up as a member of the iconic Kennedy family (her mother Eunice was sister to US President John F. Kennedy), but she certainly hasn't rested on any laurels of her famous name. The Women's Conference is an annual event that she has led since 2004, having built it into the largest one-day conference for women in the nation. When the event began in 1985, it was to serve as a nonpartisan forum for women business owners. At that time, women-owned businesses were failing at a high rate and the conference was created to provide support to this growing sector of the economy and to help women access funding and resources. Shriver holds fast to her belief in the "power of WE," working to empower women everywhere.
It’s no secret that the spending power of women is a force to be reckoned with. Statistics show that women make the majority of the household purchasing decisions both for family and personal needs. Marketers have begun to take notice of this trend, but another important demographic within the female sector that offers great opportunity for segmentation is that of the “tween population.” Tween refers to the stage of life between childhood and teenage years. In ‘olden days’ you were considered a child until the age of 13. Restaurants provided a kid’s menu for ages 12 and under and parents demanded that we eat accordingly. Now, young people identify themselves as tweens starting at about 8 years old.
Social media, while once the wave of the future, is now here to stay. In this day and age, if an organization doesn’t have and maintain a Facebook page, we just don’t know what to think. When we want to tag a brand in a post, whether it be for professional or personal purposes, if there isn’t anything to tag, we are left scratching our heads.
HER VOICE has lived in my subconscience for years. As a little girl growing up in North Carolina I wanted to BE Karen Carpenter. HER VOICE captivated me. I would stand in front of the mirror singing her songs for hours, secretly wishing that someday, I would possess the power to make people feel how Karen Carpenter made me feel through her music. So, I became a professional singer (my voice teacher told me that if I made enough money singing to pay the rent and feed myself for a year, I could call myself a professional). It took me years to embrace that word, and even longer to embrace the fact that I'm a creative and talented marketing professional.
With all the daily routines that keep us busy, it’s not often that we stop and think about why certain things are the way that they are. We accept certain truths about ourselves as fact, without taking the time to understand why they are such. Did you know that psychological research actually refers back to our very beginnings in developing many of its tenets? In other words, cave men days. This blog has already stated several things about the importance women place on relationships and feeling connected. According to “stone-age survival theory,” if women lost their husbands, they turned to other female members of the group for support and assistance. For women, according to marketing guru Bridget Brennan in Why She Buys, “preserving relationships was a matter of life and death” and [sustaining the friendships] “is still one of women’s greatest needs.”
We all have certain qualities that we seek in friends…honesty, integrity and loyalty just to name a few. Did you know that while both men and women can be equally loyal, their loyalties look very different, especially when it comes to demonstrating those loyalties to a company or brand? While men strive to be independent, women often seek a feeling of connectedness. This desire for being connected can be seen in women’s consumer loyalty behaviors.