It’s a known fact that women control most of the purchasing decisions in and out of the home. With this information, brands specifically market to these women, hoping their product will stay top-of-mind when shopping in the aisles in stores. However, not all women are the same. Older generations are getting more involved in social media (my mother and grandmother included) and marketers now have a great opportunity to reach out to these women in different ways, not just collectively as women with Facebook accounts. Mintel reports that 66% of 35-44s can be expected to be using social media, along with 60% of 45-54s, 48% of 55-64s, and 35% of seniors 65+.
Different generations are driven by different factors and behaviors.
In a Nielsen study consisting of daughters (average age of 30), Mothers (average age of 47), and Grandmothers (average age of 67), daughters are the most stressed. They are the most impulsive shoppers of all the generations and also the most likely to try new products. Daughters are the most price-sensitive, and they seek out promotions and deals across stores and through various media channels. Daughters are most likely to hunt for deals through social media and to look for reviews and advice prior to purchasing. They are most tech-savvy of the different generations and an early adopter of new technology. When it comes to ads on social media, this age group is most likely to click. She is influenced by all media channels.
Mothers feel mid-level stress because even though their incomes are higher, they still worry about their finances. In fact, according to Mintel 62% of moms 45+ are spending more time this year looking around for coupons and deals than they were last year. They are heavy internet users and also text and email just as much as their daughters (maybe just a little bit slower). Mothers make more planned shopping trips, and are most focused on buying products with good value. As their daughters are most influenced by all types of media, mothers are most influenced by TV.
Grandmothers are the biggest planners and habitual shoppers. They are still learning the ropes with new technology, but catching up as they use email and social media more and more.
Despite the differences between generations, commonalities still remain linking them all together when it comes to purchase behavior.
While price is an important influencer for purchase decisions across all generations, the number one driver for brand loyalty is quality, even over price and convenience. Price and value attract an initial purchase decision, but the majority of women equate loyalty with quality.
The majority of women, regardless of age, state that a friend or family member’s recommendation is the most trusting advertising source. Following word-of-mouth, women will turn to editorial content and opinions online before making a purchase. Marketers should connect with these women to make them feel like valued customers and to gain trust in order to create loyalists and brand advocates for their brand. Women want to feel connected and involved with the brands they choose on a daily basis.
Brands should try to earn trust as early as possible with women, especially as daughters become mothers and mothers become grandmothers. Since women are most loyal with the brands they trust, daughters will likely continue to purchase their favorite brands for themselves and then for their families, when they become the household purchasers.