The details of ten brands that have empowered women to live life unapologetically are detailed below. Different companies have been included to illustrate the range and breadth of marketing in this area. While most have run campaigns highlighting the issue, the majority have also engaged in a range of non-profit or voluntary work to show further their ongoing support for women’s empowerment. The majority of the companies are US companies; however, a couple of UK companies have also been included. \These companies all have operations in the US. Psychographic data pertaining to social media consumption, online purchase decisions, and the spending habits of women who are empty nesters is presented in part 2. Despite an extensive search of industry publications, media articles, and expert commentary, very little information relating to their spending habits was available publicly.
BRANDS EMPOWERING WOMEN
1. Dove “Real Women”
- Dove has been empowering women with its products for over 60 years. The company began emphasizing women living life to its fullest in 2004. Last year, in a campaign that used 32 real women from 15 different countries and ethnicities, who ranged from ages 11-71, Dove emphasized “real women.”
- The latest campaign asks women to “show us “in a collection of over 10,000 images that exemplify inclusivity. Below is an example of the collection images, which is available to all advertisers and media.
- The company’s commitment to women’s empowerment is exemplified by the Dove Self-Esteem Project, which began in 2004. To date, the project has reached over 20 million women globally. Dove describes its mission as “ensuring the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people to raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.” Women are encouraged to choose confidence over anxiety.
- Dove has promoted “body confidence” in its marketing since 2004, publishing 100% untouched images in all of their campaigns.
- Dove has skin cleansing, skincare, deodorants, and hair care products aimed specifically at women. The branding is consistent across all of these categories.
2. Nike “Dream Crazier”
- “Nike’s Latest Ad Will Make You Want to Unapologetically Dream Big,” according to one headline. The Dream Crazier campaign, narrated by arguably the greatest female tennis player ever, Serena Williams, empowers women to “Be the Hero You Didn’t Have.” and “Do the Things Only History Could Dream Of.” Williams tells women, “if they think your dreams are crazy, show them what crazy dreams can do.”
- Williams, who encouraged women to “harness their power to make sh*t happen,” in a Superbowl advertisement, is a known advocate for women’s empowerment.
- Nike has a history of marketing campaigns that illustrate their “long-term commitment of motivating women to be active, take on new challenges, and conquer personal goals.” The 2015 “Better for it, campaign is another example of this commitment.
- Nike offers women an extensive range of sporting clothing, shoes, and equipment, much of which has undergone a lengthy design process to meet the specific needs of women better.
3. State Street Global Advisors,”Fearless Girl”
- Wall Street´s charging bull represents the “courage and can-do spirit of Americans and New Yorkers.” The statute of what became known as the fearless girl, appeared on Wall Street staring down the charging bull became a symbol of the empowerment of women.
- Asset managers, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), erected it as a symbol of their solidarity with women. The statute was followed up with “a letter to the thousands of companies that can comprise the Russell 3000 index asking them to take action to increase the diversity on their boards.” SSGA said t nearly a quarter of the 3,500 companies receiving letters had no women on their board.
- This statement was not out of the blue, with SSGA having a long history of raising corporate governance issues.
- SSGA is an asset management firm with approximately $2.5 trillion in assets under its management. Although the campaign aimed to support the female population, the company does not offer products aimed at a specific gender; instead, it aimed to show women the firm’s heart and that it was in sync with women living their lives unapologetically.
4. Aerie “Real Changemakers”
- Aerie’s entire product range of bras, undies, swimwear, and “more for every girl” is designed specifically for women.
- Empowering women to be unapologetic, Aerie is another example of a company using real women or ethnically diverse models in all its marketing. Consolidating its commitment to women’s empowerment, Aerie has pledged to continue to use models of diverse cup sizes and plus-size models in the future.
- Aerie’s “real changemakers” illustrate the commitment the company has made to change, selecting 20 women each year who they fund in their “mission of creating positive shifts in their communities and around the globe.” Changemakers “lead impactful projects such as building libraries in under served regions, empowering incarcerated youth through writing, shedding light on diverse stories, and more.”
5. Always “Like a Girl”
- Always is a P&G feminine hygiene brand. Their feminine hygiene products include sanitary towels, tampons, pantyliner, period underwear, and bladder control products.
- The “Like a Girl” campaign was Always’ response when the brand appeared to lose their target audience’s support. The campaign asked, “when did it become an insult to do something like a girl.” The campaign received multiple awards and is generally recognized as empowering women through the breaking of stereotypes. It is widely recognized as “changing the conversation about what it means to run, throw, and do pretty much any activity ‘like a girl.”
- In 2017, Always continued its commitment to empowering women by partnering with Target to launch a national non-profit organization focused on helping girls realize their unlimited potential.
6. Elizabeth Arden
- Elizabeth Arden’s empowerment of women goes all the way back to giving red lipsticks to the suffragettes marching on Fifth Avenue in New York, at a time when red lipstick was far from being socially acceptable in traditional circles.
- More than 100 years later, Elizabeth Arden’s “March On” is an annual fixture on their marketing calendar. Many taglines have been used, including “Inspired By Our History, Empowering Women Today” and “We March Together.” The limited-edition lipstick, symbolic of 1912, raises funds for the UN who are “dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women.”
- The red lipstick serves as an important symbol of women living unapologetically on their own terms; rather than being disempowered by societal expectations and stereotypes.
- Elizabeth Arden produces a range of beauty products for women, including skincare, fragrances, makeup, creams, and moisturizers.
7. Malteasers “Look on the Lighter Side”
- Malteasers is increasingly being recognized as a company that is committed to diversity in society. The “Look on the Lighter Side” campaign highlighted underrepresented women. The campaign transverses lesbian dating issues to menopausal hot flushes during a work presentation. Taboo topics around chocolate were addressed using humor and wit.
- The original campaign ran in 2016, but it was bought back this year as part of Malteasers’ response to COVID-19. The marketing focuses on women getting together online to get each other through the pandemic.
- Marketing Director, Kerry Cavanaugh, said “We wanted to show that even if we’re lucky enough to have our health and our family, we might need a little (socially-distanced) help from our friends to get through the lock down. Maltesers’ long-running ‘Look on the Light Side’ campaign has always celebrated universally awkward and embarrassing situations by laughing through the tough stuff. Now we want to reinforce the #stayhome message by reflecting the reality of life at home and the ways that women are laughing together through the everyday ups and downs it brings.”
- Malteaser is one of the Mars Family brands. The marketing has focused on the candy as a key part of women’s support networks. The original Malteser has diversified to include ice cream and cookies.
8. Pfizer “Let´s Change”
- Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer may, to the untrained eye, seem out of place on the list of brands empowering women. However, they have recently launched a campaign, “Tune In For Menopause,” specifically encouraging those women going through menopause to empower themselves. The diamond in the campaign is the use of Sex & the Cities Kim Cartrell, who “educates and empowers postmenopausal women to tune in to their bodies and embrace this new chapter of their lives.
- One of the mediums used is a podcast, which allows for the better exchange and synthesizes of information. Kim Cartrell has said of the campaign, “Menopause can be a complicated time with lots of change, but one I think women can and should embrace by being the leading lady in our own stories.”
- The “Let’s Change” campaign features three generations of women talking candidly about their bodies. The normalization of these life changes is part of empowerment, and getting women comfortable in their own bodies.
- Pfizer’s product range includes a number of pharmaceutical products specifically targeting menopause and other female-related health changes and issues.
9. FabFitFun”Dress for Success”
- Part of FabFitFun’s mission is to “inspire women to find happiness through personal growth and discovery.” The brand is female founded and offers a range of different products that empower women, including FabFitFunTV and their community connections.
- They use positive reinforcement in their advertising to encourage women to live to their full potential. An example is “Behind Every Successful Women Is Herself.” The brand is built upon a foundation of empowerment, with aspects of its marketing, such as the blog, offering women the motivation needed to empower themselves.
- FabFitFun continues to affirm their ongoing commitment to women’s empowerment with their sponsorship of the “Dress For Success” program, which helps women transition back into the workforce. This program has been instrumental in assisting women to achieve economic independence, with its community network an essential aspect of this success.
- The company is a subscription service orientated specifically toward women. Each season a range of full-size products across beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, home, and technology industries are delivered to women.
10. Brewdog “Beer for Girls”
- Brewdog is a beer company that launched a product aimed specifically at the female population. “Beer for Girls” comes in a pink bottle, and girls get 20% off each purchase. Bar the packaging; the product is exactly the same as its Blue Punk brand. It is intended to represent gender pay inequalities.
- To complement the visual statement, Brewdog enforced the message by donating 20% of both products’ sales to the fight against gender pay inequalities.
- Brewdog’s Head of Marketing, Sarah Warman, said of the campaign, “The fact that the gender pay gap is still an issue in 2018 shows that a lot of lip service is being paid, but not enough action is being taken to tackle inequality. We want to accelerate change by empowering more women to make their voices heard and calling out industries and employees that need to do more. With Pink IPA, we are making a statement the only way we know how – with beer.”
PSYCHOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF EMPTY NESTER WOMEN
Social Media Consumption
- Empty nesters are active social media consumers. They are not known for content creation but are huge consumers of online information. They typically have high levels of disposable income, so they are becoming increasingly relevant to online marketers. Their social media consumption habits are being noted.
- Text messaging is a favorite communication mode, with 90% utilizing the technology; 36% will text over calling. This is confirmed in a recent study, that found 56% of the children of empty nesters will communicate by phone, while only 36% of empty nesters will communicate with their children by phone.
- It is becoming increasingly important to engage with these consumers online, with traditional marketing becoming less relevant to this demographic group.
- Creating a connection is one of the primary reasons that empty nesters engage with social media. The following chart illustrates the impact of social media on the mental health of empty nesters.
- 45.8% of empty nesters feel more connected after using Snapchat, 42.5% after using Instagram, , while only 29.4% feel more connected after a text, 32.1% after a phone call, and 33.0% after an email.
- It has been a longstanding fact that women with strong social networks do better emotionally when they become empty nests. Social media networks now contribute heavily to female empty nesters mental well-being
- The social media consumption habits of women about to become empty nesters increases in the months leading up to the child´s departure from the home. It peaks soon after they leave, before returning gradually to levels similar to those seen six months before the child´s departure.
- 80% of empty nesters will buy a product to achieve a higher rating on a rating review site. 45% would purchase a product on the recommendation of a blogger they follow. Female empty nesters will go online to find information, reviews and discounts.
- Empty nesters exhibit a level of skepticism toward traditional advertising, with only 12% purchasing a product after a compelling advertisement.
- Moving with the times, empty nesters now begin their online shopping experience online. 90% use Google or a similar search engine to search products online before making a purchase decision, with 80% spending more time browsing products online, compared to a traditional store.
- Smartphones are used by 63% of the demographic to find product information online. 64% will purchase products online using tablets.
- The purchase decision of empty nesters is heavily influenced by online reviews and the opinions of others.
- A study completed by Inflence Central found that the “purchase journey of the empty nester had moved online.”
- 30% of the demographic will use follow a brand online to address customer service needs.
- 60% of female empty nesters are increasingly likely to zone out during traditional advertising, due to a perception that it is not relevant.
- Using coupons or discount codes are a feature of 66% of the demographic´s online purchases.
- The top online purchases for this demographic were smartphones, tablets, laptops, HDTVs, digital cameras, and headphones.
- The transition to online purchasing has been made by 80% of empty nesters.
- The 30 million empty nesters and older women are the fastest growing online demographic. Female empty nesters are considered a dynamic, up-to-date and tech-savvy generation of consumers.
- A study of female empty nesters found, “the women within this group have been profoundly misrepresented in the media and mis-rendered in marketing and advertising. Everything you’ve learned about this generation of women as consumers proves untrue as today they immerse themselves in the Internet and, in the process, completely change up their consumer journey.”
- Within the next decade, this demographic will “control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion.”
- As the number of empty nesters increases, along with their disposable income, studies suggest the spending habits of the demographic will become more indicative of self-rewarding behavior, with their freedom some changes to their spending habits and a greater need for consumer packaged goods (CPG). Value-added consumer goods will cost the average empty nester $5,500 per year.
- Much of the drive towards CPGs is a result of increased levels of socialization. This increased socialization results in changing consumer habits and attitudes.
- Many empty nesters recover from years of child-related spending by indulging themselves when they become empty nesters. This is often at the expense of increasing their retirement savings.
- Many empty nesters find that the amount they spent on groceries either increases or remains the same despite the fact they are feeding fewer people.