||Study: Women Show Strong Personal Renewal Bent
Women may not be able to control the larger economic scenario, but they can improve how they feel about themselves and their lives.
That's the basic thinking behind a pronounced personal renewal or "me-covery" post-recessionary trend among American women, according to a new national survey conducted by specialist marketing firm Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and Time Inc.'s Health brand.
The new emphasis on taking control and responsibility for personal well-being and happiness and reevaluating old choices represents a major shift in women's attitudinal and behavioral patterns within a markedly short time frame.
In 2009, a similar national survey of adult (18+) American women by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness focusing on the economy's influence on wellness issues found that their primary wellness goals were "holding it together" and "surviving the day."
The attitude/behavior shifts have important implications for numerous product/service categories and brands, including food and beverages, restaurants and personal care and beauty, according to the research sponsors.
For one: Women are "re-investing in their health and wellness," points out Health publisher Dave Watt.
While 92% of the 800 women surveyed (representative of U.S. adult females as a whole) still feel negatively affected by the economy and 10% feel more affected than in 2009, 64% say that they are committed to making a positive change and taking better care of themselves by eating right, staying physically fit, "looking good to feel good" and having fun.
Given female consumers' more positive overall attitude and focus on self-empowerment, physical and emotional health and making "real changes" in their lives, "marketers should reexamine the ways that they are talking to and engaging with women," stresses Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness chief strategy officer Johanna Skilling.
The indicators point to longevity for this lifestyle shift among American women, adds Ned Russell, managing director for the marketing firm.
The major take-aways for marketers:
Specific survey findings confirm upswings in purchases of health-related and beauty products, as well as shifts in the retail formats in which women are purchasing these products:
- "Taking responsibility" has made health and wellness women's #1 priority. This includes taking steps to prevent health problems and making a commitment to manageable health/fitness goals.
- "Reevaluating choices" reflects renewed confidence and includes increased emphasis on value-driven purchases. Value is defined as offering benefits worth the money, meaning that price alone is not the dominant purchasing factor.
- "Welcoming the right kind of support" means that women are seeking sources of inspiration and motivation, as well as meaningful rewards that mesh with their new lifestyle priorities.
(Source: Marketing Daily, 02/02/11)
- 54% of adult female respondents report buying more healthy food overall, and 47% say that they're buying organic foods more often, despite these foods' higher prices.
- 74% of those most affected by the economy report that they are buying less fast food than in 2009 (up from 41% indicating fast-food cutbacks in the 2009 survey).
- 48% report being committed to working out more on their own and gaining inspiration and motivation through online music downloads, workout videos and interactive gaming systems. More than one-third (37%) report working out at the gym more often.
- 86% report engaging in more online health research (up 47 points from 2009) and 79% say that they're now seeing their doctors regularly (up 21 points).
- 64% are buying prescription medication (up 16 points from 2009) and 48% are buying more vitamins (up 27 points). Also, 16% are buying more over-the-counter remedies and 14% are using alternative/homeopathic remedies.
- About half are buying more hair care (47%), skin care (45%) and oral care products (51%), and nearly half say that "value for money" and "product quality" are the key brand characteristics influencing their purchases in these categories.
- 52% say they are "committed to having more fun," 35% report that they are currently considering a vacation, and 24% report using products to enhance their sex lives (up 17 points since 2009).
- 70% now say that they buy skin care/beauty products primarily in drug stores, grocery stores and mass retailers -- up 25 points from 2009. Just 6% report they are buying more luxury/high-end cosmetics than in past years.
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