Plus Size Fashion Continues to Grow

November 9, 2015 § 1 Comment

SHEVA-Ashley-TiptonIt’s no secret that the average American woman is a size 14. And it seems that American fashion is beginning to take note.

Several things have happened recently to amp up the plus size movement.  Project Runway celebrated its first plus size fashion designer win last week.  Ashley Tipton is only the second designer on the show who has specialized in plus sizes.  Her unique collection celebrated her Mexican heritage, a nod to Frida Kahlo and a fashion forward plus look.  Recently Melissa McCarthy launched her own clothing line which is carried at retailers like Nordstrom’s and shopping network HSN.

According to market research firm NPD group, sales of plus-size clothes grew five percent in 2014, making it a $17.5 billion industry.  What’s more the study defined ‘plus-size’ as U.S. size 18 and up, whereas in the fashion industry it starts at size 14, meaning the growth may well have been significantly larger.

Over the past two years, plus-size sales within the e-commerce category have grown 31%.  Online shopping seems to take a larger share of plus size shopping. Even traditional retailers have more plus size options online.

The Opportunity


Most plus-size women feel that their body size is not sufficiently represented in fashion and retail.  A recent study from ModCloth found that 46% of plus-size women ‘never or rarely’ find clothing that flatters their body.
The online retailer surveyed more than 1,500 women to determine how they feel about the current state of the plus-size market.  They found that most women are dissatisfied. Some 81%  said they would spend more on clothing if there were more options available in their size.



Marketing to Working Moms: New Scarborough Study!

January 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

Working Moms may have had a “pink collar” image in former generations, but today’s working mom is quite a different person.  They are more educated,  more affluent and more wired than ever before.  Working Moms represent 40% of moms.

Scarborough has surveyed this group and come up with some interesting statistics that marketers need to market to women, particularly working moms.  Here are just a few to whet your appetite.   For more, see the infographic below.

95% of working moms agree that spending time with their family is their top priority

27% of working moms are much more involved in their finances.  

72% of their households contributed to a charity in the past 12 months.

Working moms are spending less for name brands.  They use coupons and shop at Nordstrom Rack, Kohl’s Macy’s and TJ Maxx Home Goods.  

Working moms shop online and own smartphones, laptops, iPads and more.

Working moms are 22% more likely to attend professional sporting events and 24% more likely to have watched ESPN in the past 7 days.


Marketing to Women: Cheerios Win! Racists Lose!

June 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Have you seen the new Cheerios spot?  The one with the adorable little girl who is part of an interracial family?  The spot drew the attention of YouTube racists who flooded the YouTube channel with comments not in step with most of the country.

Americans like the ad. In fact, according to data from Ace Metrix, “Good for Your Heart” (called “Just Checking” on YouTube) tested the highest of six new Cheerios ads this year and garnered attention and likeability scores 9% and 11% “above the current 90-day norm for cereals.”  The ad, created by Saatchi & Saatchi,  “appealed to all age/gender demographics with the exception of males over 50.” Don’t worry, that’s not a racism issue.  It seems that ads with babies tend to perform poorly with this demographic regardless of the race of the child.

In fact, if you look on the YouTube channel now, there have been 46,172 like the ad, while only 2,171 disliked it.

Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, told, “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”

And let’s face it, General Mills is not trying to make a societal statement.  They are just reflecting the diversity of America.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. households that included interracial or “interethnic opposite-sex married couples” grew by 28 percent between 2000 and 2010 and now stand at 10 percent of all married couples.  Among infants younger than 1, there are 17 mixed-race children for every 100 infants whose parents said they are black alone. A decade ago, there were nine.

More than half of US babies born last year were non-white.  

And while we are still trying to figure if we are black or white, or both, white is a diminishing color.  Yes, we have crossed the tipping point.   The Census Bureau says that for the first time, most babies born in the U.S last year were non-white.  Among young people today, diversity is so prevalent that one hopes that racism will quietly recede.  Minorities increased 1.9 per cent to 114.1 million, or 36.6 per cent of the total U.S. population, lifted by prior waves of immigration that brought in young families and boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years.  The growth in the US has stalled some during the recession, but we can certainly look forward to a day when the minorities become majorities in the US.


Marketing to Women: The Overlooked “Breadwinner Women”

October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Breadwinner Women

Stereotypes are hard to break.  We all harbor old stereotypes about nuclear families that are not true in today’s society. One is about breadwinners.  The majority of all American women (53%) are now breadwinners in their households, according to a survey conducted by Prudential Financial.  Among the 1400 women surveyed, 40% are single and 22% of married women earn higher incomes than their spouse/partner.

Some of the traits of breadwinner women are –

•  Women are more collaborative in decision making.

•  Women are focused on household expenses.

•  Women are concerned about taking care of others first and not being a financial burden to loved ones.

Think a minute about your customer base.  You probably have many “breadwinner women” in the ranks.  I personally know many of these strong, successful women.  Thanks to the fabulous Bridget Brennan and her blog on Forbes, here are three important reminders on how to appeal to “breadwinner women” and one more from me!

1.  Invest in Customer Service.  Women have higher expectations of customer service than men do and are willing to walk when they are not treated with the appropriate attention or service they deserve.  Just one example – For years, women have been taking a “token” man to car lots and mechanics to ensure they get the best deal.  But they won’t much longer.  Sales training should include a long look into who is making the purchase decisions for a wide variety of purchases.  Currently women have 80% of the purchase decision power on buying the family car.  Women also make 62 percent of new car purchases and have over $5 trillion in purchasing power. And when the car breaks down, women make 65 to 80 percent of the service and maintenance decisions.

2.  Provide convenience in-store and online.  Women are multi-taskers and their time is limited.  They expect retailers to offer multi-channel solutions.  They expect physicians to be open after five and on weekends when children really get sick.  They expect everyone to have easy-to-use websites that are easy-to-view on all mobile and laptop.  They want services personalized and customized to their needs.

3.   Provide a helpful experience.  Women buy more than just a product.  They buy a service.  Women love Nordstrom’s not just for the beautiful shoes, but also for free shipping and free returns that puts them in charge.  Women love Lexus because they also care about roadside service, giving you a loaner and making sure your car is washed and clean inside and out when it comes back.

4.  Provide help in making decisions.   Women like to gather information and collaborate on decisions.  That’s why providing a steady stream of information is important in the healthcare setting.  And it’s why 9 out of 10 women seek online health info.  It’s why women want to understand financial products before making a decision on them. It’s why women spend time on blogs, message boards and product fan pages to research products and get firsthand product reviews and recommendations.

Marketing to Women on Smartphones: That’s 50.9% of us!

May 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

Smartphones have crossed the tipping point.  According to Nielsen, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011.  And of course women over index the national stat – 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.

Shop till we drop our phoneSo, is it any surprise that we are using those oh-so-smart mobile devices for shopping?  Of course not. Seventy-nine percent of us are using our smartphones for shopping.

Smartphones are really the mobile shoppers dream for  the following:  “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners).   However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.

For marketers, it is important to understand how our target is using a mobile device so we can tailor messages and design appropriate engagement opportunities.

Pay As You Go  Currently we are buying online, but Nielsen points out that soon we will become comfortable with using our smartphones to make payments for items.  I can’t wait. ” Just one less thing to worry about,” says Forrest Gump.

Marketing to Women: A Gadget for Each Generation

July 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

Just read an interesting study from media research firm Affinity that suggests that each generation has its favorite gadget. Their findings suggest that e-readers are for baby boomers, PC tablets for Gen Xers and smartphones for millennials.

Baby Boomer:  Surveying more than 60,000 consumers, Affinity found that 12 percent of U. S. adults own an e-reader, with owners of the readers skewing female and baby boomer.   The e-reader is mostly an at-home device.

Gen X:  The Gen-Xers are 16% more likely to have a tablet and almost a fourth of them plan to purchase one.  This compares with the current 8% of consumers that currently own a tablet.  With tablets, men are more likely to be owner than women.  Affluent Gen-Xers are 63% more likely to buy a table than their peers.

Millennials:  Smartphones are the device of choice for millennials who are 28% more likely to own a smartphone than average.  After all, these millennials do not have a land line and depend on their smartphone for almost everything.

But there is another category that this study overlooked:  it’s the crazed Apple lover Mom of all generations that has an iPhone, a MacBook, and iPad – and wonders why anyone would ever want a Kindle. (Confession:  I fall into that category)  These are the folks that are hooked on entertainment, the cool factor, convenience and integration, and the beautiful design of Apple products.  According to NPD, the number of moms who purchased iPhones grew 132 percent in the first quarter of 2011 over sales recorded during the same time last year.

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