Women Make 80% of All Travel Decisions

June 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

Women make 80% of all the travel decisions. We represent two-thirds of all travelers in the United States.  47% of us are traveling for business and 72% of women are traveling solo. In all our travels, women want to be valued. And we should – we spend more, are more concerned about safety and want to be pampered. Women travel most for independence (73%), escape (52%), enjoyment (36%), reflection/growth (32%) and learning (31%).  Today’s travelers value experiences over “stuff”.

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Reading People’s Body Language

May 29, 2018 § 2 Comments

There was a great television show back in 2009-2011 called Lie to Me about a deception expert who studied body language to expose the truth behind the lies.  Wouldn’t that be a great superpower to have in your next client meeting, performance review, interview or parental showdown?  UCLA research has shown that only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language. Learning how to become aware of and to interpret that 55% is an advantage that we need.

Well, here are some cues to look for.

  1. Crossed arms and legs signal resistance to your ideas. Crossed arms and legs are physical barriers that suggest the other person is not open to what you’re saying.  In fact, they are unconsciously saying they are mentally, emotionally and physically blocked off.
  2. Real smile crinkle the eyes.People often smile to hide what they’re really thinking and feeling, so the next time you want to know if someone’s smile is genuine, look for crinkles at the corners of their eyes.
  3. Copying body language signals a bond.Mirroring body language is something we do unconsciously when we feel a bond with the other person. It’s a sign that the conversation is going well and that the other party is receptive to your message.
  4. Posture is important.Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position.  Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement, whether you’re a leader or not.
  5. Eyes can lie.On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. If you’re talking with someone whose stare is making you uncomforable—especially if they’re very still and unblinking—something is up and they might be lying you.
  6. Raised eyebrows signal discomfort.There are three main emotions that make your eyebrows go up: surprise, worry, and fear.  If somebody who is talking to you raises their eyebrows and the topic isn’t one that would logically cause surprise, worry, or fear, there is something else going on.
  7. Lots of nodding signals anxiety.When you’re telling someone something and they nod excessively, this means that they are worried about what you think of them or that you doubt their ability to follow your instructions. 
  8. A clenched jaw means stress.A clenched jaw, a tightened neck, or a furrowed brow are all signs of stress. The person may be anxious about the conversation or thinking about a particular thing is stressing them out.

Gift Giving Benefits Retailers Two Times

May 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

Gift giving is an important part of retail sales.  It also represents an emotional bond made between the giver and the recipient.  Retailers should recognize the dual rewards in growing their gifting business because you are touching two targeted consumers at the same time – the purchaser and the recipient.  Gift giving strategy can provide exponential results for marketers if done correctly.

Unity Marketing estimates that $1 out every $10 spent in the typical retail store, (general merchandise, apparel, furnishings and others) is spent to buy a gift. Gifts represent approximately $128 billion in spending in 2017.  Consumers are typically buying a gift every one to two months.

So what’s behind the science of giving?  The act of gifting is typically meant to communicate feelings for and with another, fostering stronger social relationships.  New research by the Wharton School looked at what type of gifts build deeper personal relationships, a material gift or an experiential gift.

Experiential gifts win over material gifts

Despite gift givers’ tendencies to give material possessions, material gifts do less to foster meaningful relationships between gift givers and gift recipients. The researchers report, “Experiential gifts, in contrast, make recipients feel closer to the person who gave them the gift, regardless of whether the experience is consumed together with the gift giver. Experiential gifts have this effect because of the emotion they evoke when consumed, particularly when the emotion is shared.”

“Our findings demonstrate that giving experiential gifts is more effective at fostering closer relationships, and therefore implies that gift givers should feel happier as a result of giving an experiential gift compared to a material gift,”

What are experiential gifts?  An experience could be providing services like a meal, spa outing, horseback riding, or vacation.  But don’t dismay – material gifts can offer experiential aspects – candles, music, books, toys, food and drink items and even things that are nice to the touch – a furry throw, a cashmere pillow or silk pajamas.

Even the actual event of purchasing the gift can be experiential in a story setting or online by telling a story, allowing for touch and feel, and conjuring up warm feelings.

 

The World of Modeling and Instagram

January 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

By Lauren Staub, Model

Modeling has always been viewed as a superficial line of work, where the young and beautiful get compensated on their features rather than their intelligence. As a model for the past four years, I disagree with this sentiment. I have gathered a collection of connections and have created a business off of my work ethic and extroversion. Because of this I am currently represented by agencies in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and Orlando.

The World of Modeling. The modeling industry has always been brutal, as agencies rarely care about your resume of experience. An agency visit is most often like this: you walk into their office, they take a look at your pictures, a look at you, then they send you off. Within this short period of time they are able to determine if you are too tall, too short, if your hair color is desirable, etc. The list of assessment is long and invasive. But recently a new critique has arrived: how many Instagram followers you have.

IMG_5112The Invasion of Instagram.  Modeling is all about visual stimulation, what better way to exemplify this than through a photo sharing service? In a new effort to glamorize the modeling world, agencies have recently started inspecting social media outlets to see the amount of people who are interested in your life. When applying to agencies, many now ask about your Instagram and if you have over 10,000 followers. The question is, why does this matter? The more followers an agency’s models have, the better they look. If these models keep posting high quality content, it reflects highly on them and creates a sense of elitism. So not only does a model need to have “the look”, they now need the popularity. The issue here is that followers can be bought or created through software. A model can have 10,000 followers, but how many of them are actual interested individuals? How many of them are software robots created specifically to make the follower count go up? Despite the shakiness and stressful nature, a larger following is still something I must strive for to keep up. To fulfill this demand I make sure to post photos 3-4 times a week, but this also means having enough content to post, which I dedicate much of my free time compiling.

Marketers, Who You Gonna Call? Women “Ghostbusters”

August 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

ghostbusters-2016-cast-proton-packs-images-1200x601The new “Ghostbusters” opened this summer to rave reviews and high attendance.  It deserves a round of applause for its boldness and all-star female cast including (left to right at top) Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristin Wiig and Leslie Jones.

It’s a little overdue for the new trend to put women in the lead roles in movies.  Because – women bought 50% of all movie tickets in the U.S. last year according to the MPAA.   National CineMedia (NCM) reports the Millennial women 18-34 movie audience jumped 61% from 2013 to 2016, while women 18-49 also increased by 42%. Also, NCM’s ratings for women 18-34 jumped from 6.2 to 9.2 against the top 15 television networks. That’s a 48% surge in ratings growth since 2014 — with significant increases year over year.

Much of this growth is due to the success of movies like “Bridesmaids”, “The Help”, “Hunger Games” and “Star Wars”.  The first “Hunger Games” movie blew the doors off the box office, bringing in $408MM+. The following year, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was  breaking records and finding itself atop the heap as the No. 1 film of the year ($424MM+).  Last year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” introduced a new female hero in Rey (Daisy Ridley), while giving homage to General Leia Organa (formerly Princess Leia) as both a leader and a mother. Broadening the movie’s box office appeal by having such a strong draw for multiple generations of women — and providing role models for young girls — was certainly a factor in its huge success.  “Star Wars:  The Force Awakens” is now the high-grossing movie of all time, with over $936MM+ in domestic box office alone.  Even if Disney left female actions figures out of the line-up until social media highlighted the omission.

Once again, women are leading the way in consumer purchases from everything from household items to entertainment.  Hollywood seems to have embraced the power of strong women characters in movies.

So what’s next?  Rebecca Eldridge from NCM gives us a little preview:  “In 2017, look out for a highly-anticipated live action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the comedy “Mother/Daughter” starring Amy Schumer (possibly joined by Goldie Hawn in her first movie since 2002), “Fast 8” featuring Charlize Theron making waves as the sole villain, and more. And looking even farther ahead, there are all-female versions of “Ocean’s Eleven” and “21 Jump Street” in the works, a remake of the cult favorite “Road House” with Ronda Rousey in the role made iconic by Patrick Swayze, and a girl-power spinoff of “Suicide Squad” featuring many of the female heroes and villains of DC Comics.”

Marketers, now is a great time to look to cinema advertising to meet your consumer where they play – at the movies.

 

The End of Shrink It and Pink It

June 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

gendermarketingpinkstuffThere was a time when brands would slap an overly obvious pink color on something they intended for women. Think power tools, football jerseys, ballpoint pins, razors. Oh, wait. It is still happening, although not as often as before.  Washington Post had a great article on the subject.

Bridgette Brennan, author of Why She Buys, says “Pink is not a strategy, unless you’re raising money for breast cancer research.”

It’s not that women don’t want products targeted to them. But in today’s world, women don’t want stereotypes. It’s a much more subtle type of targeting, like recognizing that women drink beer like Amy Schumer in Bud Light spots. They want a more representative view of society today.

And they don’t expect to see women in all the ads targeted to them. Moms like to see a Dad who likes his kids and is involved in their lives. Like those great Cheerios ads or a Dad who gets excited about a Swiffer.

Cultural stereotypes take time to change, but we are beginning to see a little more representation.

Mall Shopping No Longer Cool

April 18, 2016 § 1 Comment

1110_macys-nyc_650x4551The mall is no longer the cultural center of consumerism.  The crown jewels of mall shopping like Macy’s, J Crew and Sears are suffering.  Some predict 15% of malls will fail or be converted into non-retail space within the next ten years. In 2015 major retailers saw sales move away from brick and mortar stores while online giant Amazon increased sales 97%.

There are many reasons contributing to this decline but most importantly, there is a new savvy shopper out there who wants or needs new experiences.

  1. The mall as a hangout or destination is no longer necessary. Young people used to go to the mall to see and be seen. Today, social media, text messages and video chats replace some of that social activity. Movies can be downloaded. And goods are accessible online. So, the number of retail visits continues to fall. Time saving is paramount for many.
  1. The middle class shopper has moved on. Only upscale shopping centers are surviving. The affluent are keeping luxury brands in business, but middle class shoppers have left semi-luxury brands in favor of cheaper alternatives. The middle class shopper is less financially able to shop malls. Upscale malls in “super zip codes” are doing well, but the middle class mall is suffering. Middle class shoppers are seeking out dollar stores and stand alone retailers like Walmart and T. J. Maxx.
  1. Savvy shoppers are in control. Educated shoppers know where to get the best deal. Shopping decisions start online with price comparison. Some 87% of smartphone and tablet owners use a mobile device for shopping activities according to a Nielsen report. While 59% said online shopping was actually their favorite way to shop, many still prefer going to a store after checking prices online. Purchases are moving online, particularly with the prevalence of free shipping at many online retailers. Purchases are going to mega sellers like Amazon, department store online shops, boutiques, designer sites and buying clubs like Gilt and RueLaLa. With this type of price scrutiny, retailers have moved to heavy promotional selling.
  1. Fashion is moving to more year-round clothing. Traditional seasonal shopping has been replaced by just-in-time shopping to more closely follow current weather patterns. Year-round shopping and the prevalence of discount fashion like H&M has changed patterns and total expenditures.
  1. The retailer options have continued to grow. Premium outlet centers has replaced the mall for many bargain seekers and sales continue to grow. But discounting by major retailers and the continued growth of online shopping may make outlet centers less attractive for savvy shoppers in the future.

 

 

 

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