Brand Strategy: Female Consumer Life Cycle Meets Brand Architecture

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Crosscuts: Health & Fitness x Consumer Packaged Goods

Culture Cut

Culture Cut: Almost 51% of the U.S population is female.  She is 158 million strong, ages ‘months to years.’  She heads over 115 million households and is the glue between intergenerational families.  Her younger sisters are increasingly diverse, with 44% of females under 15 classifying themselves as ‘non-white.’  Her life typically spans five years longer than a man’s, living to 81 years on average. Women are the largest group of centenarians – individuals who live to 100 or more.  Her health and her family’s health are her most important values in life.

An increasingly diverse female population creates increasingly diverse health issues that will effect the health of the family and the country.  Because she lives for family and for self, she forms strong personal relationships with brands that address ‘all of her’ needs, and are beneficial to everyone.  Her Cultural sweet spot lies between Sustainability, Health, and Wellness; she has achieved a lot in the past 30 years; she needs an overall healthy attitude and behavior to fulfill her responsibilities.

Commerce Cut: Automotive, Health & Beauty, Health and Fitness, Health care, Food, Insurance and Investment, Nutrition, and Personal Care are product categories she consumes, shops and influences frequently and habitually.  These business verticals combined represent nearly 48% of the annual American household budget, accounting for spending of roughly $24,000 per year.

She shops, considering and buying different brands, in different categories, that deliver different benefits – emotional, rational and technical.  In theory, the Big Box retail format has taught her how to shop by ‘physical architecture’ in a retail sense; a masterbrand within this context, must design and deliver a differentiated product (and experience) that meets both internal and external ecosystems.  Not an easy feat.  She has also adopted an online shopping mentality where she has definitive control of the user experience.  As she toggles in between online and brick and mortar, Culture influences her next move.

Crosscutting: Her health is the source of her existence.  It is mental, social, physical, spiritual and emotional with no fine line in between.  It is proof that she is strong enough to be a woman. 

Design a portfolio that intuitively engages the female consumer, that clarifies your promise to her in the most differentiated way.  While every woman is different, her life stages, her attitudes and behaviors may representative of a undertone yet to be identified, but shared.  The more complicated brands, sub-brands, endorsed brands, house brands, etc. become, the greater her confusion.

Brand Opportunity: The right brand architecture can establish a life-long relationship.  For most of the 20th century, brands behaved and believed it was a ‘one-way’ street.  Women, regardless of their role in society have more choice, more power, and more influence than ever.  She has put ‘health’ of body, mind, spirit, and family as priority number 1.  Is your brand prepared to live up to how she develops shifting brand and product repertoires?
Ten Questions to Better Female-Focused Brand Architecture

  1. What are the ‘Health themes’ to her life?
  2. What are her current perceptions of category, brand, and product systems?
  3. What adjacencies ‘frame’ her in-store and consumption behavior?
  4. What core brand equities can you ‘stretch’ to meet future consumer expectations?
  5. How many different ways can you map her consumer segments against your various brand portfolios to identify new spectrum?
  6. What ‘clusters’ can you develop based on her Health-consciousness as Lifestyle?
  7. With what Culture will the brand lead her consumption behavior and attitudes in the future?
  8. Where will growth in the business category come from?
  9. What is the best route to portfolio propagation – organic or acquisitive growth?
  10. Can the business afford a new brand?  Does the new architecture fulfill new customer segments and provide growth where the old architecture was limiting?

Market Risk: Looking at the brand as it is today.  Market-performing brand architecture is long-term corporate strategy; managers that develop architectures from brand strategies are building the house inside-out.