15 min read time


Equal Pay Day: Are Men and Women Equal in the Eyes of Brands?

In our research paper Unlocking the New Consumer Hierarchy of Needs, we identified a consumer mindset shift and revealed the new ‘Conscious Consumer’ – as well as their preferences and needs when in comes to retail brand interactions. Armed with these new insights, we threw out the old retail playbook and provided new guidelines for brands.

The key takeaway from our research is that the one-size-fits-all approach has to be shelved, as today’s consumers demand content, communications and coupons targeted to them by demographic – whether that’s age, location, education or gender.

While, on Equal Pay Day 2018, we are still working on closing the pay gap, spending habits tell a different story. Three-quarters of all important household decisions are made by women including what a couple eats, where they live, when they have children, where they go on holiday and how they spend their money. In fact, women make 70% of major financial decisions for themselves and their families. With this, we’re taking a deep dive into the differences between the genders when it comes to brand relationships.

Our research uncovered a fairly significant difference between female and male Conscious Consumers.

For instance, brand sentiment is very different between the two genders, especially with regard to brand loyalty. Although the research found that 52% of consumers claim to be more brand loyal than five years ago, females considered themselves far less loyal than men. 67% of the respondents answering less loyal identified as female while men only made up 33% of respondents who felt less loyal. This indicates that brands have work to do with the female demographic in building trust and ongoing engagement.

What the genders value in a brand’s offerings also differs. 51% of female respondents value pricing as a top priority when it comes to purchases whereas only 42% of male respondents felt that was high up on the scale of importance. This makes sense since, as we mentioned before, the woman is typically the decision maker when it comes to family finances. Instead of price, 86% of the male respondents placed quality as a top priority when selecting an item to purchase. This is a sentiment also shared by 87% of females, meaning that quality is still king for consumers.

But that doesn’t mean brands can neglect good behavior and service and rely on the product to do the hard work for them. 66% of women respondents are more likely to take dollars elsewhere if a brand makes mistakes and are less forgiving than men (59%). This means that for brands, the path of least resistance when engaging consumers is via the male demographic.

Additionally, men are probably a better last minute target as, contrary to popular belief, they actually spend more on impulse per week. 20% of male consumers admitted spending $51+ a week. By comparison, only 15% of women claimed to be ‘ad hoc’ spenders.

However, when it comes to sharing data, women are slightly more amenable – with 67% opting-in to share data if it gets them deals. In comparison, 61% of men feel similarly meaning that brands still have a good entry way with females via providing deals.

This knowledge should help brands understand who to target and with what content. Men are a more loyal demographic and will probably respond better to brand messaging but women will need to feel like they are getting a good deal to give her card over.

These consumers will be responsive if brands hit them with the right content at the time they are open to it. A good way to determine a good strategy is through the use of location insights. Using this data, brands can better understand consumer interests, build affinity with them long-term with helpful content, and anticipate when competitor purchases are about to be made to sway shoppers with deals.

Happy targeting, retailers!

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