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Chapter 13

Chapter 13. The Family and Generational Cohorts. The Family and Generational Cohorts. The family. The Census Bureau defines family as: “Two or more persons, related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together”

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Chapter 13

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  1. Chapter 13 The Family and Generational Cohorts The Family and Generational Cohorts

  2. The family • The Census Bureau defines family as:“Two or more persons, related by blood, marriage, or adoption who reside together” • In the US today, 70% of the approximately 100 million households are families • Although all families are households, not all households are families • Despite changes, the family remains the central institution in providing for the welfare of its members

  3. Types of families • In Western society, three types of families dominate: • Married couples • Nuclear families • Extended families • Single-parent families are increasing in number due to divorce and out-of-wedlock births • In other cultures, different types of families dominate

  4. Consumer socialization of children • Process by which children acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to function as consumers (consumption skills or consumer behavior norms) • Preadolescents acquire skills by observing parents and older siblings • Adolescents and teens more likely to see friends and peers as role models

  5. Family consumption roles • Individuals in each family are the key decision makers • Marketers need to know who in the family makes decisions in order to know whom to target • Buying roles have changed significantly in recent times

  6. Influencers Gatekeepers Deciders Buyers Preparers Users Maintainers Disposers Eight roles in the family decision-making process

  7. Number and identity of family members who fill these roles varies from family to family and from product to product • Roles vary based on culture as well • Marketers need to know which family members make which decisions in order to develop effective marketing strategies

  8. The family decision process • Research identifies four categories of decision patterns: • Husband-dominated • Wife-dominated • Autonomic--each spouse makes an independent decision about half the time • Syncratic--decisions are made jointly

  9. Figure 10.10 Husband-Wife Influence in Financial Tasks and Decisions

  10. The family life cycle (FLC) • A steady and predictable (at one time) series of stages that most families progress through • FLC analysis enables marketers to segment families in terms of their current stage • At each stage there are differences in earning power and unique needs and demands placed on family resources

  11. Traditional family life cycle • Divided into five stages • Bachelorhood • Honeymooner • Parenthood • Post-parenthood • Dissolution

  12. Family households: Childless couples Couples who marry later in life Couples who have children later in life Single parents I (divorced) Single parents II (child out of wedlock) Single parents III (adoption) Extended family (adult children return home or elderly parents move in) Nontraditional FLC stages

  13. Non-family households • Unmarried couples (heterosexual or homosexual) • Divorced persons (no children) • Single persons (most are young) • Widowed persons (most are elderly)

  14. Consumption in nontraditional families • When households undergo status changes, they often undergo spontaneous changes in consumption-related preferences and thus become attractive targets for many marketers • Divorce • Boomerang kids • Latchkey kids

  15. Generational marketing • As we have seen, age is one method to segment and target a market • As consumers age, their preferences and their access to resources change • Age-related life transitions create demand for specialized goods and services

  16. Age cohorts • Age also has meaning in terms of common experiences shared with others • Groups of people who have grown up during specific time periods and share experiences, memories and symbols that translate into similar preference patterns

  17. The depression cohort • Born 1912-1921 • Depression years remain the defining moment • Risk averse • Frugal • Avoid debt • Invest only in safest investment vehicles (e.g., government bonds)

  18. World war II cohort • Born between 1922 and 1927 • WWII is the defining moment of this generation • Also influenced by the depression • Financially conservative • Risk averse • Housing and health issues are important

  19. Baby boomers • Individuals born between 1946 and 1964 • Huge segment: 40% of adult population in the US • Highly educated and thus affluent • Represent 50% of those in professional and managerial occupations • Represent more than 50% of those with a college degree or higher

  20. Consumer characteristics of “boomers” • Tend to be consumption-oriented • Willing to borrow to support life style • Socially conscious and willing to spend extra for environmentally-friendly products • “Yuppies” are a small but highly sought-after segment of this market • Well off financially, well educated and in professional fields • Often associated with expensive brand names • As they age, shifting attention to physical fitness and travel

  21. Generation X (“busters” or “slackers”) • People born (approximately) between 1965 and 1977 • 46 million in the US • 21% of total population of US • Children of divorce, day care and latchkeys • Politically conservative with a “what’s in it for me” attitude • Many continue to live at home into their 20’s and find good jobs hard to come by

  22. Marketing to Gen-X’ers • Newspaper advertising isn’t effective • The “MTV generation” • MTV • Fox television • Comedy Central • E!

  23. Teens (Generation Y) • Substantial segment of the population in the US and abroad • Enjoy enormous discretionary purchasing power • Increasingly market savvy and involved with consumer culture • As rate of single- and working-parent families increases, teens increasingly become primary shoppers for families • Regularly go through rapid periods of physical, mental, social and emotional changes, generating rapidly evolving physical, self-expression and self-realization needs

  24. Children (Millenials and Generation Y) • Children represent considerable market opportunities for those who can meet their distinct needs and cognitive competencies • Greatest expenditures are in: Food and beverages (including sugared cereals) Entertainment (toys, games, movies, music) Clothing • Average child sees approximately 20,000 television commercials a year • Children as young as three recognize heavily advertised cartoon characters; this recognition produces positive attitudes toward products associated with these characters • Children are very brand conscious

  25. Table 10.4 Noteworthy Nontraditional FLC Stages Alternative FLC Stages Definition/Commentary Family Households Childless couples It is increasingly acceptable for married couples to elect not to have children. Contributing forces are more career-oriented married women and delayed marriages. Couples who marry later in life (in their late 30s or later) More career-oriented men and women and greater occurrence of couples living together. Likely to have fewer or even no children. Couples who have first child later in life (in their late 30s or later) Likely to have fewer children. Stress quality lifestyle: “Only the best is good enough”

  26. Table 10.4 continued Alternative FLC Stages Definition/Commentary Family Households Single parents I High divorce rates (about 50%) contribute to a portion of single-parent households Single parents II Young man or woman who has one or more children out of wedlock. Single parents III A single person who adopts one or more children. Extended family Young single-adult children who return home to avoid the expenses of living alone while establishing their careers. Divorced daughter or son and grandchild(ren) return home to parents. Frail elderly parents who move in with children. Newlyweds living with in-laws.

  27. Table 10.4 continued Alternative FLC Stages Definition/Commentary Nonfamily Households Unmarried couples Increased acceptance of heterosexual and homosexual couples. Divorced persons (no children) High divorce rate contributes to dissolution of households before children are born. Single persons (most are young) Primarily a result of delaying first marriage; also, men and women who never marry. Widowed persons (most are elderly) Longer life expectancy, especially for women; means more over-75 single-person households.

  28. Table 10.5 continued Number of household by type in 1996 Distribution of Households by type ALL HOUSEHOLDS 101,018 100.0% NONFAMILY HOUSEHOLDS 30,777 Living alone 25402 Female householders 14,861 14.7 Male householders 10,442 10.3 25.1 Living with others 5,375 Female householders 2,110 2.1 Male householders 3,266 3.25.330.5

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