Brand Name Universities

The higher levels of educational attainment <n Ihe United Stales Have led to both an ¡increased emphasis on marketing 10 college students and the increased marketing of colleges and universities as definable "brands." Heightened competition for the top students and concerns abou! inslitulions" reputations and rankings are prompting these institutions tu create a brand image. Ha one disputes Ihe strenglli of Ihe "Harvard" name as a symbol ol educational excellence and preem nence. Gottomdine pressures due 1o luilion discounting ar.d comparative snoj-pirtg by prospective students and thsir oarents are eocouragirq lesser-known cotters to take a tnaital-attated approach. Georgia Tech defines itself as the "twenty-lirst-century technology university" ly focusing on its quality programs, cutting-edge research, and aggressive technology kanster. Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts empfiasiies ils sir-e iCIark is among the smallest of the major research universities), ils history as i an innovator, and a sludent body comprised ol individuals wiio are obsessed wift their own areas of interest.30

Household Patterns the "traditional household" consists Of a husband, wife, and children (and sometimes grandparents). Vet, in the United States today, one out of eight households is "diverse" or "no n traditional," and in duties single live-nlones, adult live-iogerhers of one or both sexes, single-pa rent families, childless married couples, and empty-nestcrs. Mote people are divorcing or separating, choosing not to marry, many in g later, or marrying without the intent ion to have child re n. Each group has a distinctive set of needs and buying habits. l:or example, people in the SSYVD group (single, separated, widowed, divorced) need smaller apartments; inexpensive and smaller appliances, furniture, and furnishings; and smaller-size food packages, .Vkirkelcrs intJSt increasingly Consider the special needs of notltraditional households, because they are now growing more rapidly than traditional households.

Married couple households—the dominant cohort suite the formation of the United States—have slipped from nearly ¡30 percent in the 1950S to around 50 percent today. Americans are delaying marriage longer than ever cohabiting in greater numbers, forming more same-sex partnerships, living far longer, and remarrving less afler splitting up, By 2U10. nearly !5(t percent of homes will be inhabited by someone who lives along, A record number of children—33 percent—arc how born to single parents, many of them underemployed mothers. Hut singles can also liave much buying power and spend more on themselves than those who live in larger households, Products such eis ihe George Foreman grill that target jieopie who live alone and value convenience can be successful,"

A study by Cava Research Group at ihe University of Leeds in the tJniied Kingdom emphasizes that single duesn'i necessarily mean "alone." Researchers interviewed hundreds of people between the ages oiZa and til) and concluded that "friends are the new family." They observed a growing trend for "neo-tribes" of 3<>-so met flings to live communally. At the other end of the spectrum, older divorced people were seen centering (heir lives on their children and fricudsaitd keeping their romantic lives separate. 1'his emphasis on friendship can influence marketers in everything from whtfrn tlicy target to how they craft their marketing messages, '"ravel with friends or with a group, for instance, now appeals to a wider swath of Singles than College Students on spiring break or seniors going off to an eklerhns-tel.32 Online services are rccogn ¡zing this trend

3 J PART 2

CAPTURING MARKE tING INSIGHTS

FRiEMDSTER.COM

Fotmded in Sunnyvale, California. u 2003, Fnends-ter connects people for dating, making Trends. business proposilfons, and plain eld online voyeurism, The founder of Fricndsler created it after trying an online dating service and linding that he was not ' keen on messaging random weirdoes." The premise of Friendsler is that it's heller lo connect to new people Through people you: already kirn1,'/. It's I lie old friend ul a friend ul a friend strategy for meeting and dating. Users can brcwse through the profiles of their friends, ff¡ends' friends, and so on in I heir network. Willi |usl ?0 friends, a user can be linked tn 5O.0OQ At more people The profifes include fhotas, favorite boons, and other interests, along with pictures or their friends on the network. When users find someone interesting, tney can see how tliey are connected and wile a note, it's like being Ihe star ol your own game ol "SiJt Degrees of Separation"—1the notion that aoyuriE tan be linked to anyone else in the world via sin connections. The (ite. which Is free lo members, has aboul 7 million users ar.d has spawned a number of knock-off ■ social nelwofkuig sites such as Tribe, Rise, and Google'sOrkut33

The gay market is a particularly lucrative segment. Academics and marketing experts estimate thiit the Ray and lesbian population ranges between 4 and is percent oT the una I U.S. population, with ail even lusher percentage in urban areas.1" Compared to the average American, respondents who classify iheuisdvcs as gay ¡"V over 10 times more likely to be in professional jobs, almost twice as likely to own a vacation home, eighi times more likely to own a computer notebook, and twice as likely lo own individual stocks.-'-'1 Companies such as Absolut, American Express, IKEA, Procter & Gamble, and Subaru have recognized the potential of this market ami the nontradiudnal household market as a whole.

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