Tag Archives: health and beauty

“Paying to Take Care Of Self”

Black women play a critical and influential role in driving consumer spending.

In many instances, Black women are the Chief Executive Officer of their household, with the responsibility for managing financial risks, planning, and record keeping.  Her children and family are the core of daily life, though she sometimes feels tired, frustrated and overwhelmed.

She is confident, strong and accomplished.  As the CEO and “money manager,” Black women have much to juggle between family, career and life’s daily demands.  These demands leave her limited time and resources.  This makes it challenging for Black women to have personal celebratory indulgent moments. Perhaps it is a workplace requirement, but Black women have figured out how to turn grooming into affordable indulgences — little luxuries.  These “little luxuries” are not selfish indulgences; instead they are moments of relaxation that make her feel good. 

Chief among these “little luxuries” are hair and nails.

According to the market research specialists at Mintel, Black women spend approximately $500 billion, (yes, BILLION!!) on hair care annually. To put that figure into perspective, that’s about 5 times larger than the gross domestic product of Puerto Rico. In fact, Black women spend more money on hair care than any other group.

These indulgences are not just about making herself beautiful.

She, perhaps more importantly, is paying someone to perform a service — an empowering indulgent reward whose end product is making her look and feel better. 

She pays someone to “do her hair.”

She pays someone to “do her nails.”  

When you see her, you recognize that she “paid to take care of self.”  I love that term.  My friend and colleague, Carol Sagers coined it.  “Getting your hair or nails done in a salon or spa is a luxury;  doing them yourself is grooming.”

Sagers is a dynamic leader with a track record of creating innovative marketing strategies that grow brands and businesses.

In my professional career, I have consistently made having a conversation with Black women integral to every strategy targeting the Black Consumer Market.  It is a guiding principle, one that all markets should pay attention to.

Links to some of my other blog posts about Black women and what motivates their consumer behavior are listed below.

Miss Recessionsita


African-American Women Offer Unparalleled Opportunities for Brands


The Role of Lipstick in a Depressed Economy


The Black Mom and The Barber Shop





Headstart – The Evolution of Local Store Marketing to Black Consumers













If you, your company or brand want to develop an authentic connection with African-American Consumers, start with African-American Women. 

To those who know my marketing philosophy, this will not come as a revelation…

According to a Neilsen Consumer Report+,

Black Women represent —

  • 54% of the adult Black population
  • and control 43% of the annual spending power for the Black population
  • 29% of Black Head of Households  (vs 20% for the overall population)

It holds true that understanding how, when, and where African-Americans shop and what drives their purchase and purchase intent is key to every successful marketing campaign.

All one has to do is start a relevant conversation with the consumer.

With that in mind, I am always intrigued to see how we local store marketing specifically targeting African-Americans has evolved.

While the example is specific to the hair and beauty category, I applaud the simple yet effective point of sale “kit” that supports Derek J’s “Weave & Wig Styler.”

The “kit” includes

  • Free-standing kiosk (with shelves to hold the product)
  • 2 sided door cling
  • Register Topper

Okay, so there is a “built in” based on Derek J’s popularity as a hair stylist on the Bravo show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” but isn’t that the point?

In this case, a general market hair care product has been “rebranded” with “messaging” that addresses the unique hair concerns for Black women.

And the beauty  – (no pun intended) – is that income level is not a barrier when it comes to specific purchases.

Hair is chief among these…

Let’s keep the conversation going and evolving.


+ Reslient, Recepetive and Relevant – The African Consumer 2013 Report, Copyright ©2013 The Neilsen Company