I am continually fascinated by consumer behavior. And just when I think I have it pretty much figured out, a new finding shows that there is so much to learn.
“When gas prices fall, Americans reliably do two things that don’t make much sense. They spend more of the windfall on gasoline than they would if the money came from somewhere else. And they don’t just buy more gasoline. They switch from regular gas to high-octane.”
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.
“There are some positives heading into the holiday season: improving consumer confidence, lower gas prices and job gains, all of which should spur consumer spending, much of which will be led by multicultural consumers and large households.”