Okay, hopefully, we can all sit back and catch our breath for a few minutes before 2014 rolls in. Our adrenaline levels should be getting back to normal. Most of the holiday hustle and bustle is over. The gifts have been given and received—loved or ready to be returned. How did you fare this year? Were you able to find the perfect present for your folks and everything (or at least a gift or two) on your kids’ list to Santa this year? How about that ideal surprise for your significant other? Or that friend for whom you always have a hard time finding the perfect gift?
We know that African Americans are powerful consumers, and that consumers across-the-board fall into very specific categories. Even though we may not have consciously thought about it while making our lists and checking them twice in the stores or online, chances are we automatically classified our gift recipients into consumer groups, as was encouraged by consumer insights from research for Nielsen. Now, this might seem a little ‘after the fact,’ but, these insights are not only fun, but studying our trends as consumers helps businesses craft the messages and outreach strategies to engage us and better meet our needs (and their bottom line) down the road. This year’s gift guide survey, focused on five consumer categories: working moms, sports fans, arts enthusiasts, connected consumers and status seekers.
According to the survey, the working moms in your life typically buy and appreciate anything that helps to keep their lives organized and moving forward (raises hand and count me in). For instance, working moms are more likely to thrive on all varieties of coffee, and enjoy specialty coffee packages. Working moms are 23% more likely than other consumer groups to visit the local pizza place, so it makes sense that a pizza stone and ingredients would have been a good gift. Other great presents would have been a tablet PC or any kind of home décor or decorative storage pieces.
Sports Fans for purposes of this survey, were defined as U.S. adults who say they’re interested in the MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL. (Well, the sports fan in my house is not technically an adult yet, but I think this applies to him too). We know that sports fans (no matter the age) can never get enough sports stuff. These consumers are 36% more likely than others to shop at a sporting goods store for equipment or gear. They love tickets to any game and are nearly three times more likely to purchase sporting events tickets themselves (hint, hint for future gift-giving). Sports enthusiasts want to be able to enjoy their games on multiple screens and are 34% more likely to purchase HDTVs and 38% more likely to spring for a tablet PC.
Then, we’ve got our Arts Enthusiasts, who love all things fine art. Twelve percent of those surveyed classifying themselves as such appreciate donating (or charitable donations made in their name) to arts organizations. These consumers are 48% more likely to do yoga/pilates (kinda artsy, I guess) and are 41% more likely to patronize art museums.
The survey shows Connected Consumers, U.S. adults who own a laptop/notebook, computer, Smartphone and tablet, to be more social and a bit more curious about exotic cultures (27%) and cuisine. Great gifts would have been coffee gift cards, as they are 66% more likely to visit a coffee house/bar. Fifty-four percent of this consumer group was more likely to buy a Blu-Ray player. They also have their eyes peeled for the latest restaurant ratings guide for their city.
The final category in the survey included the Status Seekers. You know, like the ‘hostess with the most-est.’ They love to entertain and are nearly three times more likely to open their homes to guests. The Status Seekers are 50% more likely to plan to purchase a video game system, so that’s an awesome gift choice. And interestingly, they are 43% more likely to have attended an R&B/Rap/Hip Hop concert in the past 12 months.
It has been my great pleasure to bring these kinds of consumer insights to you over the last four years. No matter what consumer preference category you or those you gifted fall into, I encourage you to always choose wisely. You’ve got the power. And don’t forget to chat with us on Twitter or Facebook, so we can keep the conversation going.
(Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of ‘public affairs and government relations’ for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to .
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