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Marketing to the Modern Family


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The structure and needs of the family unit are undergoing significant changes. This report explores the landscape of the modern family and explains how brands can better serve them. …

The structure and needs of the family unit are undergoing significant changes. This report explores the landscape of the modern family and explains how brands can better serve them.

If you are inspired to explore these trends and others in more detail, then please contact us to experience our more than twenty-five 2013 reports, one-day strategy workshops, industry- and audience-focused cultural insights and real-time activation approaches that can help you synchronize your brand with the latest high energy shifts in culture.

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  • 1. marketing to the modern family image source 1
  • 2. is this the modern family of today? image source 2
  • 3. not exactly... image source 3
  • 4. The modern family is going through significant changes. While the traditional model of the family is not disappearing, families are taking on highly novel configurations. image source 4
  • 5. The Growth Rate of Traditional Families is Declining source 5
  • 6. A confluence of accelerated and accumulating social and economic shifts are driving these changes, and brands looking to cater to this new family spectrum need to understand and synchronize with the new reality.  The 21st century family has new behaviors, needs and pain points that need to be addressed. image source 6
  • 7. ...brands that ignore these changes will be left behind. image source 7
  • 8. what is driving these shifts? 8
  • 9. 1. New Family Configurations image source 9
  • 10. once upon a time, families looked like this image source 10
  • 11. now they look like this 25% of same-sex American households are raising children. image source 11
  • 12. ...and this Over 12 million households are headed by single parents. image source 12
  • 13. and this... in 2010, 5.4 million children lived in a household headed by a grandparent, up from 4.7 million in 2005. shutterstock 13
  • 14. ....and this Sandwich Families: 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40-60 is both caring for a child (often an adult child), and caring for a parent. image source 14
  • 15. it looks like this Co-parenting: A growing movement of unromantically-involved couples who come together to have children. There are 5 million adults in the U.S. in their mid-30s and above who are single, childless, yet still want to become parents. image source 15
  • 16. and it looks like this Friends as family: Growing numbers of people (young and old) are entering into permanent roommate living situations, where groups of friends take the place of a traditional family. image source 16
  • 17. and this. Professional aunts, no kids (PANKs), the emerging demographic of childloving women who do not have children of their own, represents approximately 23 million; one in five women is a PANK. shutterstock 17
  • 18. 2. Economic Pressures image source 18
  • 19. With social safety nets like traditional job security, health care, retirement plans and education crumbling or under attack, pervasive, low-level anxiety has become the norm. Failing institutions and changing social mores offer a space of both challenge and opportunity. And as career trajectories unravel, increasing numbers of people are piecing together portfolio careers out of several smaller jobs or income streams. In addition, more baby boomers are working through their retirement - to earn extra cash, to be productive and to contribute to society. image source 19
  • 20. SOURCE: The Urban Institute 20
  • 21. Fewer Americans Confident They Have Enough for Retirement % saying that they are... that they will have enough income and assets to last throughout retirement years Very/Somewhat confident 2012 2009 Worries about Retirement Finances Peak in Mid- to Late- 30s % who are “not too” or “not at all” confident they will have enough to live on in retirement, by age 53 Not too/ Not at all Confident 60 71 25 38 25 27 20 Age 26 32 Notes: results from 2012 based on total sample, n= 2,508; results from 2009 based on total sample, n=2,969. “Don’t know/Refused” responses not shown. 38 44 50 75+ 56 62 68 Notes: Data points reflect the average across five years; the middle age category is shown. For example, 27% of those 18 to 22 years old are not confident that their income and assets will last through their retirement years. Source: 2011 and 2012 Pew Research survey, combined n=4,511. source 21
  • 22. As economic factors throw a wrench in the works of the best laid plans, families are having to reconfigure and swap roles to make ends meet. Here are a few of the key characters in this new narrative. image source 22
  • 23. Power Woman: Women Having It All image source 23
  • 24. Women Have Regained Greater Share of Jobs Lost in Recession Than Men According to analysis by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research of the November 2012 employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth was stronger for women (91,000 jobs) than men (55,000 jobs). image source 24
  • 25. Working Moms are Exploring and Experimenting with What it Means to “Have it all” Women are increasingly returning to the workforce either out of economic necessity or to replace their husband as the breadwinner, making it a challenge to balance a career and family life. Oftentimes, it’s a “Sandwich Family” member (grandparent or adult child) - or PANK who is helping out. image source 25
  • 26. New Masculinity: The Rise of Stay-at-Home Dads image source 26
  • 27. Men are Leaving Their Jobs According to recent U.S. census data, the number of men who have left the workforce to raise children has more than doubled in the last decade. image source 27
  • 28. Dad As Primary Caregiver is Offering an Alternative Style of Parenting Eschewing routines in favor of spontaneous activities with their kids, many use technology and DIY skills to stretch household budgets and to find shortcuts for chores. Forced to stay home by economic circumstances or by choice, dad as primary caregiver is offering an alternative style of parenting. image source 28
  • 29. Redefined Retirement Due to the recession, over 3 million people over 50 are unemployed, and the number is growing. As a result, many boomers are moving back in with their adult children and taking a more active role in helping out around the house. In addition, as retirement funds dry up, retirees are being forced to forego their retirement dream home and downsize into smaller spaces. image source 29
  • 30. Achievement Gap The pressure to close the achievement gap, especially in math and science is driving parents to extremes to give their child a competitive advantage to excel at school and in life. image source 30
  • 31. Boomerang Children Approximately 13% of adult children between 18 and 29 move back in with their parents after an attempt to live alone. image source 31
  • 32. All of these factors, when taken together, underlie the significant cultural shifts happening within the modern family. Zooming in closer, next we’ll look at the cultural patterns and the dynamic polarities between which modern families find themselves pulled. image source 32
  • 33. 3. Cultural Trends and Polarities image source 33
  • 34. Surviving vs Thriving Getting by in a time-crunched world of fleeting opportunities is hard. And with competing priorities, it’s difficult to tell who is actually in charge. Dad? Mom? The kids? One way that harried families are attempting to deal with chaotic schedules is by running their family like a business. With conflicting routines and timing, special needs and potentially splintered living situations, the Modern Family is taking a page from agile development practices to stay balanced, focused and happy. By empowering children and holding family members accountable for their own “team” projects, chaos is being corralled into a smooth-running family unit. image source 34
  • 35. Surviving vs Thriving At the same time, parents are looking to enrich their family’s lives, going beyond the bare basics and turning to older homemaking traditions. From homemade clothing to homemade baby food to homeschooling, raising kids is a way for parents to express their individuality and provide a healthier lifestyle at the same time. While many parents are totally selfsufficient in their DIY pursuits, many are looking for tools, education and ingredients to help them get started. image source 35
  • 36. Comfort vs Healthy Living In the midst of busy lifestyles, families are trying their best to stay healthy. With parents scrambling to take care of primary responsibilities, fitness becomes something to squeeze in, and more frequently, gets squeezed out. image source Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking. Whether through juicing, gamifying fitness or family walks, parents are trying to reverse this trend. 36
  • 37. Comfort vs Healthy Living Simultaneously, stress drives a desire for comforts. Think comfort foods, quick and easy meals, vegging out on the couch or mindlessly surfing the web. Although health is a priority, these escapist tendencies remain, and can’t be discounted. image source 37
  • 38. Digital Convenience vs Digital Loneliness The youth of today will spend 25% of their lives in front of screens. And they are not alone. Not only are these digital natives living inside their devices, but more often than not, the parental figures are too. This is a double edged sword of having the amazing resources at your fingertips, while alienating real social contact at the same time. 38
  • 39. what now? image source 39
  • 40. six different ways to better serve the modern family 40
  • 41. • UNDERSTAND THE DIVERSE FAMILY SPECTRUM: Brands that traditionally aim to appeal to mothers as head of household will need to expand their focus to include stay at home dads, grandparents, co-parents and the unique parenting styles they employ. • SIMPLIFY LIFE: Regardless of family structure, the commonality amongst modern families is that of barely reigned in chaos. Conflicting schedules, splintered living situations and mounting pressures add up to an opportunity space to help alleviate stress and streamline life. • FEED CREATIVITY: Beyond convenience, there is a growing DIY movement within the home. From recipe ingredient services to tip marketplaces, parents are hungry for ways to make healthier choices for their family while using these projects as a way to express their individuality.   • DESIGN FOR SPECIAL NEEDS: Grandparents are increasingly acting as a default nanny. Look for ways to design products and services that cater to their special needs. 41
  • 42. • THINK DIGITAL: Mobile Natives (and eventually their parents) expect very specific UX, interface and experience designs. Assumptions and behaviors developed through intensive computer and smartphone use call for a translation into the language of apps and seamless digital experiences. • SNEAK IN HEALTHY BEHAVIORS: Consider how to painlessly introduce healthy (food, fitness, behavioral) choices into the daily life of the Modern Family. • BRING FAMILIES TOGETHER: While families may be physically in the same room, they are often digitally isolated -- lost in their personal devices and screens. Products and services that engender real togetherness and mindfulness/ enjoyment of the moment are very much in need. 42
  • 43. Methodology At sparks & honey we track and analyze thousands of cultural data sources in real time, incorporating live data feeds from numerous APIs as well as hundreds of offline sources. Using a proprietary Culture Mapping Platform, we monitor cultural bursts, identify clusters of activity and trends, score their energy levels, project their lifespans and analyze their cultural resonance. This intelligence helps brands understand and connect with popular culture in order to make more strategically informed business decisions. Our platform incorporates three different frameworks to structure and contextualize raw data: CONTENT NETWORKS ENERGY SCORE & PREDICTION SCORE DNA A mapping system used to model dynamic, interconnected webs of cultural activity. The Energy Score is rated on a scale of 1-5. It reflects the speed of reach and volume of buzz, and incorporates a ranking of influencer activity that includes reach, resonance and relevance. The Prediction Score is rated on a scale of 1-40. It reflects anticipated duration of a trend. A unique set of attributes that describes the core concepts of each trend. ENERGY PREDICTION same-sex marriage equality corporate support love acceptance 43
  • 44. SPARKS & HONEY NAMED AS 1 OF 10 TOP AGENCIES TO WATCH IN 2014 BY ADAGE “This Omnicom-backed "newsroom"-oriented agency starts each morning with a cultural briefing for clients such as Hyatt, Jarden and Life is Good, for whom it developed six "culture-to-commerce" T-shirts. In 2013 it grew from two to 17 clients and quadrupled its staff to 20.”
  • 45. S&H CORE OFFERINGS CULTURAL STRATEGY CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE • Dd 1 Social & Cultural Listening Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming 4 Sn • Segment Analysis & Tracking • Topic Deep Dives • Issue Monitoring Fl Event Tracking • Sensor Network 7 Real-time Burst identification • Channel Analysis • Content & Influencer Strategy • Editorial & Cultural Calendars Sf Mi Micro Manufacturing Mg Mood Geisting Qe Second Skin H 2 8 Mg Mind Gaming 10 We Ne 17 Fq 2 Rs 9 Icognito 8 Focus Quotient • • Se Sharing Economy Hy 6 Ra Lm Na Living Matter Raw Ma 18 19 Hd Ie Hand Drawn Mashup Ru In 3 Ss 10 4 Mi 11 Rurban Us Immersive 360° Made in the USA R Rb Ecoboostering 13 St Moral Imperative Rise of the Believer Life Logic Crowd IQ Io Influencer Outreach Strangify 11 Insumer/Outsumer • Channel Optimization & Fan Base Development • Analytics & Measurement • 4 Provenance 6 • 8 Sm En • Nh • Rt • Pr Premiumization • Cx Product, Service & Packaging Development Codex Ax 10 Business Model Design & Reimagination Armchair Explorer 12 Bi Business Context Analysis Binge 14 Radical Transparency 15 Projecting Segments into the Future (Consumers of the Future) Memory Management New New Hollywood 13 Mm Enchanted Rc Snack Media Living Without Community Management 17 Lw 14 Oneness Ll 12 7 Macro Trend Identification & Quantification Shock & Transgress Refreshed Classics 1972 On Cq 6 9 Decay Flat Design Ec 5 • Ab St 2 Absurdism 7 72 22 Pl Play Dc 15 Fl 21 Social Media Content (short and long form) posts, tweets, vines, videos, blog, etc. 5 Tangible Intangible Gl Glitch Warm Technology 20 Ti Real Thing 14 • Space in the Air 3 8 Slow Perception Wt 13 Sa 1 Rt 1 Sp 7 Small-scaling Kidult Cc Convergence Culture Flattening Sm 6 INNOVATION 7 Ft 13 Exponentials Ki 12 Hyper Culture Real-Time Commerce Startup Society 16 Ex 12 Squealing 5 Ephemeral Inwards Restoration 15 Fh 11 Nano World Ic 1 Sq 11 Real-time Content Production Te 4 First Hand Look • Rr 5 Redefined Retirement Third Genger Modern Family Gc 10 De/re-materialization Cyborg Singularity 14 • Mf 10 Singletons 3 Neo-psychedelic Cs Power Woman Geek Chic D De 16 Wearables 12 Si 9 • Tg 4 Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Production Online and Off Line Hack Design 9 Pw 3 New Masculinity Ss 8 Quantified Everywhere Social Flares 11 13 • 6 Frictionless Life 9 • Nm 2 Unfat Generation Quantified Self Super Human 5 Qs Uf 1 Screen Culture Sh 3 Sc 2 Data Divinity • CONTENT & AMPLIFICATION Ob Futurism Open Brand 16 Le Whitespace Identification Life as Entertainment Real-Time Media Amplification • Brand/Partner & Acquisition Recommendations 47