SOURCE: Ginger Consulting

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January 13, 2011 18:02 ET

Influential 'Alpha' Women Wear a New Attitude Into the New Decade

Branding Firm Ginger Consulting Releases Third Annual Alpha Panel™ 'What Women Want' Survey; Leading-Edge Women Want to Close Door on Downturn, Open Purses, Have Fun

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - January 13, 2011) -

News Highlights

  • Consumer branding firm Ginger today released the results of its 2011 Alpha Panel Survey™. The survey provides a snapshot of Alpha women's priorities heading into the new decade.

  • Ginger's Alpha Panel™ consists of 400 Alpha women -- consumer influencers and thought-leaders -- across 10 metro markets. Alpha females are the tipping point for women -- the consumer segment influencing more than 80 percent of all products and services sold in the U.S.

  • Sixty percent of respondents indicate they are feeling more upbeat about their personal finances; one in 10 say things have taken a sudden turn for the better. Just 10 percent of Alphas bring a negative outlook into the new decade, down 50 percent from 2010.

  • In 2011, Alphas plan to focus more on organizing their homes (70 percent), personal health and growth (69 percent), learning something new (64 percent) and having fun (60 percent).

America's 'Alpha females' say enough of the economic gloom and doom. They've cashed in their recession mindsets and are ready to spend, play and grow in 2011, according to a survey released today by Ginger Consulting, a branding and custom research firm based in Minneapolis. Sixty percent of Alphas indicate they're more upbeat about their personal finances and one in 10 say things have taken a sudden turn -- for the better.

Ginger's third annual Alpha Panel™ 'What Women Want' Survey gathers insight from America's most influential, ahead-of-the-curve women -- those who are six months to two years in front of market trends. Their survey responses signal 2011 and 2012 opportunities for retailers and marketers. The mega niche of 'women' influences more than 80 percent of all products and services sold in the U.S.

In a distinct shift from prior years, Alphas' 2011 survey responses show they're decidedly more optimistic. Only 10 percent bring a negative outlook into the new decade, according to Ginger Principals Mary Van Note and Beth Perro-Jarvis. "Alphas are tired of feeling limited by the economy. They expect good things in 2011 and plan to lighten the mood and open their pocketbooks," said Perro-Jarvis.

"These trendsetting gals are done with doom and gloom," Van Note said. "They're on the move, planning more travel and more personal and job-related growth. They're ready to have fun again. And we've found that where Alphas go, other women follow."

Alphas Call What's In/What's Out for 2011

Travel makes a return trip
Travel is back with short trips (71 percent) and girlfriend getaways (59 percent) gaining the most mileage. More than half of Alphas say they're over 'staycations' (58 percent) and a third see longer, luxury trips as an up-and-coming trend (35 percent). These results indicate 2011 is the time to market short getaways that help women relax, renew and reconnect.

Retail tries on new combinations
Alphas favor global surfing (82 percent) and local spending (78 percent) and now use coupons more for apparel (60 percent) than for groceries (50 percent). Alpha women give the biggest thumbs down to home parties (85 percent), strip center shopping (84 percent) and mall shopping (69 percent), indicating their preference for high-touch neighborhood shops and high variety websites.

Home is where the spend is
Alphas are staying put and willing to spend on quick and easy home improvements, including painting rooms (67 percent), new pillows and accessories (64 percent) and new furniture (47 percent). In contrast, they've packed away their desire to house hunt (67 percent), downsize (61 percent) and complete major renovations (48 percent). It's all about refreshing and sprucing up.

Alphas look ahead: Make 2011 plans
With their newfound optimism in hand, Alphas have clear plans for what they'll do More Of/Less in 2011. Leading the way is organizing their homes (70 percent), personal health and growth (69 percent), learning something new (64 percent) and having fun (60 percent). Finishing last is connecting through social networks (30 percent) and recessionista shopping (19 percent).

"Alphas lead the way, so these results give marketers a head start on where all women will be within 12 months," said Van Note. "They're ready to spend and get on with their lives, but in a new way. The recession reminded these consumers that they're in charge. Marketers will need to provide more rational and emotional benefits, at a better value, then before."

Ginger's Alpha Panel Survey was conducted Dec. 28, 2010 through Jan. 4, 2011 among nearly 400 members of Ginger's proprietary Alpha Panel from 10 U.S. markets, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. More than 150 Alpha Panel members, or 45 percent, responded to the 2011 survey.

For more information: gingerminneapolis.com

MORE INFORMATION

January 2011 Ginger's Alpha Panel™ Survey Executive summary 
Ginger Consulting Topic Expertise

ABOUT GINGER

Ginger is a boutique branding and custom research consultancy with a national reputation for its fast and creative solutions to the most vexing marketing problems. Ginger has worked in more than 20 industry categories and collaborated with brands like Nordstrom, Target, Kimberly Clark, Capital One, Gap Inc., OfficeMax and The Ritz-Carlton. Ginger Principals Mary Van Note and Beth Perro-Jarvis were tapped in 2009 to participate as marketing mentors in the U.S. State Department's Pathways to Prosperity women entrepreneur initiative, a mentoring program between successful U.S. women business owners and aspiring women entrepreneurs in Latin America, Canada and the United States. On the Web at gingerminneapolis.com

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