Buying power and making buying decisions for high-ticket items have become more complex in our fast paced society and so have the key roles for those who make those ultimate household financial decisions.

It has been discovered females make most of the major purchases and many more that influence their family or extended family. We are learning that the female decision maker has a power that is unyielding and not homogenous. She can be a millennial or a boomer but often feels misunderstood inside many industries, including the storage industry.

As a result, marketing strategists are becoming more gender focused and are trying to understand the female consumer, her power, and what drives her to a brand or experience.

Woman shopping online with credit card

A few statistics that one should keep in mind:

Women are the primary decision-makers for consumer goods in 85% of households. They make 75% of decisions about buying new homes, and make 81% of the decisions about groceries. They influence at least 80% of all household spending, according to Marti Barletta, author of Marketing to Women.

Women purchase about 50% of all traditional male products, including automobiles, home improvement products and consumer goods. Source: Connie Podesta’s Selling to Women.

  • 40% of U.S. working women now out-earn their husbands. (Source: U.S Bureau of Labor)
  • 56% of women in the US use social networking sites:
  • 58% of Facebook users are women
  • 64% of Twitter users are women
  • 82% of Pinterest users are women (Source: Mashable, 2012; Pew Research Center)

The power of the female consumer

It may really amaze you how tricky marketing has become and how companies are targeting the consumer primarily because the person who throws down the credit card may not be the actual decision maker and does not have the ultimate veto power.

As a result, the marketing planner may be on shaky ground because this is a key factor and game changer in analytics. Is self-storage on board with creating specific marketing outreach and if so, there are many factors to keep in mind. Step back, learn and understand the female consumer mighty power.

Bridget Brennan CEO and Author the Female factor, states from her book Why She Buys:

“If the consumer economy had a sex it would be female”

Inside the storage industry this may not be as easy to spot based on the way the sale is initiated and typically ends. The actual discovery of the storage facility to be rented is generally found online and when the decision maker comes in to look over the unit and sign a lease she has already scoped out the positive and negative possibilities.

Signing woman

The consumer journey

The female consumer researches and looks for outside reviews and recommendations. So as owners and operators, the way we market a property needs to be focused on how “she” sees the facility.

She is a savvy consumer and has expectations and needs that are direct and simple. Is this property convenient to the household? Can the property be easily accessed when she needs to retrieve or search for stored items? Does it feel safe and is the property it well lit?

Remember the extended family may be delegated to access the unit therefore safety and convenience play a key role in her processing the rental decision.

Although she comes in many varieties, may or may not have kids, can be married or single. She shares a common bond and wants to engage in an experience. She is a part of a demographic that demands quality and who researches the brand and looks for recommendations

Other aspect to be considered is the eye or curb appeal. Is the property clean and does it smell good? This decision maker understands what it takes to run a household or business.  A maintained is high on her priority list.

What about prices?

The price of storage may rank lower in importance to her because she recognizes that safety and convenience come first. The mom, wife or daughter is cautious and has a “get what you pay for” mentality. However, don’t be fooled – she has done her research and will know what the competition is offering along with discounts and promotions. Remember her online participation is strong.

The female decision maker is methodical and wears many hats. She also assembles a decision based on those people who reside with her and who she cares for daily. They include children, aging parents and even her partner. And not to forgotten, is that she usually oversees the household budget.

Bottom line:  Over the last several years, females have emerged as dominate in the work force and represent approximately three quarters of all the consumed items and services purchased. So, as we have come to learn, that name on the credit card may not necessarily be the one holding the purse strings.

Michele Cataldo

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