30 October 2014

Like Mum, Like Daughter

By Shaziya Khan, VP & Executive Planning Director (JWT Mumbai) 

Brands can get closer to women consumers by helping them nurture their goals of financial freedom

There are charming quotations. There is fierce emotion. There are tender moments of unspoken understanding.

On the topic of mothers and daughters, there is, in short, endless and timeless poetry.

The slant of this piece though, is different.

One that revolves less around emotional dependence and more around financial independence. There is a new story bursting through consumer research.

Mothers and daughters, we learn, from a JWT study of (March 2014 online survey of women SEC A, B) have a common dream: Of financial independence.

A top goal of approximately 42 per cent of women in their 30s and 40s is to be financially independent. Nearly one in two mums is nurturing not just her home, her family and her children but also her own desire to be financially her own mistress. In the wake of this dream follow related ones such as wanting to advance her career (40 per cent), open her own business (36 per cent) and travel the world (45 per cent). As well as buy a home (37 per cent) and a car (36 per cent).

Thus, women today are seeking an independent financial infrastructure that supports their mobility, flexibility and freedom. Some of their key personal duties done, they are seeking to flex their professional talents and skills beyond the home sphere, step out into the world and earn their financial independence.

But that is only half the story. These women are surrounded by, and possibly raising, the next generation of women that dream alike.

Women in their early 20s are citing financial independence as a top goal too (65 per cent). 'Girls just wanna have fun' now comes with some definitive ideas of what's involved, including career advancement (61 per cent), opening own business (47 per cent), travelling the world (42 per cent), buying a home (49 per cent) and buying a car (50 per cent).

Interestingly a few of these financial goals take precedence over getting married (51 per cent). Getting married remains a top life goal - a 'suitable boy' matters, of course! But 'suitable career' comes first.

Young women are stepping out into the world driven by clear-headed wishes for financial independence. That they are today supported by mums who share the same dream implies incredible support, drive and understanding to help achieve their financial goals. (And possibly, provide wise counsel, to each other.). Across all age groups, a whopping 85 per cent women believed that having a career defines a 'successful woman' today.

Younger women (20-24 years), when asked, 'Thinking about your generation compared to your mothers, which of the following do you think have been most influential for women? ' cited opportunities for work and career (53 per cent) and financial independence/spending power (43 per cent) as the most influential drivers for change for women.

Mothers and daughters have a common dream, of financial independence.

This dream offers a relevant platform for brands to play significant roles in the lives of mothers and daughters in support of their financial independence and spending power. Ranging from enabler, educator, cheer leader, catalyst, re-inforcer, call to action. And needless to say, sponsor or benefactor. What's more, if the ladies insist on giving a treat or two, don't be surprised! They've been wishing to do so for two generations.

This article was first published in Hindu Business Line July 4th, 2014

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