An article in the online newsletter Engage: Moms recently defined the new American family as one that does not go out much – to shop or to entertain themselves. Because of the fragile state of the economy, moms, as gatekeepers to family purchasing, are being very, very careful fiscally. According to the author, Kyla Lange Hart:


  • Families are spending more time at home, less at malls or restaurants
  • The exception: Movies are doing well – it seems to be the one (relatively inexpensive) luxury we currently allow ourselves.
  • “Pride of purchase” now comes from not buying, rather than buying and boasting about it, or from choosing an inexpensive purchase (lipstick) over a pricier one (that dress).


The article posits that there is a sea change in progress, “defined by a new set of consumer values.”


For more, visit Engage: Moms


Marketers, this suggests a significant attitude shift. What are you doing to appeal to it? One approach may be to focus on the investment value of a product – positioning it as a long-lasting essential (e.g., wooden toys that endure over time and work for multiple ages, multi-purpose furniture or styles that “grow” with a child). Another is to introduce products designed to entertain families while they are “hibernating” at home.


Moms, is there a change in how and what you buy? What are you still buying and why? What have you backed away from entirely?

Explore posts in the same categories: Marketing to Mom, Mom Market Trends, Social Trends

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6 Comments on “Hiber-nation”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    I’ve changed the way I look at buying clothes. For me to consider it a good deal, I divide the cost by 5-10 (as in $5-$10/wear)and see how many times I’d have to wear it to get in that price range. If I know I won’t wear it that many times… It goes back on the rack. It hurts sometimes, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right?!

  2. In all honesty, I’m a shopper, always have been. It’s a tough habit to break even when the economy is hitting us hard. I do still buy the same items I always have, except now, I wait for a coupon or savings code to make the purchase so I don’t feel as guilty about it.

  3. Cat, thank you for your comment. It would be interesting to know how many moms are doing the same.

  4. Rhonda, I love your mathematical approach–I’ll have to try it!

  5. We are buying a lot less of everything; we are even downsizing our house next month, moving from a 3 BR to a 2 BR (we are a family of 4). As a result we are having to “downsize” our possessions as well so that we FIT in the smaller house. We are also selling one of our 2 cars.
    It’s definitely belt-tightening time! We are just preparing to “hunker down” and weather this economic storm, and simplify our lives in the process.

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