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The number of Gamma women in America – those who influence a wide network of consumers and generate and disseminate new ideas and trends – is estimated at 55 million and growing, according to a report (pdf) from Meredith Corporation.

As the social and technological environment becomes more suited to their communication styles, their influence in the marketplace will give rise to a new marketing model, the report suggests.

Gamma women stand in direct contrast to “Alpha” women, who value status and express their high standing on the social ladder through clothes, homes, cars, careers and families, the report states.

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Gammas may be equally well-off financially, but their choices express their creativity and personal style, making their homes comfortable and welcoming, and doing their part to preserve the environment, according to Meredith.

Characteristics of the Gamma woman:

  • Collaborative and inclusive
  • Feels empowered by information
  • Values relationships of all kinds
  • Defines success for herself
  • Individualistic and self-actualizing
  • Believes work should fit personal and family needs; not the other way around
  • Strives to be healthy and is comfortable in her own skin
  • Enjoys creative pursuits and opportunities for self-expression
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Faith and spirituality are important
  • Willing to share her time and talents

“Gammas are true brand advocates who are passionate and spread the word about what they like,” said Jack Griffin, president of Meredith Publishing. “It’s time for marketers to engage Gammas where they are already looking for social currency – talking with them versus talking at them.”

The report also identifies five key personality profiles within the Gamma mindset. Each profile embodies a specific set of beliefs and behaviors and responds to a specific combination of marketing techniques and messaging.

Gamma personality profiles:

  1. Connector: This type of woman believes people can accomplish more together than they can alone. She enjoys sharing her experiences, passions and recommendations with her network of friends and family. Fluent in social interactivity aspects of Web 2.0, her interest stems from motivation to keep in touch rather than a love of technology.
  2. Catalyst: This type wants to impact her community, and ultimately the world at large, in meaningful ways. She finds great pleasure in volunteering her time and inspiring others to do the same.
  3. Family-focused: This woman puts her family first; work exists to serve family needs. She looks to family and close friends to stay grounded and considers her loved ones her personal board of advisors. She uses technology to seek out information but relies more heavily on personal connections for support.
  4. Do-it-yourself (DIY) creator: This profile lives life by her own compass and expresses herself by creating. She enjoys sharing ideas and techniques with fellow enthusiasts, and finding ways to bring creativity into daily life.
  5. Challenge-seeker: This type of woman is always ready for a great adventure and focuses on possibilities rather than limits. She seeks out the exotic and challenging in all aspects of her life.

According to coauthors Lisa Finn and Lisa Johnson: “By striving to take advantage of Gammas’ preferred communication styles, learning their language of influence and developing strategies that utilize Gammas’ webs of connection, marketers can harness the influence of Gamma women and gain an early-to-market advantage that taps into this emerging power in the marketplace.”

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