That headline is part of the question, what do cougars and gays have in common? Money, honey.....and I don't mean Maria Bartiromo.
I had the opportunity to dine with Brian Bolke, famous here in Dallas for his very high-end boutique, Forty Five Ten. While Barney's, Neimans' and Sak's look for ways to cut costs in light of declining sales, 4510's T-Room is busy on this rainy Saturday as the register continues to ring up one sale after another. Brian is relaxed, confident in his environment in spite of the current economic climate. Armed with a degree in design, years of extensive experience in retail marketing and advertising, and an infinite sense of style, he has built a successful business focused on a niche segment of society that gives him the greatest return on his investment, cougars and gays.
Being in retail everyday he has observed that women who have been divorced in the past 4-6 years have been VERY safe with their money, making deposits into large savings accounts and living on the allowance of that account. Fast forward to today and you have a lot of happy, single women that are financially secure in spite of the downturn. Add to that all of his gay customers. More highly educated, double income no kids, most gay individuals are not feeling the pressure of this downturn to the degree of the general market. Confident in their ability to earn, they are the perfect consumer.....a consumer that continues to spend. and spend. and spend.
If your brand is lumping Gays in with African American, Hispanic, Women and Youth all under the "segmented marketing" headline then your brand needs to take a good, hard look at the real difference in the opportunities within those segments.