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Discussing Gender Fluidity in Research
In today’s society, it’s no secret that trends and emerging norms are completely dictating the market. Now, more than ever, for companies to stay relevant and even mildly competitive, it’s become a necessity to accommodate all market demographics and psychographics.
Where it becomes a challenge for companies to do so is when certain traditional demographics, such as male and female, are being completely redefined. What was once easy for marketers to cater to a male or female audience, has now become difficult, as more people consider themselves both, or neither. While it is moving society toward acceptance, tolerance, and prosperity for people who want to live outwardly as they feel inward, it makes it a bit more difficult for companies to keep up if they don’t analyze contemporary data and adapt.
Defining Gender Fluidity
While someone who identifies as gender fluid may have their own, more personal definition of what being gender fluid means to them, simply put, gender fluid is defined as a nonbinary gender identity that’s not fixed and is capable of changing over time. This essentially means that at times they may present themselves as traditionally more masculine, may present themselves as traditionally more feminine, or may present themselves in a way that doesn’t adhere to traditional or societal definitions of either. They often live in complete freedom from gender expression.
Gender Fluidity in Market Research
While it certainly varies by industry, a lot of moderns norms have started challenging the traditional definitions of a target market in regards to gender.
For example, in the cosmetic industry, which was traditionally geared toward a female market, the emerging norm of male makeup and beauty influencers has challenged long-standing campaigns that focused on girls and women.
Suy Y. Nabi, Founder of Orveda, a gender-neutral brand of eco-friendly skincare told Glamour “Today, men and women are not looking for skincare for their gender but simply efficient, greener, cleaner formulas based on effectiveness and safety with no difference in scent, packaging or name and this is simply because efficacy has no gender.”
Ultimately, market research discovers data and analytics trends that help brands making decisions in regards to their marketing campaigns. In order to reach new markets, data has to extend beyond company data, to industry data, and even zooming farther out into data that can encapsulate the consumer market in the near and distant future. Failure to do so will diminish a brand’s relevancy, and wither their bottom line over time.
How Your Data Can Stay Relevant
The value of your data is only as good as the inclusivity of your data, not just in regards to gender fluidity, but in regards to all areas of the market. In order to gain valuable market insight that can steer your brand toward a better, brighter future, you have to keep your data relevant and inclusive, so it can remain valuable. Here’s how:
Know Your Audience
This one is a no-brainer. As a marketer, it’s paramount you know your audience as well as you possibly can. As soon as new sub-audiences for your brand begin to emerge, you should immediately know and begin to factor them into your future marketing decisions. Most likely, that growth won’t slow down.
Know How Your Audience Compares to Other Markets
Knowing where your audience is in comparison to other markets, and the consumer market as a whole is vital in ensuring that your data is relevant enough to make future decisions. For example, if you’re a hair care company that caters toward women, your data will show that most of your buyers are women. But if you compare that data with analytics that shows the shampoo market is diverse in terms of gender identities, you’re missing out on critical insight that could impact the future of your brand.
The key takeaway here is that emerging trends and societal norms greatly impact data, which greatly impacts your company. Gone are the days where factors in data collection were concrete enough to make high-stakes marketing decisions. Now, you have to adopt means of market intelligence that collects inclusive and relevant data to help you stay competitive while being adaptive. Data in regards to gender is just one of them.