2010 Alpha Panel Survey

What Women Want

National Survey Says 9/11 Defined Decade for Influential ‘Alpha’ Women 

Branding Firm Ginger Consulting Releases Second Annual Alpha Panel™ ‘What Women Want’ Survey

Influential Women to U.S. Administration:  It’s Still The Economy Plus Jobs, Healthcare

Leading-Edge Women More Optimistic About 2010; Focused on Health, Not Success

Lisa Hannum
651.789.2233 |

MINNEAPOLIS (FEB. 8, 2010) — America’s “Alpha females” — influential women who provide a preview of what others will be thinking and doing six months to two years from now — say their aught decade was defined by one event: 9/11, according to a survey released today by Ginger Consulting, a branding and custom research firm based in Minneapolis.

Ginger’s second annual Alpha Panel™ “What Women Want” Survey gives marketers, retailers and the administration a current snapshot of what’s on the minds of America’s most influential, ahead-of-the-curve women. The mega niche of “women” influences more than 80 percent of all products and services sold in the U.S., fueling two-thirds of the U.S. Gross National Product.

Seventy percent of Alphas surveyed said 9/11 was the transformational event of the decade and will have the most far-reaching effect on their lives over the next 10 years. Other decade-defining events for Alphas were the global recession (61 percent), the election of the first African American president (41 percent) and the digital revolution (40 percent).

Alphas Cautiously Optimistic On 2010

The overall mood of Alphas entering 2010 is a bit more optimistic than 2009, but caution is still her guide, according to Ginger Principals Mary Van Note and Beth Perro-Jarvis. “What Alpha women want is to close the door on a rough decade and exhale,” said Van Note. “While half our Alpha panel continues to be optimistic but realistic, about the same as 2009, the number of women who are entering 2010 ‘filled with hope’ has doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent, signaling a positive shift.”

Personal Health Is Priority, Success Ranked Last

Health and family ranked as the most important personal priorities for Alphas for the second year in a row, according to Ginger’s Import-O-Meter™. Success again ranked dead last. “Creating fun, new experiences is trending way up for these gals,” said Perro-Jarvis. “2009 was the year to ‘strip down’ and live more in line with their personal values. Alphas will take the same pragmatic approach in 2010.”

For marketers and retailers, that means this mega niche of women is making clear choices about what they’ll be doing More Of /Less Of in the year ahead. With 67 percent of Alphas saying they’ll be seeking more fun, new experiences in 2010, brands that market travel, events and sports could see the start of an upward trend, according to Van Note and Perro-Jarvis.

The majority of Alphas will continue to shop value brands and stores (68 percent), buy on sale (64 percent) and sell their unneeded stuff (63 percent). “Equally as significant is that Alphas aren’t willing to sacrifice more than they already have, signaling they’re settling into a long-term adjustment in lifestyle and priorities,” added Perro-Jarvis.

Alphas To The Administration: It’s Jobs and Healthcare in 2010

Alpha women’s top priorities for the Obama Administration continue to be focused on the economy, specifically high-quality healthcare and job creation.

“The administration is on message for Alphas so far this year,” said Van Note. “These influential women want to see action on high-quality, affordable health care and job creation.” Thirty-five percent of Alpha survey respondents ranked “stabilizing the economy” as the administration’s top priority in 2010, compared to 66 percent in 2009. Healthcare as a top political priority increased from 8 percent in 2009 to 21 percent in 2010, and job creation increased from 4 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2010.

Ginger’s Alpha Panel Survey was conducted online the first two weeks of January among 400 members of Ginger’s proprietary Alpha Panel from 10 U.S. markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. More than 150 Alpha Panel members, or 38 percent, responded to the 2010 survey.