Victoria Li
Senior Trends Analyst, China

Modern women are no longer bound by the ideal image such as superwoman, whether it’s about marriageable age, work-life balance, or the high expectations of appearance around them. By contrast, women in modern society are instead looking to  plan career development, and spend more time fulfilling their own personal pursuits.

Mintel data shows that when female consumers were asked about the time allocation, over half of them wished to spend more time on their mates and children.. Meanwhile, modern women are paying more and more attention to self-development and personal pursuit. Priorities have ranged from career developments and hobbies, to financial investment and wellness.

In response to the increasing recognition of women as stakeholders and equal consumers, corporations and brands have to join the conversation. At the same time, they need to understand the new role women are playing in the relationship and workplaces, offer supportive products and services, and help women  develop their unique personalities.

Protecting Mental Health of Women

Mintel data shows that 86% of Chinese women are looking for ways to relieve stress. Beauty brand Florasis capitalized on that, and has opened a hotline, offering free telephone consulting services, together with offline psychodrama and salon to help protect the mental health of women. The brand also has plans to  carry out new services in various forms, such as text consulting mini-programs, live science columns and women’s psychological forums, in an effort to provide more people with free psychological consultation channels.

Consumers are increasingly aware of how their mental health affects their physical one, and how their physical health may affect their appearance. At this level, Florasis offers a more comprehensive beauty program than just selling cosmetics or skin care products.

Closing the Gender Gap

Mintel data in India  shows that 42% of female consumers strongly agree to work at companies with an intention to promote sexual equality. Skincare brand Olay recently launched an initiative in progress to help close the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in India. Conducted in partnership with Publicis Groupe Singapore, the campaign demonstrated how subtle, offhand comments from parents, teachers and other adults reinforce the notion that ‘STEM subjects are not appropriate things for girls and young women to be interested in.’

The campaign sheds light on  what exactly causes the lack of gender diversity we see in STEM-related industries today. In this sense, even a short comment about women can have a longer-term impact, highlighting the role brands can play in addressing unconscious gender bias.

What We Think

In the future, brands should take a more holistic look at what they offer their customers, and think creatively about it. Initiatives that provide practical support to consumer groups remain a powerful way to improve brand image and earn customer loyalty, especially when the brand’s products are able to solve problems faced by consumers themselves. Brands should be aiming to offer services to their customers, and think creatively to provide solutions.At the same time, brands can highlight their roles in fighting unconscious gender bias as a first step in removing some of the barriers women face at home, school and in the workplace. We are seeing both brands and consumers pushing hard to remove these biases. Advocating for gender expression and inclusivity is giving a voice to a specific part of equality, which is a key underpinning argument in Mintel Trend Driver Social Environment.