What’s Next For Women? J. Walter Thompson’s New “Women, Next” Report Zeroes in on the Future Female Consumer

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The double report leans on original insight and data to examine the future female consumer across nine categories.


Female consumers have long felt that brands and marketers do not listen to them, and we hope that this report can be a helpful step towards shifting that conversation.

Witchcraft and Black beauty. Sex after 70 and female ganjapreneurs. Ethical lingerie and solo travel. These are among the shifts highlighted in “Women, Next,” the latest project from J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group that anticipates the needs, aspirations and motivations of the female consumer of the future.

The report confronts a popular critique from female consumers who say brands have not adjusted their messaging to accommodate the more modern and diverse experiences of women today.

Aiming to solve this disconnect between brand and consumer, the 200-page “Women, Next” is twice as long as the typical report from the Innovation Group and offers a roadmap for brands that want to be clued in. It examines female consumers through nine lenses, including “Women & Sex,” “Women, The Body & Beauty,” “The Next Billion” and more.

Highlights of original findings from the report include:

  • Among women without children, 84% of gen X women say they are happy without children, and 86% of gen X women say that if they ultimately do not have children, they’re okay with that
  • 52% say they worry about how women are depicted in adult-themed content/pornography, and 63% say they would watch more of this content if it were more female-friendly
  • 82% of gen Z girls say that girls their age are encouraged to be perfect more than boys, and 47% say they are less encouraged to be vocal about their opinions
  • 28% of millennials, and 27% of boomers, expect to remain sexually active into their 80s or 90s

Insights in “Women, Next” are supported by original data from a July 2016 study conducted by J. Walter Thompson’s research unit SONAR™ that surveyed 1,300 female consumers, age 12+ in the U.S. With this SONAR™ data and other data points from global research centers, the report explores how trends in female consumer behavior today act as key indicators of where female consumers are heading, what they will care about in the years ahead and how brands can anticipate their evolving needs.

Lucie Greene, the Innovation Group’s Worldwide Director, said of the new report, “Women make up roughly half of the global population and have a booming spending power. Female consumers have long felt that brands and marketers do not listen to them, and we hope that this report can be a helpful step towards shifting that conversation.”

The final chapter of the report offers a global view of the female consumer and leans on data from J. Walter Thompson’s “Women’s Index,” a research study conducted in November 2015 that surveyed 4,369 female consumers, age 18 and older in nine global markets: United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, China, Russia, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

“Women, Next” is the second half of a two-part project by the Innovation Group. The first half of the project, Glass, a pop-up magazine created in partnership with Getty Images, launched at Advertising Week in New York City in September 2016. Glass acts as a creative project that brings to life the extensive research and insight featured in “Women, Next.”

You can purchase and download the full report here. Find an executive summary here.

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About The Innovation Group
The Innovation Group is J. Walter Thompson’s futures, research and innovation unit. It charts emerging and future global trends and consumer change and innovation patterns, and translates these into insight for brands. It offers a suite of consultancy services, including bespoke research, presentations, co-branded reports and workshops. It is also active in innovation, partnering with brands to activate future trends within their frameworks and execute new products and concepts.

The Innovation Group is part of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a platform for global research, innovation and data analytics at J. Walter Thompson Company. It houses three key in-house practices: SONAR™, Analytics and the Innovation Group. For more information, please visit http://www.jwtintelligence.com and follow us @JWTIntelligence.

About J. Walter Thompson Company
J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Mirum and Colloquial.

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