Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DoppleMoms

The results of a new study are going to be released in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Behavior that outlines what is being called the "consumer doppleganger effect." It has been most profoundly demonstrated by Moms who "mimic" their teenage daughter's sense of style and fashion.

"It is not merely the mimicking act that is conscious,"says Dr. Ayalla A. Ruvio, the lead author and an assistant professor of marketing. "The findings clearly indicate that the subjects intentionally choose the figure they want to emulate and report their inclination to mimic their consumption behavior."

I think it has long been common for Moms to be "inspired" by their teen daughters as they become interested in fashion, style and celebrities. And some have suggested that it's simply a "shorthand" for busy Moms who don't have the time or desire to stay up-to-date on what's hot and what's not. I'm pretty sure we can all think back to our own teen years when we rolled our eyes at our Mothers and gave them advice on what not to wear. But this study suggests that perhaps it is even more extensive than that.

What are the implications for marketers? A million ideas spring to mind, from the ridiculous to the semi-plausible.

I'm looking forward to reading the full study and perhaps finding what it is that makes Moms WANT to be more like their teen daughters (beyond the obvious Psychology 101.) Perhaps it will help us better tap into those consumers and help them find what they are looking for.