The Power of the PANK

  • October 15, 2018
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NEW! For the 2018 GENERATION PANK Study, click here!


Joint Study Finds PANKs® - “Professional Aunts No Kids” –
Spend $9 Billion on Toys and Gifts for Children Annually
23 million untapped “Savvy Aunties” are primed to be engaged by brands
at the holiday gift-giving season and all year-round

– Savvy Auntie® and Weber Shandwick Research ‘The Power of the PANK’ –

NEW YORK, December 3, 2012 – A new joint national study released today by Savvy Auntie and Weber Shandwick with KRC Research reveals that PANKs - or Professional Aunts No Kids – are a sizeable segment of younger women with disposable income, dynamic influence, and a digitally-connected lifestyle, primed and ready to be engaged by brands. Yet, this powerful market remains virtually untapped.

PANKs, the emerging demographic of child-loving women who do not have children of their own, was coined and first brought to the attention of marketers by Melanie Notkin, founder of Savvy Auntie. The sizeable niche represents approximately 23 million Americans, a population size comparable to Black/African American adults (28 million) and a segment larger than other highly sought-after niche markets, such as the LGBT market, estimated to be 16 million. One in five women is a PANK.

“Move over soccer moms. There’s a new group of smart, powerful women spenders out there. PANKs have time, income and a passion for purchasing the best for the kids in their lives,” says Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist for Weber Shandwick. “It’s a perfect marketing trifecta.” Gaines-Ross notes that the marketing world has long and rightfully focused its resources on moms. “But,” she says, “Our deep dive into social networks has revealed vibrant communities of women who aren’t moms. They are groups – like PANKs – that are well worth a marketer’s attention.”

In 2008, Notkin launched Savvy Auntie, the only multiplatform lifestyle brand designed specifically for this powerful segment. As the leader of this tribe, Notkin has become the national authority on, and gatekeeper to, this multi-billion dollar demographic. Earlier this year, in order to more deeply explore PANKs and quantitatively address the business opportunity they present, Notkin teamed up with Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations firm.

The result is ‘The Power of the PANK,’ the first study released from ‘Digital Women Influencers,’ a survey of 2,000 North American women conducted by Weber Shandwick with KRC Research to identify segments who not only have gone unnoticed in the marketing mix but who are influential in their own right. “I am thrilled to have partnered with Weber Shandwick on this study to be able to quantitatively confirm the generous contributions of this under-targeted niche. While parents are stretched to their limits, PANKs are able – and happy – to offer support to the children in their lives in meaningful ways. They may be secondary caregivers, but with their emotional, financial and material gifts – not to mention their quality time and positive influence – PANKs play a primary role in the vitality of the American Family Village,” says Notkin. “Plus,” Notkin adds, “PANKs demonstrate sizeable market influence in CPG, home, and service categories traditionally marketed mainly to moms.”

The joint study, available free for download, provides marketers and communicators with key quantitative findings proving PANKs’ value and outlines ways to successfully engage them. According to Notkin, PANKs are the next marketing frontier because while half of all PANKs believe that society overlooks women who don’t have children, there is great opportunity for brands to recognize and acknowledge these women at the holiday gift-giving season, and all year-round.

Why Marketers Are Paying Attention:
Weber Shandwick identified 14 Principles of PANKs – compelling reasons why PANKs are integral to any consumer segment-driven marketing plan. Some key characteristics include:

• PANKs are an attractive demographic
PANKs have a higher rate of full-time employment than the average woman and an annual household income that matches that of the average woman. These facts are impressive since PANKs are more than twice as likely as other women to be single. It means that PANKs don’t have to stretch their income among as many people. This household and income profile points to discretionary income as a compelling differentiator from other women. Additionally, PANKs are younger. The average age of a PANK is 36 (vs. 46 years for overall women), a highly desirable age cohort for marketers because it suggests that PANKs potentially have a network of friends and family members with growing families.

• PANKs spend money on kids and assist kids’ parents financially.
PANKs estimate that they spent an average of $387 on each child in their lives during the past year, with 76% having spent more than $500 per child. This translates to an annual PANK buying power estimate averaging roughly $9 billion. PANKs also offer economic assistance by providing kids with things kids’ parents sometimes cannot or will not offer them and many have given gifts to parents to help them provide for their kids.

• PANKs are avid info-sharers.
PANKs are sharing information on a wide range of products and services. They are exceptionally good sharers of information about clothing, vacation/travel, websites/social networks sites, and products for digital devices but also index higher on traditional “mom” categories such as groceries/food and beverages, home appliances and decorating goods.

• PANKs are devoted “nesters” but highly social too.
PANKs are significantly more likely than the average woman to enjoy home decorating and home improvements. They are just as likely as overall women to enjoy domestic life – spending time at home, cooking, entertaining, yard work, and even housekeeping. And at the same time, PANKs are significantly more likely than women overall to enjoy social activities – hanging out with friends, dating, using social networks, volunteering, and participating in sports. PANKs also enjoy attending religious services as much as the average woman.

How to Reach PANKs

To give marketers the opportunity to effectively understand, reach, acknowledge and engage PANKs, Melanie Notkin has developed several platforms designed specifically for PANKs, otherwise known to consumers as “Savvy Aunties,” including: SavvyAuntie.com, Auntie’s Day® - a national holiday to celebrate and honor aunts – and a large and influential social media following on Facebook and Twitter. As ‘America’s Savvy Auntie,’ a national bestselling author, and on-air lifestyle expert, Notkin is regularly called upon as a brand spokesperson and influencer. As the national authority on PANKs, Notkin offers strategic consulting to brands looking for a deeper understanding of the market segment at PANKPower.com. Notkin will announce the first PANK Marketing conference in the coming weeks.

For more detailed information, the executive summary and infographic, please go to Melanie Notkin’s PANK Marketing Website at: PANKPower.com and Weber Shandwick’s Digital Women Influencers site at: WeberShandwick.com/PANKPower

About the Study
The online research was conducted with KRC Research in August 2012 among 2,000 women, ages 18 and over, in the United States and Canada. The margin of error at the 95% level of confidence is ± 5.1 percentage points for PANKs and ±2.25 percentage points for total women.

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About Savvy Auntie
Founded by Melanie Notkin, Savvy Auntie is the multi-platform lifestyle brand that empowers and engages aunts, serving the PANK demographic discovered and coined by Notkin, and heralded by fabulous kid-loving women everywhere as a modern celebration of Aunthood. Notkin launched SavvyAuntie.com in 2008 and it remains the first and only resource and online community for this demographic. The brand also includes a popular and engaged social media following, Auntie’s Day® – a national day founded by Notkin to honor aunts and godmothers, the Savvy Auntie Coolest Toy Awards and Melanie Notkin’s national bestseller: Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and all Women Who Love Kids (Morrow 2011). As a lifestyle expert, toy expert and a taste-maker for children’s trends, Notkin appears on TV and as a spokesperson for brands. For more information, visit: SavvyAuntie.com and PANKPower.com

About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries around the world. The firm has won numerous awards for innovative approaches and creative campaigns, and it has deep expertise in social media and digital marketing. Major practice areas include consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit: http://www.webershandwick.com.

About KRC Research
KRC Research is a full-service market research firm that specializes in the kind of research needed for effective communications—communications that reach, engage and persuade. A unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), KRC Research offers the quality and custom service of a small firm along with the reach of a global organization. For over 30 years, KRC Research has worked on behalf of corporations, governments, not-for-profits and the communications firms that represent them. Staffed with market research professionals from the worlds of political campaigns, consumer marketing, journalism and academia, we are flexible, practical, creative, knowledgeable and fast, combining sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. For more information, visit www.krcresearch.com

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