Marketers adopt different strategies in order to sell products to various groups of consumers. One such strategy is family life cycle marketing. People advance through a family life cycle over the course of a lifetime. Their needs change as they pass through these different stages. Thus, a bachelor is likely to be more interested in some kinds of purchases than a married woman would be. Practitioners of the life cycle marketing approach take these differences into account.
The bachelor stage of the life cycle comprises those who are not yet married but who no longer live at their parents’ home. This stage of the life cycle is characterized by a lower level of financial care. People at this stage of the life cycle are more likely to participate in recreational activities. They tend to be a target for those marketing vacations and basic furniture.
Those who marry go through a newly married life cycle stage before they have children. At this point, they are likely to be in better financial condition than later when children are in the picture. People in this stage of the family life cycle appeal to marketers of durable goods. They are likely to be interested in consumer durables such as cars and refrigerators. They are also more likely to spend money on vacations.
Marketers define those who go on to have children as being in the full nest stage of the life cycle. There is a further differentiation within this group. One full nest segment includes those whose youngest child is six or younger. These are prime targets for home sellers. Another full nest category includes those whose youngest child is six or older. They tend to go in for larger sizes of products. Married couples who are older and have dependent children form another full nest segment. These people tend to go in for nicer furniture and will likely need dental services.
Once children leave home, people enter the empty nest stage of the life cycle. In the first empty nest stage, in which the head of the household still works, people are likely to be in a strong financial position. They tend to go in for vacations and luxuries. In the second empty nest stage, the head of the household is retired. These people are likely to experience a decline in income. They appeal to marketers of medical appliances and medical care products.
People in the final stage of the family life cycle are the solitary survivors. The first phase of this stage includes those still in the labor force. The second phase includes those who have retired. They experience a reduction in income and have a need for security and affection.