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As we’ve previously reported, Kelley Styring, principal of InsightFarm Inc., and her family are covering 5, 500 miles of beautiful American highways as she works on her new book, In Your Car:  Road Trip through the American Automobile.  We just got word that the Styring family is more than halfway through their journey and have traveled from Portland to Philadelphia with plans to visit Michigan and Chicago before flying back to Oregon on July 8th.  In addition to doing really cool things (“The kids even played guitar on the front porch of Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo”), Styring said “We’ve been learning extraordinary things about American drivers and the automotive lifestyle.”  Catch up with Kelley and the rest of her traveling experiences by logging into her blog at http://www.inyourcarroadtrip.com

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To understand the Internet’s role in consumers’ search for wellness information, Burst Media surveyed nearly 1,700 Web users 18 years and older in May 2008 about how they research wellness topics online. According to the survey, women are significantly more likely than men to use the Internet as a wellness resource – 71.7% versus 60.5%. This usage is fairly consistent among all female age segments, rising from 66.0% among women 18-24 years to 75% among women 55 years and older. Interestingly, women 65 years and older are also very active consumers of online wellness information. In fact, among this group 18.0% say they search daily for online wellness information.   So, where do they go for their info?  Commercial wellness/health websites, such as Wellness.com and WebMD.com are most popular—especially with women 55 years and older.  According to Chuck Moran, vice president of marketing for Burst Media, “The concept of wellness encompasses some fairly focused topics—nutrition, stress relief, etc.—and these focused topics are what drive consumers to the web.  This is what the Internet is about—focused content that can easily be found and consumed.”  

Four years after the launch of the Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, Dori Molitor, founder and CEO of WomanWise LLC, is taking a look at the campaign from a new angle:  corporate social responsibility.  As stated in a recent article she authored for HUB Magazine, “To date, Dove’s efforts have been extremely one way.  Yes, it is a campaign, but largely an advertising campaign, albeit of the 21st century viral variety.  But the potential is to be a part of a movement.  Dove needs to join that movement instead of defaulting to the same old advertising techniques.”  You can read the article in its entirety at www.womanwise.com.

Women looking to improve their health and happiness may want to review their portfolio before revving up the treadmill. A new study commissioned by financial security company Northwestern Mutual, in partnership with LLuminari, a national network of evidence-based health experts, indicates that women who actively take control of their finances are healthier and happier than those who don’t.  Women who are proactive in managing their finances are significantly more likely to report that they are in excellent to very good health, happy, hopeful, optimistic, confident, cheerful and upbeat. They also are less likely to say they’re worried, regretful, conflicted, disappointed and depressed.  “Being financially secure isn’t only about how much you earn and creating wealth. It’s about what you do with what you have. As the survey indicates, taking steps to control your finances can have great implications for your physical and emotional well-being,” said Meridee Maynard, senior vice president, Northwestern Mutual. “The first step both women and men can take is to work with a financial professional to identify your goals and build an appropriate personal balance sheet that addresses your risk, investment and spending needs.”  In conjunction with the study, Northwestern Mutual and LLuminari have launched a website – www.sevenfinancialhabits.com – where individuals can learn more about the steps they can take to improve their physical and fiscal health. 

When it comes to cars, there are significant differences by gender, according to a recent Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST study, regarding which innovations they will most likely consider during the purchase process.  The study reveals that men gravitate more toward performance, convenience and communication/sound options, while women indicate a stronger preference for comfort items. Both sexes show strong interest in new technology options that provide a heightened degree of personal safety.  “The most intriguing results from our study indicate that men and women have significantly different technology tastes and views of what features are the most appealing,” said Stephen A. Lovett, director of client development, Harris Interactive. “The fact is women have a great influence on vehicle purchases and they are more tech savvy than ever. The automakers need to take these views into consideration when designing their next-generation vehicles.”  Continued Lovett, “Despite the trend toward smaller vehicles, drivers still have high expectations when it comes to comfort, safety and performance. Having more technology in the car may be one important way that people can compensate for a reduction in auto size.” 

It’s universal, all women love a great deal and they want to be in the know on their town’s hotspots. Introduce them to these hotspots with exclusive introductory offers and everybody wins. DC Girls in the Know (DCGITK) launches online at www.dcgirlsintheknow.com bringing exclusive offers from select, ultra chic DC area businesses to its subscribers. Salons, spas, restaurants, boutiques and more – at introductory offers of up to 50% off retail prices. Best of all, it’s free to subscribe and DC businesses pay nothing to participate, an especially attractive business model given current economic conditions. Consumers get the services and products they want at an introductory discounted cost, and businesses get exposure to a new audience without prohibitive advertising fees.

Nearly 50,000 women are expected to convene in Chicago this summer for the city’s very own, “The Black Women’s Expo,” formerly “An Expo for Today’s Black Woman.” Now in its 15th year, the national destination event returns to the city beginning August 1st through August 3rd at McCormick Place.  A host of exciting events are planned, making the 2008 Expo one of the hottest tickets in town.  “There is something for all Black women at this summer’s Expo. In years past, women from all around the country have come to Chicago to participate. We fully expect to engage and excite each and every woman that makes the trip,” said Merry Green, producer of The Black Women’s Expo.

As previously reported in M2W(R) E-ssentials, Kelley Styring, principal of InsightFarm Inc. and good friend of the M2W® and M2Moms® communities, is on a 30-day road trip with her family as she works on her upcoming book, In Your Car:  Road Trip through the American Automobile.  She is chronicling her experience in a regular blog at http://www.inyourcarroadtrip.com and in the spirit of fun summer travel E-ssentials will be giving you regular updates on where the Styrings are on their family road trip and what insights Kelley is gaining about consumers and their cars.  

Visit the blog today to see great photos of billowing clouds in a big blue sky (“In the West, the sky is big,” writes Styring) and details of the family’s recent stop at the Grand Canyon and their quest to find authentic fountain root beer on Route 66. 

 

 

Move over Millennials, the most confident beauties at the beach this season may be over the age of 40. A reader panel survey of more than 1,400 women over the age of 40 conducted by More magazine and Lands’ End found nearly half (47%) of respondents have gained swimsuit confidence with age, admitting they feel most confident in a swimsuit since turning 40-years-old. Healthy swimsuit attitudes are further echoed with nearly all (95%) participants stating women over 40 can truly look and feel fantastic in a swimsuit.  “Forty-something body confidence is in,” says Regina Haymes, fashion director of More magazine. “These results reconfirmed what we already know about our readers — these are unquestionably poised, self-assured women who are confident about who they are.”

The steady rise in handgun sales over the last few years, as well as the introduction of even more models by more companies designed specifically for women, has led to an increase in the number of women enrolled in classes regarding handgun ownership.   Enrollment in self-protection handgun classes is at an all-time high, especially among women, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which two years ago launched First Shots, a program that provides an introduction to handgun shooting in cooperation with shooting ranges across the country. A survey of women from the classes indicates that 73 percent enrolled because learning about self-protection was a prime concern for them. And over 95 percent of those women indicated that they were “likely to continue to participate in handgun shooting.”  “The key to making these events appealing to women is to conduct them in a relaxed, supportive environment,” commented Cyndi Dalena, manager of the First Shots program nationally.

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