NRI Papers
No.154 May 1, 2010
  Three New "Invisible Family" Consumption Patterns
— Possibilities of tapping new potential markets —
 
Nori KAWAZU

Primarily in cities, we see an increasing number of "invisible families," which is a form of family members who do not live together but live within a certain distance that enables them to readily visit each other. The members are loosely connected and support each other both financially and emotionally. With changes in the social environments, such invisible families are expected to proliferate.

This increase in the number of invisible families has led to changes in consumer behavior. Consumption by invisible families can be classified into three patterns--"support," "shared" and "derived" consumption. Careful attention must be paid to the differences in the focus of marketing approaches suitable for each pattern. In specific terms, identifying target consumers is important for support consumption, product development is the key for shared consumption and communication with consumers (making proposals to consumers) is effective for derived consumption.

All three consumption patterns that emerge from invisible families offer the potential of creating new markets. Although it is likely to be highly difficult for companies to successfully deal with these new forms of consumption patterns, this promising theme is nevertheless worth the challenge.

Contents
I Spread of "Invisible Families" Gains Attention
II Invisible Families Give Rise to Three Consumption Patterns
(Support, Shared and Derived)
III Suggestions for Marketing

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