Marketing To Today's Grandmas

Today’s Grandma is not sitting in a rocker bingeing on novels or the latest drama series. No, she is active, fit, and spends discretionary income on her grandkids. According to recent research, one third of all grandparents pay for a portion of their grandchild’s extracurricular activities, education, or specially requested products.

 Tapping into the spending of today’s grandparents is a new revenue stream offering incremental sales to the smartest brands. Here are some tips.

Today’s grandmothers are the youngest members of the boomers generation and the oldest of the Gen X-ers. This is important because boomers were the generation of moms that showered their children with Coach bags and manicures. They were careerists who earned higher salaries than any females before and they spent that money on their children.

Now as grandparents, the spending trends continue with multigenerational vacations, educational funds, and customized products.



Gen-Xer moms were the largest group of mothers who were single by choice, leaving them in control of 100% of their income.  Not having to ask a partner permission to spend, she is extremely comfortable spending money on her children and subsequently their children.

Fewer of today’s grandmothers are babysitting. Everyday on TikTok, parents record videos chronicling their confusion around the absence of grandmothers supposedly on call to babysit.

This change in grandparents’ availability can be linked back to two factors: the youthful nature of today’s grandmother and the economy.  Many grandparents are working longer in life to make ends meet with rising food and health costs. Those that can afford to retire from work are more youthful and fit and see this phase of life as a time to do the things they have dreamed of doing for years.

Grandmothers today go by a variety of names. These women have customized teddy bears at Build a Bear Workshop and jewelry at Pandora since they were in their 20s, so it should be no surprise that they customize their grandparent name.  While their children are planning gender reveals, expectant grandmothers are trading “grandma” names on the pickleball court. Everything from Nona, Nana to Gigi and GaGa replaces the historical “grandma” or “granny” title.

Social media has new rules once the grandchild arrives, and the rules are set by the mother of the child. Snapshots and school photos of grandchildren have been replaced by digital images on today’s grandmother’s phone -- but sharing them to social media often comes only at the approval of the grandchild’s parents.

There is a huge opportunity for brands to tap into the spending of today’s grandparents. Recognizing that they are a youthful and active group who enjoy showing off their individuality will allow brands to connect in a meaningful way.

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