“Duck Dynasty” Breaks More Viewership Records in 3rd Season Finale

Tops the charts against both cable and broadcast competitors 

Who would have guessed that a family that embodies rural American values and love for hunting and Jesus could be so much fun to watch?

Duck DynastyLast summer we wrote about the popular A&E show, “Duck Dynasty,” which follows the daily lives of the Robertson family, a clan of self-proclaimed rednecks whose Duck Commander brand of hunting products has made them rich and famous. 

The 30-minute show has now become a national phenomenon and recently set the record as A&E’s most-watched show after 9.6 million viewers tuned in for the season three series finale on April 24. 

From Yahoo!:

                “Last night’s one-hour episode garnered 5.6 million viewers in adults 25-54, 5.5 million adults 18-49 and 2.6 million adults 18-34 to become the most-watched series telecast in A&E’s history in all demos. That is a 41% rise in 18-49 over last season’s finale and a 47% rise in 25-54.”

In comparison, Fox’s “American Idol” managed to garner only 4.13 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. “Duck Dynasty” similarly beat “Idol” in the coveted 18-34 demo by an astounding 70 percent.  The success of the first three seasons has producers already gearing up for season four.

“Duck Dynasty” even beat out cultural phenomenon “Downton Abbey” in total viewership for their respective finales.

The popularity of “Duck Dynasty” demonstrates the void in popular culture of faith-friendly products and entertainment.  It also shows that Faith Driven Consumers will flock to support brands that welcome, respect and embrace them. 

As the 11.7 million viewers who tuned in to the March 31 finale of the hit History channel miniseries, “The Bible,” demonstrate, the success of “Duck Dynasty” is not merely an outlier. A significant percentage of Americans want faith-compatible entertainment options. These shows prove that the portrayal of traditional faith-driven values is not in conflict with the majority of Americans and, in fact, is openly welcomed.

Brands that respond to the specific wants and needs of the Faith Driven Consumer marketplace will reap the reward of a loyal and economically powerful segment of 41 million Americans who spend $2 trillion annually. 

Women Control Spending Power in America

Nielsen findings consistent with data on $2 trillion Faith Driven Consumer segment

Grocery stores, mass retailers, and drug stores – these are a few store types that women disproportionately control in terms of spending power in America.  

New data released by Nielsen in April 2013 show that women have vast spending power – ranging from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually. The report indicates that in the next decade, women as a demographic will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. and will continue to grow to unprecedented levels as a segment. 

The study also finds that women are also likely to influence big purchases – homes, autos, appliances, furniture – as well as consumer goods and everyday purchases. In the mass merchandiser and dollar store channels, women hold a 72 percent share of the shopping trips compared to a 28 percent share for men.

Share   of Retail Shopping Trips (2012; % of Respondents)
Store   Type %   Female Shoppers %   Male Shoppers
Dollar

72%

28%

Mass

72

28

Supers

69

31

Drug

68

32

Grocery

63

37

WHC

61

39

Conv/Gas

43

57

Source:   Nielsen, April 2013

These data show the importance for brands to resonate with women in order to win the demographic and gain market share over competitors. And the Nielsen findings are consistent with primary research conducted by Faith Driven Consumer, which found that 66 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are women.

With a purchasing power of $2 trillion, 41 million Americans – 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – are defined as “faith-driven” in their consumer spending habits. And two-thirds of these Faith Driven Consumers are women – equating to 27.3 million Americans. They hold the purse strings in their families and control tremendous spending power.

Retailers should know that female Faith Driven Consumers make their purchasing decisions based on a biblical worldview and actively seek faith-compatible brands that will welcome them into the rainbow of market segmentation diversity.  In fact, Faith Driven Consumers are willing to pay a premium with retailers that respect them and their Christian values and beliefs.

While the Nielsen report highlights the importance of delivering women-focused advertising and marketing messages, our research also shows that resonant messaging that specifically welcomes  female Faith Driven Consumers motivates the desired response.  

Brands that take active steps to employ messaging that resonates with the values of the one-out-of-every-six American adults who are Faith Driven Consumers – particularly the female demographic within this segment – will be rewarded with an affinity-driven loyalty that will reap long-term dividends.

Like the female demographic studied by Nielsen, the largely untapped, newly emerging and economically powerful Faith Driven Consumer segment is here to stay.  Faith-compatible brands that respectfully and effectively reach out to women – specifically Faith Driven Consumers – can gain a huge advantage over their competition.

Majority of Americans Still Religiously Affiliated

Gallup findings consistent with data on $2 trillion Faith Driven Consumer segment

Religion is alive and well in America.

New data released by Gallup in February shows that 40 percent of Americans in 2012 classified themselves as very religious. For this group, religion was an important part of daily life and they attended religious services every week or almost every week.  Additionally, 29 percent of those surveyed self-identified as moderately religious—meaning that about seven in ten Americans consider themselves to be moderately to very religious

Gallup’s state-by-state results were “based on more than 348,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking in 2012, including more than 1,000 interviews conducted in all but two states and the District of Columbia.”

Geographically, the South/Southeast remains the moral and religious epicenter of the United States.  Eight of the ten most religious states are located in this region, with Utah and Oklahoma rounding out the top ten. 

Source: Gallup.com

Source: Gallup.com

These data show that America remains a nation grounded in faith. And the Gallup findings are consistent with primary research conducted by Faith Driven Consumer, which found that 71 percent of Americans broadly self-identify as Christian – with 61 percent falling into the “practicing” category and the remaining ten percent falling into the “non-practicing” category.

Deeper drilling into the 61 percent of Americans who are practicing Christians reveals a highly distinct subset of 17 percent of the U.S. adult population that can be defined as “faith driven” – more than 41 million consumers. Like Gallup, our research also shows that these Faith Driven Consumers are most heavily concentrated in the South and Southeast.

For brands that understand the importance of market segmentation and the value of welcoming previously overlooked consumers into the rainbow of diversity, this Gallup survey reinforces our research into the existence of a distinct population of consumers who make their purchasing decisions based on a biblical worldview—Faith Driven Consumers. 

These Faith Driven Consumers spend $2 trillion annually and actively seek faith-compatible brands that include them in their marketing segmentation efforts. And they respond to highly differentiated messaging than that directed to the broader Christian market and are willing to pay a premium with retailers that respect them and their Christian values and beliefs.   

Perhaps most importantly:  this largely untapped, newly emerging and economically powerful Faith Driven Consumer segment is here to stay. As the Gallup survey showed, the number of very religious Americans did not decrease since the last time the poll was conducted. 

Brands that show respect for this powerful market segment have the chance to gain a huge advantage over their competition.  

Case Study: Lowe’s Has Natural Affinity with Emerging $2 Trillion Market Segment

Home improvement giant resonates well with Faith Driven Consumers

Tools, paint, building and garden supplies, convenience, customer service and price — these are some of the things consumers look for when shopping at a home improvement store.

loewsBut beyond factors that often differentiate one retailer over another, most consumers gravitate toward the brand that “feels right” – most closely aligns and is compatible with – their core values and worldview.

Based on our research, as a national home improvement chain which has taken a neutral stand on divisive cultural issues, Lowe’s is more likely to resonate deeply with the rapidly emerging and economically powerful Faith Driven Consumer segment than its chief competitor, Home Depot.  This market segment, of 41 million Americans that spends $2 trillion annually, could be a game-changer for Lowe’s.

To the degree that Lowe’s chooses to target, actively welcome, and include this group into its market segmentation mix, it will reap dividends in consumer loyalty, increased market share, and corporate profits.

Marketplace Analysis

The home improvement retail sector struggled during the Great Recession as consumers shelved projects and formerly steady revenue streams from contractors slowed to a trickle.

While The Home Depot is currently king of the home improvement category – and appears to be improving upon its strong 20 percent market share – Lowe’s is the clear runner-up nationally, although struggling to catch up  from its trailing position.

Given this reality, Lowe’s is ripe to inject new vitality into its marketing focus and capitalize on the largely untapped Faith Driven Consumer segment – representing 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – with which it has a strong natural affinity.

Brands that take active steps to develop and employ messaging that resonates with the values of the one-out-of-every-six American adults who are Faith Driven Consumers will be rewarded with an affinity-driven loyalty that competitors will envy.

Lowe’s can “Never Stop Improving” with Faith Driven Consumers

While The Home Depot has taken corporate action that conflicts with Faith Driven Consumers and a biblical worldview, the corporate choices of Lowe’s are more compatible with the segment and a biblical worldview. This lays a sturdy foundation for Lowe’s to successfully employ its slogan – “Never Stop Improving” – with a faith-driven segment that is ready, willing and able to switch to a home improvement brand that respects and welcomes them.

For Faith Driven Consumers, the fact that Lowe’s gives millions of dollars in annual charitable contributions and engages in initiatives that support local communities and public schools matters. They also care that the wholesome advertising of Lowe’s highlights the life stages of marriage, child rearing and retirement.

With even modest adaptations to its messaging strategy – done in ways that remain compatible with other important segments – Lowe’s is poised to effectively convert into long-term customers the key traditional family demographic that is core to the loyal and lucrative Faith Driven Consumer market.

In contrast to traditional and historic American market segments, Faith Driven Consumers today are highly diverse and cut across the divides of race, age, income, gender and geography that define other routinely targeted segments.

However, one group that Faith Driven Consumers are highly differentiated from is the broader Christian market with which they are often associated.  As such, Faith Driven Consumers require distinct messaging in order to be motivated to action.

Significantly, if the 41 million Faith Driven Consumers who spend $2 trillion annually in the United States were their own self-contained economy, they would be the eighth-largest in the world – on par with Brazil, a major economic player by any scale.

If You Welcome Them, They Will Come  

The question before leading retailers in the home improvement market is which will be the first to recognize the value and desirability of the Faith Driven Consumer segment and proactively integrate them into its segmentation strategy?

Reliable research indicates that Lowe’s, over its chief rival Home Depot, has a stronger basis for a natural affinity at the core values level with Faith Driven Consumers.  Given that worldview compatibility is a key tie-breaking differentiator that consumers use to make purchasing decisions, Lowe’s is well-positioned to effectively integrate with Faith Driven Consumers and leverage their economic power into reinvigorated corporate profits and increased market share against competitors.

Faith-based Quiz Show a Television Market Hit

More evidence that Faith Driven Consumers are a viable and desirable segment for brands

Last fall, I wrote on our Faith Driven Consumer blog about GSN’s new hit show, “The American Bible Challenge,” hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. It premiered as the cable network’s top-rated program of all time with 1.7 million viewers, and maintained its position throughout the season with 13 million viewers and the highest viewership ratings for GSN in its 17-year history.

american-bible-challenge450Recently, GSN announced that the show, which features three teams of three contestants answering questions from the Bible, will be renewed for a second season. And to “bring a little more sauce and swag” to the hit show, GSN has added seven-time Grammy winner Kirk Franklin and an on-stage gospel choir into the mix.  

At its core, “The American Bible Challenge” is, as Brian Williams reported on NBC News, a “ground-breaking television quiz show” that combines America’s love of game shows with “the kind of Bible study groups that you’ll find all across this country.”  

The resounding success of “The American Bible Challenge” offers compelling evidence for a strong appetite among entertainment consumers for positive, uplifting and faith-driven products – and an eager embrace of those brands that reach out to them and make the effort to meet their wants and needs. Our research into the Faith Driven Consumer market segment also shows this to be true.

We know that there is a large and economically powerful segment of 41 million Americans – 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – that is actively seeking to be engaged by faith-compatible brands.  And we know that this rapidly coalescing movement spends $2 trillion annually and is ready, willing and able to switch to brands that will welcome them and include them in the market segmentation rainbow of diversity.

With “The American Bible Challenge,” GSN has hit a home run with a show whose intended target audience is evangelical Christians. As a retailer looking to hit home runs for your brand and shareholders, the Faith Driven Consumer segment remains largely overlooked and untapped.

Brands that take active steps to develop and employ messaging that resonates with the values of the one-out-of-every-six American adults who are Faith Driven Consumers will be rewarded with an affinity-driven loyalty that competitors will seek to emulate.

The question is:  who will get to the Faith Driven Consumer segment first?

GSN’s “The American Bible Challenge” clearly demonstrates the impact of Faith Driven Consumers in the marketplace. In the current economic climate – distinguished by flat-lining growth prospects and ongoing challenges in gaining market share against competitors – now is the time to consider whether your brand offers a natural affinity and compatibility with the Faith Driven Consumer segment.

Boy Scouts Decision Highlights Need for Brands to Consider Their Core Consumers

Faith Driven Consumers at heart of affinity market segment

The leadership of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) continues to grapple with its national policy on sexual orientation. This week’s announcement to postpone a final decision until May indicates a shift toward fuller consideration of viewpoints held by its core consumer members and natural affinity stakeholders.

Boy Scouts of AMerica

Picture taken by Tim Sharp/Reuters

While there are other stakeholders and market segments that have ties to BSA – an enduring brand that has contributed greatly to the development of American leaders for more than a century – at its heart are Faith Driven Consumers. Between two-thirds and 70 percent of local scouting units are sponsored by faith-affiliated groups – the majority of which hold to historic and traditional biblical values and morals on human sexuality, marriage and family.

Thus, while Corporate America, individual board members, gay rights groups and public opinion polls may factor into the ultimate policy decision to be rendered, what matters most are the views of the scouts, their parents and the volunteer leaders who make up the brand’s natural affinity segment.

When it comes to corporate market segmentation decisions that could potentially alienate core consumer bases, wise brands must research the marketplace and carefully consider the potential impact a major shift might bring.

Here, BSA would do well to look north to its Canadian counterpart to get a glimpse of what happened when it adopted a worldview incompatible with its core consumers’ values. Specifically, when Canadian boy scout leaders changed their policy in 1999 to include females, atheists, agnostics, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals, the national membership rolls plummeted by more than 50 percent in only five years.

In delaying the decision until May, BSA leadership is clearly seeking to balance external input with internal input from regional scout councils, local troop leaders, and members. While the outcome of these policy deliberations remains to be seen, BSA is wisely seeking to more fully consider the wants, needs and desires of its natural and traditional affinity market – Faith Driven Consumers.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Does your brand know who its natural core consumer segment is?
  • Are you taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the needs, wants and desires of your core markets are respected and openly welcomed? 
  • Are Faith Driven Consumers one of your brand’s core stakeholders?   
  • Do you know how to effectively engage highly valued market segments without alienating other important target groups? 

Top 2013 Super Bowl Ads Resonate with Faith Driven Consumers

Brands that speak to America’s heritage of faith and family win highest ratings

For brands that are open to considering the value of welcoming and including the $2 trillion Faith Driven Consumer segment into their marketing mix, the results of the 2013 Super Bowl ad campaigns show that faith- and family-oriented messages  scored big with American consumers.

Indeed, the case can be made that out of 54 Super Bowl ads rated by USA Today’s Ad Meter, four of the top five were Faith Driven Consumer-messaged ads.

dodgeIn particular, coming in at number three, Dodge RAM’s “Farmer” ad hit the ball out of the park with its spectacular images of the diversity of modern American farms and farmers set to the backdrop of the “God Made a Farmer” speech given by late radio icon Paul Harvey to the Future Farmers of America in 1978.

Dedicated to “the farmer in all of us,” RAM effectively tapped into God’s call to humans in Genesis chapters 1-2 to be good stewards of the land, animals and resources that we have been entrusted as men and women who bear God’s image.

So whether the viewer was currently a farmer or many generations removed from a farm heritage, America’s deep Judeo-Christian heritage and our inherent human desire to create and bring forth bounty resonated well with Super Bowl viewers and catapulted RAM into the Top Five.

Similarly, the number-five-rated ad—“Whole Again,” by Jeep—struck a chord with consumers across America with its poetic and emotional salute to our veterans and appeals to family, faith, church, home and patriotism.jeep

Topping the rankings for the 2013 Super Bowl ad ratings was Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” commercial featuring the story of a young colt lovingly raised through ups and downs by his devoted caretaker until he is ready to join the ranks of the world-famous Clydesdales. The caretaker’s reunion with the full-grown horse after a Chicago parade tugged on consumer heartstrings by invoking themes of Americana, loving bonds of devoted friendship, and a deep-seeded connection to agriculture and horses—all faith-compatible themes.

tideEven the humorous, second-ranked “Miracle Stain” ad by Procter and Gamble and its Tide brand offers evidence of the powerful resonance of messages that have a foundation based in a Christian faith tradition in which pilgrimages and iconic images are an important part of the religious heritage.

So why did these ads work on the biggest stage for advertisers while others came up short?

When four of the top five ads at the 2013 Super Bowl had at their core references compatible with faith, family and biblical values, it is clear that their success is rooted in the enduring Judeo-Christian heritage and religious identity of Americans, especially Faith Driven Consumers.

For brands that have previously overlooked the untapped market of consumers who hold to a faith-driven worldview, the good news is that there is a rapidly emerging and largely untapped market segment comprised of 41 million Americans – 17 percent of the U.S. adult population – that is actively seeking brands that are willing to welcome and include them in the rainbow of market segmentation diversity.

With the top brands from Super Bowl XLVII in view, is your brand positioned to deliver faith-compatible messages that will ring like a church bell in the hearts and minds of the one-out-of-six American adults who are Faith Driven Consumers?