Middle-aged couples with large families and active lives in affluent suburbia
With a majority of households containing at least five people, Babies and Bliss are a haven for large broods living in new suburban subdivisions. The parents here tend to be in their 30s and 40s. There is a wide range of children in these households, from pre-schoolers up to those in high school. Some households also include young adults and elderly parents. There’s money in this segment, reflecting the high educations and low six-figure incomes that come from dual earners working at professional and technical jobs. Most households can afford single-family homes valued at nearly $300,000 in recently built neighborhoods. Many are upwardly mobile, moving regularly in search of better work and housing; a majority has lived at their present address for fewer than seven years.
With so many children in this segment, leisure activities are dominated by efforts to keep them occupied or exhaust them by day’s end. These sprawling households are regular visitors to theme parks, zoos, aquariums and museums. Few segments devote more time to athletic activities; Babies and Bliss participate in team sports like baseball, basketball and soccer. Outdoorsy families, they like going camping, fishing, ice skating and water skiing. They’re also big on travel, especially on vacations by car to lakes and beaches for swimming and other water sports. When the babysitter arrives, the parents head to restaurants, music clubs and movies.
Babies and Bliss like to shop - it’s practically a sport - and they’re happy to open their wallets for department stores, specialty shops, catalogs and online sites. Kids’ products are naturally popular, including video games, toys and children’s books, but these households are also early adopters, filling their homes with the latest consumer electronics, including DVRs, handheld digital devices and gaming systems. However, they’re not style mavens; they tend to buy conservative clothes and care little about the latest designer fashions. Prestige cars are not a big draw, either; they usually buy domestic, midsized SUVs or compact vans - vehicles large enough to haul their children, friends and plenty of athletic gear.
With their sprawling families, the households here always take price into account when making a purchase. They like to comparison shop online and carry cents-off coupons when going into stores. Once there, they head for clearance racks. They’re fine with buying generic store brands rather than high-priced name brands.
The media tastes of Babies and Bliss reflect child-filled households. They're often listening to the radio because of all the time spent chauffeuring youngsters to extracurricular activities. When they tune in to TV, which is as often as average Americans, they prefer cable channels like Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, or sports and reality shows. They rarely subscribe to magazines except for parenting publications. When they listen to music, which is often, they typically enjoy teen pop bands, children’s music and alternative rock.
Babies and Bliss are politically right-of-center, and support family values and faith-based initiatives. They’re not necessarily into community activism and say they’re happy with the status quo. For these busy households, the biggest challenge is simply trying to balance work and home, without missing one of their children’s games, doctor appointments or class recitals.
The parents in this segment are fiscally prudent and financially savvy. They like to invest in stocks and bonds, but they first make sure that their 529 College Savings Plans and 401(k) retirement accounts are well funded. Still in the early childrearing years, they borrow a lot to pay for cars, education and other expenses. These parents also want to protect their children, so they load up on insurance policies.
When it comes to media, the Internet is second nature to these Gen X households. They go online daily for banking, comparison shopping and joining chat forums. They see the Internet as a tool for work and research, as well as an entertainment center for watching TV shows, playing games and catching up with friends on Facebook. With music so popular among their young children, they also download songs and listen to radio stations online.
Babies and Bliss are the premier lifestyle for large families in America. With more than half of households containing at least five people, no segment has more children. Most of their parents are Generation Xers between the ages of 36 and 45 raising pre-school children in comfortable suburban lifestyles. With their lofty educations - nearly two-thirds have a bachelor’s degree, one quarter a master’s - these parents work in professional and technical occupations in public administration, education, science, business and education. Despite an above-average percentage of women working as homemakers, these households are nearly twice as likely as the general population to have dual wage-earners.
Their comfortable incomes allow most Babies and Bliss households to afford single-family homes worth nearly $300,000. Widely scattered throughout the Midwest, many of these large families have settled in the newer suburbs of America’s largest cities. Their houses typically were built in the last 15 years. With above-average rates for young adults and aging seniors in these homes, it’s not unusual to see more than three cars in their driveways. With many adults in the formative years of their careers, this is a relatively mobile segment: most households have lived at their residence fewer than seven years.
Babies and Bliss enjoy a child-centered lifestyle. They are often found in theme parks, zoos, museums and aquariums. They enjoy playing musical instruments, joining fantasy sports leagues and playing cards. The parents frequent restaurants, music clubs, country music concerts, bars and movies. However, they can’t quite escape parenthood and find themselves watching animated and family movies.
The parents in Babies and Bliss like to be fit, if only to keep up with their active children. They work out in home gyms or in health clubs where they jog, swim, lift weights and do aerobic exercise. They’re still young enough to participate in team sports and enjoy playing a pickup game of basketball, baseball or soccer. The fresh air beckons these families to take their children camping, fishing, ice skating and water skiing. When they travel, they typically load up the car and head to a domestic beach, preferably with a theme park nearby.
In the mall, these shoppers follow their children’s lead. They frequent stores that sell all kinds of games and toys: action figures, board games, fashion dolls and children’s books. These consumers have turned their homes into gadget-filled castles, outfitted with the latest video camera, DVR, MP3 player and gaming system. Among their favorite retailers are Best Buy, GameStop, Toys R Us and Sports Authority. To haul their children and gear, these households prefer midsize SUVs and compact vans. Unlike wealthier segments, they are fine with domestic vehicles, particularly Fords, Pontiacs and Jeeps/Eagles.
As media consumers, these households gravitate to newer channels. They’re only average fans of TV, except when it comes to kid-oriented networks like the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. They’re also particularly fond of sports programs and reality TV shows like “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol” and “Survivor”. However, they’re only average readers of magazines other than parenting titles, and they read no newspaper sections at above-average rates. More often, you’ll find these families getting their media online.
Babies and Bliss are relatively conservative in their outlook. They describe themselves as spiritual and religious. They’re 50 percent more likely than average Americans to belong to the Republican Party, and about 40 percent describe themselves as politically right-of-center. However, they’re not particularly active in community affairs. They tend to be happy with the status quo, more concerned about juggling work and family - and not dropping anything. These are the harried parents who lament that they’re too busy to take care of themselves as they should.
The upscale families in Babies and Bliss are financially savvy. With their professional careers and college degrees, these dual-income households have six-figure incomes and moderate levels of assets. They like to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. They trade stocks online, use debit and credit cards with rewards programs and get financial ideas from investment magazines and Websites. They work hard to protect their many dependents, setting aside money for 529 College Savings Plans and acquiring lots of high-balance term and whole-life insurance. They make an impressive credit market, taking out loans for cars, education and homes at high rates. They’re also carrying above-average levels of health insurance and contributing to 401(k) accounts at more than twice the national average.
The Gen X adults in Babies and Bliss are an Internet-literate segment. These middle-aged, affluent couples participate in a slew of online activities: buying toys and clothes, banking, shopping for cars, downloading podcasts, getting real estate listings, gathering information and joining chat forums. With their jobs, kids and errands, they appreciate the convenience of shopping online and are receptive to email ads, sponsored Websites and Web page links. They outfit their computers with webcams to assist with telecommuting to their offices; they also play games at home. They go online from work, home, and while traveling, with a majority using wireless connections. There’s virtually no computer software that they don’t buy. These households are three times as likely as average Americans to purchase music from the iTunes store.