“Only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.”
~ Spanish Proverb
For some reason, Aunts have, as a group, had the reputation of giving bad presents (think the pink bunny suit in “A Christmas Story”). This reputation, if at all deserved, is probably because Aunts, particularly those without children, never knew what to give.
Aunts are all around us. There are our own aunts (I had an Aunt Ida and an Aunt Anna) and there are famous aunts: Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show; Aunty Em from the Wizard of Oz and Aunt Jemima of pancake syrup fame to name just a few.
That has changed thanks in large part to the on-going efforts of the Savvy Auntie, Melanie Notkin. I met Melanie last year and fell in love with her bigger than life personality and powerful advocacy of the Aunt as toy consumer. She wrote a piece for us in June, “Auntie Up! The Power of the Aunt as Primary Gift Giver,” and was recently featured in a great New York Times article: “Holiday Bonus: A Beloved Aunt With Cash.”
Written by Tanzina Vega, the article focuses on Melanie and” the demographic that advertisers are increasingly trying to reach, especially during the holiday shopping frenzy: the PANK, or Professional Aunt, No Kids.” Yep, it was Melanie that came up with that name and it’s Melanie
Whether they are literally aunts, godparents or friends of the family, PANKs argue that they serve a vital role in the family, and holiday gifts are just one part of the equation. These women often provide help with educational expenses, baby-sitting and household chores, Ms. Notkin said. But they can also be that “cool aunt” who exposes a child to cultural experiences for which the parents may not have the time or money. Often they are the trusted adult whom children can talk to about sensitive topics they wouldn’t dare discuss with their parents.
According to Melanie there are 23 million PANKS; do you market them; in fact do you even think about them when shaping your marketing plans? Maybe you should visit Melanie's website: PANKpower.com
Now before leaving this discussion you may be asking yourself, "what about Uncles." Well, there are PUNKS, (Professional Uncle, No Kids) that could be a market but no one yet seems to be thinking about them. Maybe they need a Melanie Notkin.