You may have heard of a new marketing term called PANK, which stands for "professional aunt, no kids". It's a new term for single working women that are embracing their career and don't have any kids of their own, but enjoy spoiling their nieces and nephews.
A survey by KRC Research shows that 23 million American women are PANKs and will spend about $9 billion a year on nieces, nephews and other children with whom they have a special bond. For Royal Caribbean, this is an area the company has already identified as part of their overall strategy to bring families to their ships.
Royal Caribbean executive vice president for global sales and marketing, Lisa Bauer, is a PANK and knows the value this demographic has for the cruise line, "When targeting women with family themes, you don't have to be that granular if the marketing is good."
Bauer says the KRC study "reaffirmed" how Royal Caribbean markets their cruises to families in that there are many forms of what a family is these days. As a result, she said, the cruise line, "always a family brand," has recently adopted an advertising template that, when featuring women with children, doesn't call the woman Mom. Each person who sees the ad determines the woman's connection to the children, Bauer said.
Bauer points out that her own family is an example of that because members of her family travel in different groupings, and "that's how families act." It's not just two parents and two children.