Some say that you don’t have to understand women, just love them. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by very special women in my life: my loving mom who gave me the foundation to grow, my brilliant daughter who inspires me everyday, and my wife who supports me in every aspect of my life and is also my partner-in-crime. They are a constant part of my daily life, and I work hard because I want to make them happy, to show them that I love them. Isn’t it similar to the brand-consumer relationship? I was thinking about what is necessary to make women fall in love with your brand and how to grow along with them.
It’s not just about whether your product targets female consumers. When thinking about this demographic, one has to have in mind that women choose 85% of the family purchases and influence at least 80% of home expenses (Martha Barletta, author of Marketing to Women, 2006). That’s why you’re likely to hurt your sales if your message doesn’t reach women or excludes them.
What should you consider to attract female consumers with your marketing strategy?
- Listen to them: Women want a product that will solve their needs or those of their loved ones, but we must understand what’s behind that. Build a connection by showing empathy or supporting charitable causes that are close to women and think deeply about how your product will make their lives simpler.
- Surprise them: Offer an innovative product that’s made just for them, not based on a stereotype. Don’t limit your product development to adding a pink version for women, look for real attributes. Women in 2017 are not thinking about fairy tales, they want real things.
This is what happened to the Bic For Her pen, which received multiple negative reviews from women since the only attribute that made it a product for women was its pink color.
- Respect their individuality: You must avoid generalizations if your brand is going to appeal to the feminine culture. Instead, try to be authentic and start a conversation with them. Be honest, especially with millennials, a generation that appreciates and recognizes honesty in brands.
If you make a mistake, your best move is to admit it. A famous case was IBM’s campaign, #HackAHairDryer, which was intended to motivate women to get involved in STEM fields. Instead, it caused indignation among female scientists who felt it was condescending to think hacking a beauty product would be the motivator for women to get involved.
- Recognize them: Don’t focus on just one benefit, offer reasonable increments that encourages them to grow with you and show them you know the depth of their interest.
It’s not about simply describing the product. Dove demonstrated that with their Real Beauty Sketches campaign. It was a video about sketches of women that created a conversation about feminine beauty, a topic that is relevant and sensible anywhere in the world, and to any age. The campaign was a great way of connecting with their audience and showing interest, and because the conversation was between women and for women, it was real.
- Learn together: Women check a product multiple times before they make a purchase. That is your opportunity to offer information throughout the purchasing path, to be there, to answer their questions and listen to their doubts. This is even more important in this hyper connected generation and with a gender that tends to share their experiences on social media.
- Commit: Build a long term relationship. As we all know, seducing a woman takes time and there’s no magic formula. What’s absolutely necessary is to dedicate time and energy to make them fall in love with you and what you can offer them.
Women are unique and distinct, so your brand must offer them something special. When you’re building your marketing strategy for women, the first step is to research and analyze your target. Get to know them intimately and learn their desires and needs. Then, make a product and message custom-fit for them, avoid generic attributes and create something they can relate to, something that makes them feel a certain way. Above all, try not to be condescending, let them make their own decisions and offer true value.