But there’s still something missing…
There is often confusion when I talk to brands about the female economy – it gets confused with “gender diversity” rather than understood as a massive growth opportunity for business.
Business is not alone in their grappling to understand the delineation, because women as consumers are also pretty confused about what businesses are “telling and selling” in a changing gender-sensitive world.
A girlfriend showed me this image from her Facebook feed recently – it was complaining of sexism and frustrations about gender roles. As a woman, I can see what she means – the assumption of a women’s store that includes towels and linen while the men’s store contains furniture and travel goods. But is that all this is?
As a marketer, I see a different picture. Being a large retail department store, their in-house team has likely analysed sales data, foot traffic and share of wallet before making the decisions about where these departments would best bring sales return. We cannot judge them that they are environmentally and geographically hampered by two buildings. So given that women are buying 80% of household goods – the precincts make sense. In fact most of the departments could be classified as more suitable for the women’s department store.
With all that’s going on in the world, it’s easy for the disenfranchised modern woman to become sick of seeing her life in the media and politics being reduced down to clichés that should have stayed in the 1950’s. Which is why semiotic messages like this Directory Board are filling erstwhile sane women with rage, and entering our social media feeds with fury.
So it’s time to put perspective on it. The in-house team is doing the right thing, collecting insights from the data and implementing them. What they’re possibly missing is a stronger relationship with their most important consumer through a ‘female lens’.
Like it or not – social engineering, DNA and the Darwinian impulse is for women to nest and create a haven for their families and generally this makes females the Chief Purchasing Officer. The game has changed and a one-size-approach-to-the-target- segments-fits-both-genders is not working. Marketing to men and marketing to women take different lensed-approaches for business to be ultimately profitable (extremely profitable). This makes her incredibly powerful and therefore the way she thinks, acts and buys should be on the agenda of every business.
For instance, lets say women wanted to make a statement to a department store or retailer – they could put on their collective pussy hats and call for a mass boycott against a brand. This would have the potential to bring them to their knees until they acknowledged and listened to the needs of their biggest spending consumer. Just like the Trump boycott #GrabYourWallet going on right now
Whereas if men ”boycott” the same brand the retailer may experience only a slight blip in their sales. An Ernst & Young report states that by 2028, women will control close to 75% of discretionary spend worldwide.
As demonstrated in the model, businesses that want to be leaders need to see through a new lens and turn themselves from casual dating into happily and loyally married.
Women want and crave relationships with their external world and that means brands and business too.
So to the shoppers that feel some retailers are makinghttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brands-arent-trying-sexist-bec-brideson sexist decisions – try and see this through sheer economic goggles and delight in the fact that women are the most potent consumer on the planet and if you really don’t like what a brand is doing – vote with your finances and be sure to tell ten friends to do the same. And to the retailers, it’s time to get a better prescription to see clearly through the female lens – it’s never too late to win her back.
Originally posted on LinkedIn.