Women are the world’s most powerful consumers. They drive 85% of all consumer purchasing and their impact on the economy is growing every year. So how can brands successfully sell to the world’s greatest emerging market? Learn how to speak to women.
Here are five things you can do to get it right:
Get targeted. Extremely targeted
When brands target ‘women’, they’ve already made a mistake. By flattening all women into a two dimensional female stereotype, the audience is instantly too broad and you’ll end up reaching fewer people.
Different women want content that is specifically catered to them, so brands need to take the time to understand their audience on a more personal level and identify their unique drivers, desires and fears.
When brands target 'women' they've already made a mistake
Dr Sam's is a great example of a brand that really understands its audience. Dr Sam's is a skincare brand that combines the medical science of dermatology with the fashion trends of the beauty industry.
The founder Dr Sam Bunting understands that many young women can suffer from acne, at the same time as wanting to start preventing fine lines and wrinkles. She uses her platform to teach women how to achieve healthy looking skin in a respectful and informative way. She knows for most of her audience the goal is not to cover up with makeup, but to feel confident without it. Dr Sam's brand offers that clever big sister advice – she knows what's best for her customers and that element of trust is what keeps them coming back time and time again.
Look for human insight, not women insight
The way brands talk to women is often overshadowed by their fear of making mass generalisations about gender. The safest way to overcome this is to stick to the facts. Look for real human insight rather than those based on female stereotypes. Understanding how your brand meets a genuine need in a particular woman’s life will give you an authentic insight into the best way to engage and communicate with your audience.
Tone It Up, an online fitness brand, is a good example of a brand that really understands what drives women. Built on positive energy and community support, it inspires and motivates women to workout and eat well to live their healthiest and happiest lives.
They understand that personal growth is important to women, and that there are common reasons why people struggle to reach their goals. Tone It Up understands that women want to feel strong and powerful, so that they can support those around them. Their content is relatable, realistic and fun. Whether you're a new mum, getting ready for a wedding or studying at university, they cater for every lifestyle and provide tips and advice for those to want to keep fit, whilst juggling busy lives.
Tell a real story
Brands that truly connect with women are honest and authentic. Tear-jerking or hilarious, they tell real stories that move people on a personal level.
A good example from Under Armour features world-class ballerina Misty Copeland. Her story of strength and determination empowers women to work hard and defy expectations.
Brands that truly connect with women are honest and authentic
When Misty Copeland was told she didn't have the right body for ballet, she didn't take no for an answer. Instead she challenged the status quo and emerged as a history-making ballerina. Her story inspires women to break through constructs and define their own paths. Through her connection with Under Armour, her bold design and flare gives others the courage to get moving, dream big and always strive for more.
Inspire and empower
When women invest in something, they’re not just buying a product, they’re believing in a brand. By sharing a woman’s personal values, brands can create something even bigger to be a part of. Something exciting and inspirational — a movement.
Finisterre is a strong example of this. For their customers, fashion is not just about how something looks. It's about what you can do in it, how it was made and how it plays a role in something bigger.
By choosing to shop with Finisterre, women are choosing to support ocean activism and marine conservation. It's all about empowering an active outdoor lifestyle and supporting sustainability. By connecting on a deeper level, brands and customers can come together to create something greater than themselves.
How can brands learn from the world’s most powerful consumers? Listen to them. With the growth of social media, brands have an unparalleled opportunity to hear what women really think and feel. When brands actively listen to their customers, collaborate and innovate with them, they truly thrive. For brands to fully harness the power of their female audience, they must build trust and create lasting relationships through open dialogue.
Everlane is a San Francisco based fashion brand whose ethos is all about quality and transparency. Something they do is ask their customers how much they think their products are worth. They have a 'Choose what you pay' section, where customers can choose how much they are willing to pay for overstocked items. This is all about giving customers control and building that open and honest relationship.
Of course, customers can't name any price, and there are tiered options, but it does reflect Everlane's ethos of radical transparency. And listening to what customers choose to pay will give the company a genuine insight into how customers really value their craftsmanship.
The next time you want to spark up a conversation with the world’s greatest emerging market, know exactly who you’re talking to and how your brand fulfils their genuine need. Be open, honest and tell stories that inspire women to be a part of something great. Listen and learn. You will discover the powerful influence women can have on your brand success.