Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women - Part 2

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Posted Jun 05, 2012
Susan Gunelius

As you learned in Part 1 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series, you need to understand the fundamentals of gender branding before you can create a strategy and plan to market a brand to women. But why is it so important to market to women? Yes, 80% of purchase decisions are made by women, but that's just the beginning of the story.

gender branding

It's important to market a brand to women because doing so actually broadens your audience and can increase revenues. How is that possible? Because what works in marketing brands to women organically helps the brand get in front of broader audiences, and it forces brands to market better.

Part of the reason for this is based in the inherent differences between how men and women ingest and process information that drives them to make purchase decisions. Stay tuned because that's the subject of Part 3 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series. Now, it's time to learn how marketing to women can broaden your audience when it sounds like doing so would achieve the opposite result.

Marketing to Women Makes You Market Better

Women can be the toughest customers. They know what they want from brands and they're vocal in demanding that brands deliver on their wants and needs. Savvy brands have figured this out. Not only do they listen to women but they deliver products, services, messages, advertising, and experiences that meet female consumers' expectations.

Today women aren't just shoppers. They're information shoppers. That means they have access to a lot of information from brands, friends, family, and online sources that enables them to make smarter purchase decisions. Brands that understand this can use the knowledge women gather about brands to create better marketing programs. The old adage, "work smarter, not harder," is attainable when brands listen to female audiences and market to them in the ways those audiences are telling brands that they want and need.

Think of it this way -- women want to know why your brand is the right one for them to buy. Innovative brands that market to women create better marketing messages overall because they're not just telling consumers the "what" of their products and services but the "why" as well.

Marketing to Women Broadens Your Audience

When you market to women, you need to understand that women actively search for more information, and you need to make that information available to them. Content marketing plays a significant role in enabling brands to offer the information women are looking for.

Furthermore, women talk about brands before and after they make a purchase. Social media marketing offers a significant opportunity for brands to engage with women and boost word-of-mouth marketing. Those conversations and information-sharing organically lead to broader reach for a brand that can lead to greater brand awareness, recall, trial, loyalty, and advocacy.

Marketing to Women to Increase Sales and Revenues

At the end of the day, women make most purchase decisions, so common sense tells us that marketing to women is a smart business decision. Unfortunately, most brand marketing is still directed by or at a male audience -- including female-oriented brands.


There are many examples, but one of the most commonly discussed comes from NuvaRing. Watch a NuvaRing commercial to see how not to connect with a female audience.

I won't bother describing a lot of examples or details when Sarah Haskins of Current TV's infoMania explained it so well back in 2008. Funny how little has changed in advertising to women since then. Below, watch Sarah's take on advertising female-oriented branded products the wrong way.

For another analysis of the NuvaRing Swim Meet commercial, check out Pointless Planet - Inane Advertising in an Irrelevant World, where the ad was given an Overall Loathsomeness score of 8.2.

I'll provide some tips to market to women in Part 4 of the Brand Positioning for Marketing to Women series, but up next in Part 3, you'll learn how men and women are different and why those differences matter to branding and marketing. In the meantime, be sure to read Part 1 of the series if you missed it, and learn about the different types of gender brands.

Image: Richard Dunstan

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