Chapter 2: Now You See "her" ”The Visible Approach to Marketing to Women
The two main methods for reaching consumers of either gender we call the "visible" and "transparent" approaches to marketing ”plus a third or "hybrid" approach that combines the two. Each of these options can be highly effective in reaching women in particular. The success of one approach or another depends on the product or service, the profiles of your core women customers, and the ways in which they want to be reached.
In some cases, it makes a lot of sense to adopt the visible approach, distinguishing your product from the many others on the shelf by directly calling out "for women." In other cases, the best way to resonate with women requires marketing to them transparently ”by delivering the product or service in a way that works with women's information gathering and purchasing processes, but that doesn't single them out as a special group .
Finally, the third marketing option connects with your female customers in a hybrid way through a combination of the two approaches, which usually means calling out "for women" or creating a special women's initiative for a particular product or service within an existing brand.
You just can't avoid wrestling with the decision about how to best reach the women in your market. There's much to consider, as we show throughout this book's exploration of a woman 's buying mind and what influences it. What we do know is that your brand must do all it can to align itself with its female consumers' existing perspective of your product or service. Only by meeting women where they are, can you gain their trust and then be able to give them a new view of your wares.
In this chapter, we explore the visible approach, in particular; and we also touch on how you can include more visible elements when marketing to women within a traditional marketing campaign, resulting in a hybrid approach. Though we suspect that in coming years there will be fewer occasions to effectively utilize the visible option, it's certainly worth touching upon. Your marketing brain should be aware of all the choices, so you can make the best decisions for connecting with your women customers.
"For Women" Only
Visible campaigns are clearly designed and presented "for women." There will be no question. Such a gender-specific focus may jump right out at you in the name of the product, like French Meadow Bakery's " Woman 's Bread"; or it may be clearly a women's-only product like a health supplement for menopausal symptoms (there's just no avoiding that specificity).
Well executed, a visible approach can streamline the way to women's buying minds and deliver a truly customized brand experience. The most successful current "for women" approaches may be those for female -specific nutrition, body care and beauty products. Just think of the "women's formula" statements on the packages of nutritional supplements, or consider the Gillette Venus razor campaign, as examples of effective visible marketing to women.
Stamping "women's formula" on your vitamin bottle will help guide women to the shelves reserved for "women's wellness " offerings at drug and grocery stores. Still, with media coverage of nutrition and diet increasing in the past ten or so years , women are that much more likely to have already read up on the nutritional needs for their particular life stage. These well-informed consumers will be very conscious of including the appropriate elements in their diet, so they'll love the extra guidance they find at the grocery store shelf.
And then there are the newer shapes of women's razors that do speak, purposefully, "for women." There is just something about giving a razor a new, more feminine curvy shape and pastel color that means so much to women who've been using their husband's disposables for years.
In the case of Gillette's Venus razor for women, even before naming it and thus making the marketing campaign visible, the product would still have resonated with women. Without the girly name, the Venus' marketing approach would have been more transparent, because the color and shape of the product ”and its improved ability to maneuver in the usually hard-to-reach areas on a woman's body ”still tell the story on their own. Whether the marketing approach is visible or transparent, women everywhere applaud razor manufacturers who have became cognizant of the many curves and odd angles women encounter when they shave ” and that, on its own, reflects a greater awareness of women's buying mind and consumer needs.
Whatever the product, from a breakfast cereal to a power bar, there is now a massive market for specific products that meet gender-unique nutritional needs.
The brands that entered the nutrition-for-women market likely based their decisions on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) findings, like those from 1996: Less than half of all women ingest the recommended levels of vital nutrients, such as calcium and iron.
It has by now been well documented that diet plays a big role in the prevention of osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. Then, too, accommodating women's busy lives has further impelled the development of quick ways to fit solid nutrition into a woman's daily routine. By talking with women early on in the development of a nutritional product, you'd likely understand the best way to customize the product and packaging to zero in on women's concerns. Changes might include:
Provide a good portion of each day's calcium requirement to prevent osteoporosis.
Add nutrients and soy protein to boost protection against heart disease.
Use promotional copy that espouses the product's essential nutrients specifically for a woman's diet.
Maintain your established logo and brand, but possibly include a female graphic element.
Package the product to reflect a woman's mobile life, for example, in individually wrapped portions or smaller containers (environmental concerns aside).
As women's health has gotten more and more coverage across all media channels over the years, few women have escaped the realization that they have unique nutritional needs. Creating a product branded "for women" that provides key gender-specific nutritional elements utilizes a visible approach to its utmost beneficial effect. Making it easy for a woman to learn about and find your product through visible ad campaigns, package design, shelf placement and product naming will further enhance your sales.
In specific cases, women embrace those brands that were developed to meet their gender-specific needs, highlighting "for women" or "for her" in their title and packaging.