By involving women all along the way in your product and marketing strategy development, your brand has already displayed a quality that is much appreciated by women as consumers: You respect and honor their opinions . Then, in the course of showing your respect and honor in this way, you gain all sorts of advice on what works, what doesn't, why that design is unacceptable and why this copy just resonates more.
Whether in group environments, one-on-one discussions or online, women don't need much convincing to freely offer up their inside information. Taking the time to listen and learn will help you solve brand challenges, and may even bring up a few you didn't know existed.
Often, the question for women is not simply "this one, or that one". So, let loose your research methods , drop-kick your assumptions, and allow women to share in just the ways they want to share with you. The resulting nuggets of knowledge will be golden, and your brand will shine in a similarly sunny hue.
This list of twenty questions will reveal the psychology of your female customer's buying mind and help you learn where your company needs to grow to more effectively reach them. But, don't pose these questions directly to your customers. Instead, do the research and answer them for yourself in order to uncover some of the forces that motivate women consumers in any market.
Answering some of them will considerably sharpen your brand. But, answering all of them will equip your brand to more powerfully connect with women in your industry.
What motivates women to use your product? How can you utilize these motivators to increase sales to them? How do women rationalize their purchase of your product?
What causes women to switch to your product and reject the competition? If they came from using a competitor's product, why did they first reject your product in favor of a competitor?
What are the reasons women have rejected the product in the past, and how can those reasons be managed so that they don't resurface?
Which of your female customers' deep, fundamental, motivating needs and desires can your company tap into? How important are their underlying desires ”the ones they may not like to admit to, such as prestige, professional image, fun, luxury, wanting a change for change's sake, or fear?
Do women have subconscious negative reactions to your product? How can these negatives be circumvented at this same subconscious level?
Are messages hidden in your ads, brochures , sales presentations, demos, exhibits, events, and your customerservice style that elicit a negative reaction from women? How can they be changed?
If there are compelling arguments that will get women to change their minds about your product, how do they need to be presented? (By whom, through what channel?)
How can you disqualify the competition, reset the rules, redefine the standards, reorder priorities, change the decision-making criteria, transform the game and make your product the only one in a woman 's mind?
What seemingly petty frustrations about products in your overall industry can you turn into major advantages for your brand?
What product changes are relatively inexpensive and easy for you, but offer extremely high value to the customer? What augmentations can transform a common product into a winner?
Are there advantages, features, benefits or company information that your marketing materials don't address, but that your female customers want to hear?
What are your female customers' interests and passions ? Which claims, language, concepts, images and challenges inspire positive emotions?
What are the deeply held fundamental beliefs, values, attitudes and emotions that will lead customers and prospects to use your product?
What are the questions that your customers and prospects are avoiding, or afraid to ask? How can you give them the answers that will satisfy them without raising these questions?
What are the unexpressed expectations of your female customers, and how can they be brought more in line with what you will actually deliver?
What are the most effective things that your competitors are doing that you should be doing or countering ? What are your competitors' vulnerabilities?
How can you change negative perceptions of your product without mammoth advertising campaigns ? How can you capture the power of word-of-mouth referrals?
How is word-of-mouth, good and bad, affecting new prospects' decisions? What are the actual words used between women discussing your product and which features or benefits do they stress?
What are the specific steps that can be taken to increase customer satisfaction? What are the subtle things that female customers seek? Are there improvements in service, response time or quality that would be truly meaningful to them?
Are your sales people really sold on your product themselves ? Do your women prospects perceive a lack of enthusiasm from the sales staff?
 With thanks to George Silverman, president and founder of Market Navigation, in Orangeburg, New York, for the inspiration from his original "twenty-three questions", http://www.mnav.com/default.htm.