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​Brands: Give Us (Gals) Something Good to Talk About

I’m assuming, if you don’t live in a hole without WiFi, that you’ve seen the “mom jeans” that are currently for sale at a well-known higher-end retailer. If not, feast your eyes here:

Nordstrom Clear Plastic Knee Jeans

We can talk all day about these “mom jeans.” The unflattering high waist and pale, faded denim. The frayed crop that ends at the bottom of the calf – perfect for showing off a little ankle! The plastic, see-through knee area, which is clearly designed for moms who do a lot of kneeling in wet puddles and those who have amazing knees they’d like to show off. What’s wrong with showing a little skin, right moms?

However fun that discussion would be (check out the reviews of the product – you will not be disappointed), I’d prefer to talk about how brands should be marketing to women.

Gone are the days of “let’s market to men and we’ll get some women, too.” You can’t just “paint it pink” and get a positive reaction. It’s not always all about babies, puppies and rainbows. (Though, sometimes it is.)

Here are five things to think about when targeting women:

  1. We talk to our friends. Our work friends, our home friends, our social media friends, our gym friends. We are peer-pressure product pushers: “You gotta try this.” “Have you been there?” “Genny said that works really well on pet stains.” Find a way to win one of us over and chances are, you’ll win the lot of us over. It works both ways – if you offend one of us, chances are, you’ve offended all of us. These guys offended all of us:

  2. Throw stones at women billboard
  3. Get to know us. Please. Don’t assume you know us, because you probably don’t. Do your research. Talk to women in the demographic you’re trying to target and understand how, why, where, and when they’re making purchases. Ninety-one percent of women say that advertisers don’t understand them*. Case in point: I am a mom and I know a lot of moms. None of us would wear those plastic-kneed jeans. None. Of. Us.

  4. Tell us a story and make it emotional. We respond strongly to powerful stories that make us feel happy, sympathetic, empowered, strong, proud, and yes, even sad. Make it genuine, though. We can smell a false story miles away. Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” ad featuring Misty Copeland a few years ago is a great example of how to do it right.

  5. If you’re a traditionally male brand, it’s time to blur the lines. Beer, sporting goods, professional sports, and cars/trucks all have traditionally male target audiences. But many brands are branching out and targeting women with successful results. We sweat, we drink bourbon, we do pull-ups, we drive pick-ups, we watch hockey – and cheer for the fights. Don’t ignore us.

  6. Women make up 51 percent of the adult population. We control about 60 percent of all personal wealth. We account for $7 trillion in spending and make or influence 85 percent of all consumer purchases. We drive decisions about cars, healthcare, housing, food, and vacations.**

It comes down to this: if you’re not already focusing some of your marketing efforts toward women, today’s a good day to start.

*Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team

** Source: Pam Danziger “Marketing To Women: You Can’t Afford Not To.”

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