By Kelly McCormick
Women buy brands. The days of simply selling a woman a product or service are over. Markets are far too crowded. To make a positive impact, today's seller must develop a brand that's meaningful to a woman. It's the only way to stand out from the competition. It's also the only way to gain access to the world's largest buying market: women.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
We all know that one-size-fits-all clothing doesn't really fit all. Now it's time to admit that one brand doesn't fit all buyers, especially when it comes to women.
Women have specific needs and wants. A brand either ‘gets' her or it doesn't. Marketing communications company Frank About Women dialogued with female consumers to find out what makes a brand work for them. A cross-section of women cited looking for ‘brands that integrate with [their] reality, instead of trying to change it.'
Brand Her Reality: As a corporation, entrepreneur, or seller, your brand must look at the world from a woman's point of view. Then every aspect of your brand and business must reflect that you're ready, willing, and able to meet her needs.
Don't Just Paint Your Brand Pink
The latest buzz phrase ‘Don't paint your brand pink' is as much a wake-up call as it is a warning. To just insert ‘for women' or ‘women only' into ads, marketing materials, and sales conversations can backfire.
Unless you're a woman with a product or service specific to women, or a brand that relies heavily on the feedback of women, ‘gender-specific' sales and marketing can be seen as patronizing.
Build credibility into your brand. Don't assume that you have what women want. Ask her what she's looking for from your company, products, and services. Then incorporate those values and benefits into your brand.
Brand Her Reality: Don't paint superficial ‘pink' messages onto your brand. Hit the delete button and remove any gender-specific messages that might patronize women.
Make Sure Your Brand Is There for Her
It takes more than a designer logo or smoothly crafted tagline for a woman to believe your brand understands her. For most women, by far the most compelling – and most overlooked – element of a brand is the emotional component. A woman needs to hear and see that a brand gets her.
Women are there for each other and expect the same from you and your brand. Don't just tell a woman you provide great service. Prove it. Give her your direct line in case she has questions, or make a quick after-sale check-in call. Your brand must earn her trust and respect.
Brand Her Reality: Your actions speak louder than your words. If you and your brand really get her, decide how you'll let her know.
Dare to Be a Full-Body Brand
Women support brands that support them. Mothers, sisters, and girlfriends come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Dove's Real Woman Campaign got it right on many levels. They put six ethnically diverse women with ‘real' bodies and curves into print, television, and Internet messages. The campaign includes a website for the Dove Self-Esteem Fund. The online community's goal, to make real change in the way women and young girls perceive and embrace beauty, tells women that the brand gets them and supports issues important to them.
There are many ways to show that your brand understands women. Put visuals of ‘real' women and ‘real' home and work situations into ads. Provide her with information, education, and a forum to communicate. This can be via newsletter, website, online communities, and blogs. You can also sponsor causes important to women.
Brand Her Reality: Dare to be a full-body brand. Be known as the company that supports women, and the issues and causes that are important to them.
The brand that earns a woman's buying trust is the one that gets her. It integrates with her reality, instead of trying to change it. If you develop your brand to appeal to a woman in these ways, you can earn more than her trust. A woman’s brand loyalty may mean you have a customer for life.
About Kelly McCormick
Business expert Kelly McCormick is a speaker, coach and writer. She is the author of 'OutSell Yourself: Go from HELLO to SOLD with Ethical Business and Sales Techniques'. Check out Kelly's E-tips, blog posting and more at www.OutSellYourself.com.
Permission to Reprint – You have my permission to reprint if –
Hi, I’m Kelly McCormick, a Business Growth and Marketing Strategist
. I help entrepreneurs & companies to identify opportunities for growth. Plus, I develop targeted branding, marketing & sales strategies. I can help you too!