July 23, 2004

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: Don't Think Pink

By: Jack @ 4:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy -- and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market by Lisa Johnson and Andrea Learned, AMACOM, 224 pages, $23.00, Hardcover, June 2004, ISBN 081440815X
Women arent all about pastels and flowers. Everyone knows that, right? Apparently not or otherwise these two marketers wouldnt have had to write this how-to-market-to-women-effectively book. But luckily they did. Written with style and wit, dont think its only for girls. Its for everyone who wants to sell something to women and understand the way they think.
Just take a quick look at what pink thinking is. Its a recipe they start off with in Chapter One, and its not only very funny, but spot on if we think about ads targeted at women for a minute:
One part dated assumptions and information.
Two parts superseded stereotypes.
One part limited staff and budget
Two parts internal resistance to new ideas
Three parts fear of turning off men and making expensive mistakes
A generous dollop of pastels, butterflies, hearts and flowers
And a double shake of good intentions and sincerity
Do not stir or integrate with other departments. Serve to women customers.
But more importantly of course is not thinking pink. A very valuable lesson in this book is choosing the correct method of marketing: visible or transparent. Visible marketing refers to products that are physically marked for women like womens vitamins or razors. Transparent marketing however is much more sophisticated and relies on a thorough understanding of the target market and their needs. You truly need to understand what makes women tick. Yes, its more work, but it pays off in the end. They illustrate the difference aptly: the difference between a tailored suit that fits perfectly, or an off the rack mass produced item that is not tailored to your specific needs. This type of positioning is what all marketers who hope to sell something to the vast majority of women buyers out there, will have to become skilled at. Its the future.
Great chapters with useful information, but the chapter I got most miles out of was Chapter 10: connecting with women online. Simply because this is such a large market, and they give simple hard facts about online women shoppers which all marketers should be aware of. An example:
Women are online for both community and shopping. In December 2002 alone, womens online couminites reached approximately 30 percent of all female Internet users age 25 to 64, attracting a total of nearly 35 million visitors. The segment of the online population that shops there, will grow 29 percent tot 121 million in 2005.
This book will help marketers target women more effectively, whether it involves selling cars, coffee or clothing. Get to know how womans minds work, get to know your brand, and be authentic; and remember that women can smell bull a mile away.