October 6, 2005
News & Opinion: The Power of the Purse--Introduction
As a journalist covering marketing and consumer behavior for 15 years for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Fast Company, I have been intrigued--and sometimes personally frustrated--by how companies tried (and often failed) to reach women consumers. In 2002, I decided it was time to stop being frustrated and begin to explore why some companies "got" women and others didn't. Along the way, I found that there was more to this story than some good marketing. As Alan Webber, the founding editor of Fast Company, wrote in his foreword to my book, a major shift is happening in business. As he wrote, business today and in the future is about biology (think gender), sociology and technology. As the companies in the book illustrate, we are in the beginnings of this major business revolution, which in part comes from women's ever-increasing economic power globally. We are just beginning to see how that power will affect corporations both from the inside and outside. Some of the early effects of that revolution can be seen throughout my book--from the statistics that reveal women's massive economic power--$13 trillion in private wealth; $7 trillion in spending power--to the stories of companies who have tapped into the changing gender roles that all that money has wrought. Women today have far more choices, more freedom and more financial power than ever in history. How they wield that power is going to be a major force in business going forward. I hope the book helps reveal how some of the world's biggest brands--Nike, Kodak, McDonald's--are grappling with these issue and how your company can too.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.