The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Category: Marketing To Women
It's an implicit equation that has hamstrung Western civilization for at least 300 years, and harmed the effectiveness of advertising equally. I'm referring to the equation that judges rationality as superior to emotions, with the former being the cherished fiefdom of male executives at major companies and the latter the touchy-feely and not altogether important province of female consumers. But the breakthroughs in brain science over the past quarter century have laid that false duality to rest: we're all primarily emotional decision-makers, and since everybody feels before they think, objectivity is a myth and so is pure, disciplined rationality.
For ad agencies struggling to promote often undifferentiated offers, what a relief. The days of being on-message can now give way to a greater, truer reality. What's most important in 21st century marketing will to be on-emotion, meaning to create the right emotion at the right time, for the right audience, on behalf of the right positioning of a branded offer.
But even with this new freedom to follow their correct instincts (visuals and emotions win), the ad agencies have plenty of work of their own cut out for them. After all, as a law suit from the NAACP alleges, ad agencies have problems with diversity. For instance, as reported by Advertising Age of the 58 Super Bowl spots where the identity of the creative team could be affirmed, 92% of the creative directors were white males.
Here's some help for them in overcoming blind spots:Read More
Men are, well, men. They live in the 'now.' They are concrete thinkers that like to consummate, finish. A male axiom is "complete what you set out to do." Men are interested in power and in looking good, even more than being good. In short, that's the nature of beauty for the beast.
You cannot market to men the same way you market to women. It's not a simple transformation of changing colors, fonts or packaging. Men and women are different biologically, psychologically and socially.
Of course, when it comes to attractiveness, both sexes want to garner attention, but each for different reasons. For men, looking good is looking strong, confident, authoritative, adventurous – a standout. Men concentrate on looks to the extent that it signals something about what they do, have done or can do. Regardless of how much a woman wants to attract in the contest of beauty and brains, their focus is on hope and details, and they concentrate on how appearance reflects their inner be-ing.
Consider four fundamental gender differences and their impact on marketing:Read More
In my work as a cognitive anthropologist I study how the mind works, how people "make meaning," how people form attachments to things (brands), and how people make decisions. Decisions like how to select what to invest in, whether stocks or mates; why and under what conditions, people prefer Coke over Pepsi (or vice versa), Charmin over Cottonelle; why a person believes in one God over another.
In that search I have inadvertently uncovered something about viva la difference: WOMEN CYCLE, MEN CONSUMMATE.
Marketers need to understand the implications of this difference.
The male is oriented to the present, the concrete, the visual, the "hit," the win, the "me." Evolutionarily speaking, the male must bring home the bacon. No Dilly-Dallying. No excuses. The male is in the now and, above all else, is a pragmatist.
The female is oriented the conceptual, to underlying dynamics, to the relationship between things, and to stability over the long-term. The female understands and sees patterns over time.Read More
In an economic downturn, there may be a tendency to give up on new ideas and thinking, and just hunker down, until the worst is over. But, what if this is really our chance to examine new possibilities? If freaking out doesn’t make your numbers improve (and – at this point – you can lead a consumer to your product, but you can’t make her buy), what might happen when you use that brainwave space to identify and integrate consumer trends you never actually noticed before? Perhaps amazing things.
Take Reena Jana’s quick hit Businessweek article and video with David Rockwell, architect/branding expert/set designer, as an example. He commented on hotel design, which has been on my mind a bit lately too. One of Rockwell’s thoughts: what about holding cooking classes in hotel kitchens? Such design thinking is worth a little hotelier attention these days, given the convergence of trends in staying home, cooking more, and being with family. What else, physical space or otherwise, is primed for such “transformability,” as Rockwell called it?
Cooking classes in a hotel kitchen could serve consumers and add value on so many levels – but without this “what now” sense of doom we feel, such ideas might never surface. Given extreme limitations, creative thinking is forced to be that much more bold, even as the solutions become more streamlined.
Here’s another example of transformability, in my mind: Consider how Subaru is handling the current “discount” season, with their “Share The Love” philanthropic campaign. Rather than promoting money-back at loan signing or one of the other typical year-end strategies for a car dealer, they kept within the tight parameters, learned more about their consumers and thought quite differently. What their research found was that a charitable donation would very much resonate with the types of people who’d be considering a Subaru buy right about now.Read More
Studies show that marketers have been missing a huge part of the population. Could it be? Apparently, having so shifted their focus toward women, marketers have lost touch with the male consumer — but there are several "secrets" to reaching them that will save the day.
Nanette Byrnes's cover story for the September 4th, 2008 issue of BusinessWeek goes to some length to point out how men are evolving as shoppers and how there is much more nuance to their buying habits than marketers had perhaps previously considered. The article's sources and ideas are definitely worth note, still, should it be big news — especially to business readers — that not all men feel included by the term "metrosexual," or that the new generation of dads is doing a lot more household shopping?
Such press coverage reminds me of the big swing toward a women's-market focus that emerged roughly eight years ago. At about that point, the business media were all over the "astounding" research that women, in general, were not being well-served as consumers and that marketers had a long way to go to really address the nuances therein. In my mind, the pendulum swing then was not from serving male consumers amazingly well to serving women (at all), but from marketing based on huge assumptions about how people buy to a wisely more narrowed focus on core customers with a much deeper understanding of how purchase decisions are influenced. This could only be progress.
After all, good, basic, effective marketing involves narrowing the targeted segment to its utmost passionate core and then really digging in to get to know them as well as possible (aka — lots of work). All men everywhere were never "Leave It To Beaver"-type working husbands/fathers, but, for several decades, that was the default ad campaign depiction. These days, all men everywhere are not stay-at-home dads (though those guys are getting a lot of press), but remain – now as then — an interesting mix of different types of people with different priorities and lifestyles. Just as it is for women! Who knew?Read More