I don’t really understand it. One way or the other, I often write about women who are smart, accomplished and savvy. I don’t consider this to be any big deal: some women are all these things and some aren’t. Just like men. So why do companies still talk down to women in weird ways that they use with men?windup-woman-stephanie-fierman.jpg

There’s an article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal highlighting the efforts of UK beer makers to attract women. To me, this is a fairly basic marketing exercise: Determine the needs of your target. Build product, messaging and pricing to suit. Sell into channel.  The (grossly generalized) End.  But too often, it doesn’t seen to work that way.

Coors UK says that its mission is to “create a world where women love beer as much as they love shoes.” That should make a marketer cringe. How does Coors know that all women love shoes (they don’t)? And even if they did, what is it about the buying criteria women apply to a fashion purchase (that can be expensive and is seen by the world day in and day out on her feet) that beer makers think they can really learn from here? And do you only want (‘airhead’ is the subtle implication) women who can’t live without… heels? How about wanting to create a world where women love beer as much as they love exchange-traded funds? Or as much as they love criminal law? Climbing teelphone polls? Hmmm. Not sexy.

Later in the article, a bartender in London says that few women have tried Guinness Red (a line extension intended to appeal to the gals) because of its low awareness, and that it would help if “advertising could help explain that it’s (Red) like a watered-down Guinness.”

stephanie-fierman-pink-power-tool.jpgNo no, please don’t go to the bother of making a product for little ol’ me – just give me a man’s product weakened and drained of whatever made it special in the first place. And ask your salesman to describe it to me that way. I’ll be fine.

Peroni seems to be on to something, given that 30% of its drinkers are women – over 2x the industry average. The beer’s upcoming campaign ties the product to Italian culture, a near-universally appealing concept of leisure and enjoyment.

News flash: women are not tiny men. We do however have and spend tons of money.  What if we stopped thinking of making our power tools pink in order to sell them to the babes?


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