Monique Grande is a writer and specialist coach for women who want to fulfill their potential and become the main players in their own lives again. For Womenology, she accepted to talk to us about her vision of women.
1. In your eyes, what are the main differences between male and female consumers? (In terms of the items they look for, their favourite brands, the way in which they make a decision, their behaviour once in the shop…)
The differences are first and foremost educational and cultural and the major lobbies exploit these issues of gender to the maximum. Messages that are aimed at male and female consumers therefore are considered carefully depending on the gender: in France we talk about the housewife’s shopping basket, never the househusband’s!
It seems that men prefer to acquire a precious object that’s able to seduce a woman, a car to add to his gadgets or a cutting-edge piece of technology for a super-fast connection.
Women, on the other hand, venture into the realm of compulsive shopping or they indulge in items to give to someone else.
2. What are women looking for through consumption?
Satisfaction through pleasure… Of course, they still are!
I would say that women who remain under the influence of an upbringing that consists of pleasing others and expecting to benefit from their charm, look for items that allow them to reveal their finery.
There are also compulsive enthusiasts who make up for things that might be missing from their life and they consume gluttonously without any hesitation!
For those who don’t feel the urge to please other people because they’ve learnt to like themselves for who they are, I think that they buy products that are far from being artificial or unnecessary. A lot of them are concerned with buying organic, buying healthy, buying for fun but their purchases are carefully thought out, and they also buy things for themselves. Now that’s a real challenge for a woman: buying for someone else without forgetting to buy for herself!
3. Do you think that the image of women in advertising has evolved over the last 15 years?
What has changed is that women are lankier, more masculine, even, as if it to mark themselves apart from passive femininity; women’s bodies are also more exposed. But producing sensuality in order to be liked or masculinity in order to gain revenge, that’s compensating behaviour. Such dual compensation makes the role of women swing from the super sexy girl to the high-flying superwoman.
Society brings about a sort of diversion from what women really want deep down. This diversion generates dissatisfaction and a sense of guilt amongst a lot of women.
We might have hoped that after the feminist years, women would have the possibility to be closer to their real nature. But no, more and more, the image driven by advertising encourages the object-woman who’s a visual turn-on and the active woman whose inner life and sensitivity are silenced. Women in magazines are sexier, fashion makes them look their best, they can get as many facelifts as they like and h hide the years… It’s slim consolation in contrast to the lack of self-esteem that a major part of the planet’s female population suffers from!
4. What should companies change to make their products more attractive to women?
® Give more thought to the real lives of women: sell more ethically because these are the woman who are raising and feeding the future generations
® Women want to talk and meet people, they like to talk about life, to invest in relationships: think about the heart of women and sell more sensitivity to them, more links
5. Do you think that society has a tendency to be predominantly feminine?
If that was the case, the world would be a more human place! But that’s not the case! Being predominantly feminine means thinking about BEING rather than HAVING! And developing our sensitivity, our humanism, our charisma. It’s about seizing opportunities that offer changes here and now in order to establish fairer relationships between men and women, and more generally, between human beings.