Candace Bushnell opened up a pandora’s box in 1996 with her now bestselling book Sex and the City. Spawning an entire genre of what is now being called “chick lit,” the book, like many of its offspring, focuses on the everyday life of a female heroine looking for friendship, fulfillment at work, and of course, love.
Though some women criticize the genre for being too superficial and commercial, its popularity has truly exploded: the Sex and the City TV show on HBO, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Gossip Girl have all seen amazing commercial success on the screen, and the books that created them are all bestsellers. It is easy to see why women could like this type of literature. It portrays female characters in a positive light and allows readers to escape their lives while learning about active, dynamic, and resourceful women such as themselves. While this genre was scorned for a long time, it has gone through a renaissance revial period nowadays and is gaining traction among all different age groups. It looks like it could be here to stay.
The main conclusion from authors Lisa Johnson and Andrea Learned is that women are looking for clear information about products, rather than immediately falling within the cliché of liking pink and flowers indiscriminately.
Take the example of luggage—the common preconception is that women love flowery, patterned, and pink luggage which is flashy. In reality, women go for exactly the same things as men: quality of construction, strong fabric that won’t tear, zippered pockets and a comfortable handle. Clearly, practicality attracts, while flash factor is relegated to the side if a product isn’t first and foremost of good quality.
A product that combines many best practices of marketing to women is Gillette’s Venus razor. Its ads focus on the practical reasons why women should prefer the razor, while maintaining transparency by talking to women as individuals, and not as a collective whole. Being in touch with the feminine sensibility is key, which should be done through studying women, rather than relying on popular stereotypes.
A new downloadable e-book from VibrantNation considers the shopping habits of women over fifty, a sizeable segment of the women’s market which sometimes goes overlooked. These women are being targeted due to their high education level, earnings, and financial autonomy.
Not just avid spenders themselves, they are often thought leaders within families, making spending decisions for other members or guiding tastes. This demographic also doesn’t like feeling that brands aren’t listening to them, or trying to push the same things as they would to twenty year-olds; women over 50 have different motivations when shopping, which is also important to take into account.
To read more, visit the blog or the Vibrant Nation website.