Meet Dr. Marcel Saucet, Marketing, associate professor and researcher at the University of San Diego. He heads LCAconseil.net laboratory, expert advice in marketing innovation.
What do you think are the most promising innovations aimed at women sectors?
Cosmetics: During the last 15 years, cosmetics are one of the few sectors of growth. Recent studies have shown the average market growth of 5% in terms of quantity. We can compare cosmetics to new technologies and indeed, this is an area that does continually evolve, and the products become obsolete very quickly as it lacks in the innovation in products, ideas and in the distribution. New beauty box, Birchbox allow consumers to test several beauty products every month when they get subscribed.
Another innovation in the way we distribute with the Lush brand that offers cosmetics for women: Once a year, magazine sellers are clients and little interest except that of the view by itself and thus attract new consumers. Cosmetics are also changing rapidly with new technologies. The case for example, companies that specialize in makeup that offer their clients to test new makeup applications via augmented reality. While you are alone in front of your phone without makeup, applying a clear picture of who you are made up!
A polo shirt with an embroidered crocodile. This is the hallmark of the legendary French company Lacoste. Officially born in 1933, the famous shirts adorned with their badge is based on the story of the international tennis champion René Lacoste – dubbed the « alligator » and « crocodile » in reference to his tenacity on the court. Following the diversification of his offer, the brand has managed to develop its image.
A meeting with Amandine Miguel, spokesperson for Inter LGBT, head of Lesbian Visibility
What do you think of gay marketing (brands who particularly target the homosexual community)?
Firstly, it is wrong to think that the “gay marketing” label includes all of the LGBT community (although it is often used in this respect in Anglo-Saxon countries). “Gay marketing” primarily addresses homosexual men and not lesbians or transsexuals who don’t interest brands due to their weak shopping power, remaining invisible within the public community. There is a clear difference in shopping power within the different components of the LGBT community (we are talking in a general sense here, casualization is unfortunately everywhere). On the one hand, the procedure that the state imposed in order to change the marital rights for this community was a lengthy, costly and degrading process, which places them in an extremely precarious situation. On the other hand, it is women that are most affected by insecurities, thus lesbians as well as women are directly impacted.
Should brands speak in a specific way to the lesbian community? Or is it discriminatory?
It all depends on how they are addressed in our community as it is not an act of discrimination to address them as a particular community. Yet defining the “sexual communities” is difficult, as the culture and references that the L, G, B and T share are not the same. And if you are stubborn enough to believe in the existence of a common culture but also an alleged universality of a “LGBT culture”, you immediately fall back into the traditional sexist view: which confuses the masculine and the so called neutral universal with the “LGBT culture”. It is said that the identification of the gay culture also acts as a representative of the LGBT culture.
Of the top fifteen international luxury brands, seven are French. French brands represent 25% of the world market in luxury personal assets (fashion, accessories, perfume, watches and jewellery), or 212 billion euros (Cabinet Bain & Company – 2012). (1) In this sector, where making the clients’ dreams come true is essential, the sales force plays a vital role. Michaela Merk, a specialist in marketing and international retail, chose to spend 4 years researching the link between the brand and its sales force. What alliances should be created? What is the best way to manage a sales team so that they embody the brand values? In April 2014 Michaela Merk published a methological book: Luxury Sales Force Management.
“The link between the brand and its sales team is a very close one,” explains Dominique Perrin, non-executive Director of the Richemont group, “management needs to bring the brand to life to the point that it becomes a ‘loved one’ at the heart of the sales team.” (3)
According to a survey published by Mediaprism in November 2012 for the Laboratoire de l’égalité (equality laboratory), 56% of women and 34% of men feel they come into contact with sexist behaviour on a daily basis. (1) How can we explain this persistence of gender stereotypes? Who can be held responsible? What measures should be taken to fight against sexism? How can we make both the public and brands aware of the issues caused by stereotypes?
The media world receives sexism accusations
The majority of participants in this study believe the media are particularly responsible for the persistence of stereotypes. In fact 67% of them are in favour of a watchdog committee who would be responsible for ensuring that television ads do not reflect gender stereotypes. Nearly 8 out of 10 participants also believe that both public and private television should join the fight against stereotypes.
Interview with Thierry Maurice, CEO of the dating website appart-ages.com
Womenology: Older women represent a very important market for marketers, what are the expectations of this target audience in your opinion?
Yes, because they are more likely to be regaining control over their lives, which inevitably involves the « consumption » of beauty products, travel, dating sites, etc … Older women are not what they were, they don’t want to give up anything, nothing, except giving up… but there is one area in which they don’t express themselves enough, love and sex, despite how far it has come in recent years.
Interview with Salim Azar, Professor at the University of Cergy Pontoise
Womenology: What are the characteristics of a brand hoping to address a female audience?
The emergence of new sociological, political, philosophical and artistic trends has caused new approaches to consumption and brands. Beyond a symbolic and emotional view of brands, self-expression has become a decisive factor in consumer choices and preferences. Movements such as feminism and postmodernism have highlighted the importance of the consumption of symbols and feelings, in a subjective and hyper-real context. Feminism highlights women’s day to day experiences, and postmodernism emphasizes the importance of hedonism and pleasure in life. By capitalizing on these movements, it is now widely accepted in marketing that consumers no longer choose products just for functional uses, but also for what they represent. Brands become de facto capital because they act mainly in this way. In my research, based on an anthropomorphic brand approach, I am interested in analysing the traits and characteristics of “gendered” brands. I found that brands, like humans, have a sex, a gender and a sexual orientation. These tools help managers to improve their ability to address all women.
Business Development Manager at the “Institut des Mamans,” Virginia Foucault-Rougé has 15 years of experience in marketing , advertising and media studies (Interdeco , Publicis , Secodip TNS Sofres …)
Womenology: Have mums changed their consumer habits in recent years?
We are a market research institute specialising in targeting mums, families and children, so we pay particular attention to the fact that we are working in a rapidly changing environment. I’ve been working on this target audience for 8 years, and I would certainly say that the sector is moving extremely quickly. One example which has had a significant impact on the behaviour of this target audience, particularly in terms of consumption and more generally in terms of lifestyle, is the importance of digital and social networks in their everyday lives. (…) It is impossible to understand this audience without knowing that today, almost 7 out of 10 mums own a Smartphone (2 years ago this figure was « only » 44%), and 80% of these mums connect to their Smartphones whilst on the move. This development has completely changed the ways of browsing and purchasing. Before buying a product for their child 9 out of 10 mums consult the internet whilst 2 out of 10 regularly consult the internet. For example, nowadays 75% of pushchairs sold are purchased in store and 25% online. This is the reality. These are the key figures you need to know. Again, these changes are very clear to see in the general population, but these trends are particularly strong and magnified amongst the target audience of mums. (…)
Womenology: What is your definition of gender marketing?
Sophie Gurion: Gender marketing is born in the United States ten years and it consists of segmenting the product offering based on gender. An indirect way to leverage the purchasing intentions; this means that two gendered products will replace a single combination product in the household. We’ve seen many gendered products invade linear in recent years, actually it is more or less wisely: Pen Women, the toothbrush for her and one for him, the girls’ night Apéricube…
Interview with Anne Doizy: Executive Director of JWT.
Womenology: In 2011, JWT created a new tool for brands: the « femininity index. » What is the nature of this tool and its benefits for brands?
Anne Doizy: JWT observes the changing dynamics of women for three years. In a study called THE F-WORD we show that women have gone past the claiming stage and are now taking actions.