Archives par mot-clef : marketing

Innovation must create an original and special relationship by being closer to the women

Meet Dr. Marcel Saucet, Marketing, associate professor and researcher at the University of San Diego. He heads 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!

L’Oréal: a success story in international marketing to women

Established in 130 countries across five continents, L’Oréal group’s international success represents an international marketing model based on skill, knowledge and an unshakeable reputation. How has L’Oréal created this image and reputation? How has the group won over women around the world?

When women’s emancipation meets marketing issues

The change on women’s status in the society has greatly impacted on various areas of social life. In professional world and marital relations, the role of women changed and shook up the established standards. If marketing has adapted to new offerings for women, the stereotype of the « housewife under 50″ is difficult to erase.

A gap between aspirations and practices

How can we explain the continuation of ‘clichés’? Sometimes accused of being sexist, the world of advertising, is not the unique responsible for the persistence of these traditions. It sometimes reflects simply facts. For example, the sociologist Martyne Perrot (CNRS) highlighted the consistency of gendered tasks towards groceries.

« I found that women, especially mothers, continue to play a crucial role in this area, where they always behave like real nursing mothers. I admit, I was surprised to observe how it is stills the same”. She adds that, « young mothers are extremely depending on current hygienists’ injunctions, whether it is about diet, the need to eat food without pesticides, or marketing messages that relay it all. »(1)

Interview of Stephen Reily, co-author of “Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ know, think, do & buy”

The marketing agency Vibrant Nation has recently published the book “Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ know, think, do & buy”, which you can download here. We published an article in French at that time, but now we can provide you with an exclusive interview of Stephan Reilly, founder of Vibrant Nation and co-author of the book. Here are his answers. You can found the translation of this interview at the bottom of the article.

What those women want

1)    Which are the fields in which women 50+ are clearly not targeted enough by marketers?

Almost all consumer categories, but the ones with the largest missed opportunities are probably financial services, fashion, consumer electronics, and automobiles.

2)    Cite one or two telling examples of successful advertising campaigns aiming at women 50+.

Last year, Kimberly-Clark launched a campaign that repositioned its “Depend” brand (adult diapers) as a resource that allows active, successful women over 50 a way to keep doing what they want to be doing in spite of a health condition that might otherwise slow them down.  You can see one of these ads in that video.

Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand has also done an excellent job of providing information for Baby Boomer women to make their own decisions about skincare products.  This approach acknowledges women’s intelligence and trusts her to make the right decision, rather than telling her what the right decision should be.

“Gender, Design and Marketing”, a book justifying marketing to women with biological arguments

Males Females
Type of objects Self-propelling objects (ships, cars, planes, rockets) Static objects (plants, flowers, furniture, landscape)
Message Printed word Not printed word
Typography Standard typography Decorated typography
Main actor Males Females
Type of image Caricature Photograph
Human form Profile Frontal and smiling
Background Skyscrapers and towers Houses, windows, and roomsn
Themes Violence / Technology Daily life

So why is all this relevant? A key conclusion of the book is that men and women’s preferences match their production. Thus, the features that distinguish the graphic output of males and females will also be features that men and women prefer. In the practical sense, this means that male designers will tend to design with moving objects and the printed word, and those types of ads will appeal more to men. Women will design with static objects and smiling faces, which will have more appeal to other women. By examining the subconscious design preferences, we can thus establish a smarter way to market to women based on subtle, underlying preferences.

More specifically, two principles from the book show how the designer of an ad can have a much bigger impact than we’d like to think. The similarity principle, exhaustively researched in psychology, means that two people with similar personalities tend to attract one another. This is completed by the mirroring principle that shows people are attracted to objects that mirror their own self-concept. In marketing, this translates to “like attracts like:” women will prefer a design done by a woman, simply because it will have elements in it that tend to attract women.

The lesson is clear. Since people respond positively to finished products created by people similar to themselves, marketers should adapt their strategy to take this into account. By examining the subconscious design preferences, we can thus establish a smarter way to market to women based on subtle, underlying preferences.


Cultural or social arguments are often used to explain aesthetic differences between men and women, but Gloria Moss shows that scientific explanations are much more convincing.

Neuro-scientific research suggests that men and women’s brains react differently when being showed an ad. Men encode fewer claims and prefer simple advertisements that concentrate on no more than one or two features. This is because they have item-specific processing skills which lead them to extract the core of the ad and neglect the rest. Women, on the contrary, are comprehensive processors who attempt to assimilate all available information before rendering judgment. In this way, they prefer complex ads containing rich and detailed information on multiple features. Due to differing levels of brain lateralization, women also have a greater affinity for purely verbal information, whereas men benefit from visual reinforcement.

An illustrative example is in men and women’s ability to perceive color differently. A greater proportion of men than women are colorblind (which means they only have two cones for perceiving pigments in their eyes as opposed to three which is the norm). Additionally, a larger proportion of women have four cones which allows them to perceive hundreds of millions of color pigments, a hundred times more than most men can perceive. Researchers have noted that this may be an evolutionary trait, as women’s better perception of color would have been helpful during hunter-gatherer times in distinguishing berries from foliage, and ripe versus unripe fruit. Men, on the other hand, would have had a distinct advantage in hunting at night with less color sensitivity, given that two cones instead of three heighten night vision; another evolutionary aid.

Not simply limited to the amount of colors men and woman can perceive, biology can also explain preferences for certain colors over others. Men and women have different cortical responses to the stimulation of blue and red light wavelengths: women are more sensitive than men to the long-wave spectrum of light that detects red. Ergo, they were found to have a significant memory advantage for the purple-pink range of colors. The popular belief that women like pink because it symbolizes love can thus maybe be explained not by romanticism, but… their brain chemistry.

The most robust and persistent biological difference between sexes, however, lies in visio-spatial abilities. A meta-analysis of 300 studies on visio-spatial differences concluded that sex differences in spatial abilities favoring males are highly significant; on average, males outperform females in mental rotation and spatial perception. This and other research conclusively show that biological factors shape the perception of both men and women, and that gender differences in perception are not only socially constructed. Next time we try to stereotype ads portraying men and high-speed objects, we should remind ourselves that there might be more to the cliché than meets the eye…


“Women and men do not have the same design aesthetic.”

While this may seem obvious to the casual reader, many marketers have not taken advantage of different gender preferences to target advertising, products, and even the layouts of stores in order to maximize appeal for different sexes. With so few companies doing serious marketing to women, any company that makes an effort can expect to capture a disproportionate share of the women’s market.

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The 5 trends evolution of gender roles

A 3000-person 5-country study published by Euro RSCG Worldwide shows that gender roles are shifting with the current generation.

A few key trends emerge.
First, there is a global perception about women breaking the so-called “glass ceiling” and gaining an increasing amount of leadership positions. The traditional image of women sitting at home and cooking all day is gone, and has been replaced with a stronger feminine picture who chooses what she wants and takes control.
Second, the male/female distinction is also on the downswing. More women and men are breaking down gender role stereotypes like women playing football and men going to spas. D&G’s Anthology perfume line seems to be taking advantage of this trend by making all its perfumes unisex.
Third, 90% of women believe that their everyday workload is more difficult than men’s. Generally considered the primary caretaker of kids and organizer of the household, many women feel busy and feel the need to de-stress often.

To read more about the rest of the trends, visit the full article.

American marketing agencies that specialize in marketing to women

With marketing to women becoming a growing and significant phenomenon, there are now several agencies in the U.S. specializing in it: Frank About Women, Female Factor, Vibrant Nation, and even the Red Bean Society which specializes in marketing to Latina Women.
While every agency has its specific specialties, there are some more common offers in this market.

Notably, helping brands adapt to a female clientele in all areas is important: from the product design to the packaging to the communication strategy, agencies can help tailor a brand’s image to fit a holistic message they are trying to convey. Other than consulting, agencies also offer training and educational materials, sponsor and organize conferences, and do market research and analyses to gain further insight on the ways clientele’s opinions are shifting.

Content targeted to women is growing at an enormous rate, especially on the internet, so it seems that these companies will be growing a lot in size and in importance in the years to come.