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Book Review: Don't Think Pink or Boom!

Essay by   •  March 10, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  3,263 Words (14 Pages)  •  2,166 Views

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About the Authors

Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy -- and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market

Lisa Johnson is a CEO of The ReachGroup , a consulting firm specializing in and advising on the women-consumers behavior. She is a leading corporate trainer and brand consultant who worked with several top US companies. Her contributions to marketing concepts are acknowledged by Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge, The Chicago Tribune and many other leading journals and magazines. L. Johnson is also known as an author of Mind Your X's and Y's, a book devoted to the marketing to generations X and Y.

Andrea Learned was co-founders of ReachWomen and is a President of Learned-On- Women , a blog speaking and writing on how to design and implement marketing to women. She specializes on bridging traditionally male-oriented industries, such as outdoor sports or consumer technology, with women-oriented ones. A. Learned is famous for her insightful contributions to, Fuel, and The Advertiser.

Boom! Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer - the baby Boomer Woman

Mary Brown is a Founder and President of Imago Creative - the only strategic marketing agency in the U.S. exclusively specializing on so-called "sweet spot" of today's market - women of the Baby-Boom generation. With over 20-year career in strategic marketing and branding, M. Brown distinguished herself as a leading voice on the subject of marketing to women. As an industry expert, M. Brown partnered with a wide range of businesses from fashion to food, to finances, to furniture, etc. She is a regular contributor to, as well an active an active speaker on National Public Radio.

Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., is a Senior Partner at Imago Creative and VP and Co-Chair at FH Boom , a Division of Fleisman-Hillard Inc. She is internationally known through her previous publications including The Art of Resilience, Inner Excellence at Work, and How Would Confucius Ask for a Raise? The recipient of the Silver Anvil, the public relations industry's highest award, she is famous for her pioneering work on the issues, desires, and concerns of the Baby Boom generation.


Who controls the Purse?

According to Paco Underhill, a leading expert on behavioral market research, women make a vast majority of purchasing decisions in the United States and worldwide. The increasing purchasing as well as earning power of female consumers dictates companies to revise traditionally male-oriented methods of marketing. However, meeting the expectations of and/or building relationships with female consumers is not an easy task, warn all four authors. Pink and pastel strategies blindly developed and applied to reach and appeal to women fail to recognize the wide range of diversity within this huge segment of consumers. To help companies to understand it, the authors discuss the main drivers and influencers of women's buying behavior. They share their marketing-to-women philosophy and provide guides for developing successful and effective strategies to reach this critical market. They advise to talk, to ask, and to actively listen to women customers.

The goal of this paper is to review and compare two books on women marketing. To reach this goal, the structure of each book together with a short overview of chapters is presented in the first section. It then followed by short discussion of the books that also outlines their strengths and weaknesses. The paper is concluded with short summary.


Don't Think Pink...

As Johnson and Learned suggest, the understanding of the customer, his/her profile is crucial for the successful business. They warn that the traditional philosophy of "customer-is-always-right" is lost in the attempt of marketers "to develop a marketing strategy from inside the product out" (p. ix). According to them, the marketers are losing the touch with the real decision makers - women buyers, who make and influence roughly 80 percent of consumer purchases. Through their book, they suggest focusing on understanding these powerful consumers and provide guidance for learning a woman's perspective, the ways to reach and serve, to re-evaluate and re-examine traditional strategies. The book contains several comments from female consumers as well a number of industry cases that help in illustrating their points and suggestions.

The authors guide the readers against pink mentality through eleven chapters. First, they present the phenomenon of "pink thinking" and advise to train the brain on avoiding this dangerous trap. To stress the importance of women customers, they provide some statistical and economic overview of women market that comprises about 51 percent of the U.S. population and spends over two trillion dollars each year. They state that pink mentality causes missed opportunities and weak profits and provide 10-step approach to move beyond this mentality.

The next two chapters are devoted to the so-called "visible" and "transparent" marketing approaches. The visible, i.e. "You see her" approach, is aimed to be salient in distinguishing the product from many others and obviously declaring it to women. However, the authors admit, that in some situations indirect or transparent approach, i.e. "You don't see her", which does not single women out, is preferable.

The fourth chapter discusses the psychology underneath women's buying behavior. The authors compare the buying minds of women with the sophisticated and powerful tool, and provide scientific underpinnings describing this different in nature mentality and mindset, women's sense of discovery, and the communication style.

The next three chapters are devoted to the discussion of sub-segments within the women markets based on such criteria as generation (i.e. Y, X, Baby-Boomers, and Mature), life stages and roles (i.e. single women, business women, and moms), and cultural and racial differences (i.e., Hispanic, Black, and Asian). Each of this tactics of segmentation is reviewed from the perspectives of buying filters and ways of reflecting a company's brand accompanied with industry study overview and suggestions on connection and communication.

The eighth chapter is devoted to relationship building opportunities and discusses the learning curves and life stages and transitions.

In chapter nine the authors



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