Silverstein, M. J., and Sayre, K. (2009, September). The Female Economy. Harvard Business Review.
The article begins by stating that “women now drive the world economy.” It goes on to discuss how women now represent a large portion of consumer spending, and that portion is expected to grow. Silverstein and Sayre discuss how companies are not taking seriously the fact that they may not have the best strategy when it comes to marketing towards the female market. They underestimate or flat out ignore the female consumer.
Dell is used as an example of such companies. The article discusses Dell’s failed attempt market laptops specifically to women. In May of 2009, it launched Della website, complete with a “make it pink” motto and topics based on female stereotypes. Instead of appealing to the women, it actually caused an uproar among them. Women felt the site was condescending. They posted blogs everywhere expressing their disgust towards the site. Even though Dell was quick to react to making the necessary corrections, Silverstein and Sayre question why their marketers failed to see the potential problems before the site went up.
The authors then discuss a 2008 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. More than 12,000 different women in all areas of life were asked 120 questions about their finances, education, careers, relationships, activities and hobbies, fears, and also their spending patterns and shopping behavior. The study revealed that women were grossly underserved and there was lots of room for improvement. They continue to be undervalued even though they have great market power and social position. Women have many demands on them juggling work, family, and home, and few companies have taken action on their need for products and services designed specifically for women and for time saving solutions.
Companies need to realize and understand the buying power that females possess. They...