According to SheEconomy.com, women make 85% of all brand purchases in the United States. So when you read that women and men are being manipulated into buying products and services for women, such as diamond rings, soap or even Valentine’s Day presents and Mother’s Day cards, don’t believe a word of it. It’s rubbish.
Brands can’t make consumers buy things they don’t want. It’s a universal truth of advertising. The hallmark in fact of a successful marketing campaign, such as Absolut Vodka, as referenced in the Jan. 17, 2014 Huffington Post article by Amanda Scherker, 8 Things You Only Believe Because the Advertisers Told You To, is telling you about the existence of something you indeed would like to have. If you don’t want to own it, the advertising campaign, no matter how clever or sneaky, isn’t going to dupe women into buying things they don’t want. To suggest that the approximately 1.3 million women professionals and executives who earn in excess of $100,000 annually are not savvy consumers is insulting.
Why women and even Elvis Presley really do like diamond rings…and sapphires and gold
According to the website of the world-renowned Victoria and Albert Museum,
“Jewellery is a universal form of adornment. Jewellery made from shells, stone and bones survives from prehistoric times. It is likely that from an early date it was worn as a protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.”
The popular wedding website, theknot.com, explains:
“Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. About 70% of all brides sport the traditional diamond on the fourth finger of their left hand. Priscilla Presley's engagement ring was a whopping 3 1/2-carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds. Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness. One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.”
“Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!”
A clean house is appealing in a world of chaos
Soaps do not disproportionately appeal to women versus men; women are buying soaps because they need them to clean the house, their hands or the children. Sometimes the one thing I can control as a working single Mom is how organized and clean my house is. What makes the conversation interesting is that in modern times, as women, you have many products and brands to choose from.
Bridget Brennan, contributor to Forbeswoman.com, in her article titled, “Three Strategies for Marketing to Millennial Women,”suggests:
“Inspire her: This generation believes it can change the world and in many ways it already has. (Exhibit A: Facebook.) When it comes to social issues, Millennials are, generally speaking, tolerant, optimistic and looking to be inspired.”
"Now look over at the kitchen sink. The housecleaning brand Method is another example of how an inspirational idea can rock an industry. Method produces eco-friendly, high design house-hold cleaning products that people display on their counters like artwork. Check out the brand’s ‘People Against Dirty’ campaign and its peppy ‘Clean Happy’ brand anthem videos, and notice how Method elevates the mundane act of housecleaning into the far more inspiring idea of ‘joining us in the good fight to make our planet—and homes—a cleaner place.’ When I interviewed Method co-founder Eric Ryan for my book, Why She Buys, he told me, ‘We think of our brand as a movement.’ Do you? Communicating what you stand for is a powerful way to reach Millennial women.”
Women can’t be fooled into buying things they do not want. Moreover, facing a choice, women are more likely to purchase a product that has effectively engaged them at some level. Whether that appeal is sensible (as in, a good value), cause-related and environmentally-friendly, or visually satisfying. Remember: American women spend about $5 trillion each year.
“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond!”
- Mae West