Harley-Davidson Spotlights Female Shoppers

Women aren’t a niche, they are the market. In 2005 a BusinessWeek Article, I Am Woman, Hear Me Shop by Pallavi Gogol, covered a few companies that have awakened to the power of women consumers and their purchasing power. As Gogol states in the beginning of his article,

“Rising female consumer power is changing the way companies design, make, and market products — and it’s about more than adding pastels”

In other words, just adding pink to the box is not nearly enough. Marketers must communicate with the women, ask questions and customize their products. A notably “male” company that has done just that is Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson added a section on its Web site for female bikers educating women on appropriate road-gear and making sure they know how to ride safely. What drove Harley to this? The fact that motorbike sales to women grew to 10% (or 23,00) of all bikes sold in 2003 compared to just 2% in 1985.

Additional companies now focusing attention on women consumers:

  • Banks and financial-service companies, including Citibank, Merrill Lynch, and Charles Schwab. These industry leaders have engineered departments devoted entirely to market investment products for women. According to the Employment Policy Foundation, the number of women earning $100,000 or more has tripled in the last 10 years. This statistic leaves little doubt that ignoring this market could be detrimental.
  • Best Buy is retraining sales associates to talk to women in practical terms, not in technical lingo.
  • Contractor Barbara Kavovit, CEO of Barbara K Enterprises, launched a line of tools ergonomically designed to suit a woman’s smaller hand.

Still have doubt that fosucing your marketing efforts will pay off? Apple created the iPod Mini and women are eating them up. Apple attributes its astounding 74% sales increase in its fiscal quarter to the staggering sales of the Mini, a majority of which were bought by women. Companies that give female customers genuine attention may find that proverbial pot of gold.

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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One Response

  1. Friends, can you assist? A friend of mine is thinking about buying themselves a new cbr 1000 as their first bike! Never rode much of anything else before! I said this is probably not a good idea for the first one, but they are adamant! What do you rekon, is this ok and would u then just recommend good training lessons?

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