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Is Facebook vs. Google+ Similar to Microsoft vs. Apple?

The radical impact Google is making within the social space has reminded me a bit of the early days with Microsoft vs. Apple. Today it’s Facebook vs Google Plus. Much like Microsoft, Facebook captured the bulk of the market early on and rapidly grew on a worldwide basis. And even though Facebook, much like Microsoft has been somewhat discombobulated, they both fulfilled an untapped need. Microsoft redefined productivity in the business world. Facebook revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. Both achieved what needed to be done on a functional level.

Apple on the other hand offered equal functionality yet with simplicity and clean sleek design. I admit I am biased as I have always been an Apple person, but as I have played around with Google Plus, I am feeling the same differentiating factors. Google+ is simple  and smoother in design. Good friend, Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa, recently shared a comment referring to the Aspen Ideas Festival:

Design is changing the way we talk to each other.

So true! And I believe Facebook is about to find that out. Facebook is functional and meets a need. But by incorporating thoughtful and logical design, Google+ takes the social experience to a different level.

So who wins? The consumer. I doubt Facebook is going away, but much like Microsoft, they are no longer the only ones playing and will have to step it up. Good competition means choices and ultimately better products for consumers. Google has been trying to get into the social space for quite awhile with little success. But with Google+, I think they have finally created not only something to compete with Facebook (and yes, Twitter,) but something that might even cause a switch.

For example, take a look at Chris Brogan’s (social media extraordinaire) new profile picture on Facebook. I was a bit amused, but I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg did not feel the same.

What does all of this have to do with marketing to women? Everything. Women want to share, connect and build relationships. And Facebook has met that need. But they also want simple, clean and sleek. And it appears that Google+ has been listening.

As marketers, you need to know social is not a fad or a trend. It is now a way of life and will simply continue to be improved upon – attracting even more women!

Are you prepared to connect with the female market?


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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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Appeal to Women and Men are Likely to Bite Too

I don’t think you’d hear the execs at Apple say outright that they typically target women over men in developing their brand and products. But it is hard to ignore the fact that just about every thing they do is attractive to women. And as any savvy marketer knows: appeal to the sensibilities of a woman and you’ll likely get the guys’ attention too.

Since the company’s inception nearly 30 years ago, Apple has done a stellar job of placing a high priority on brand and design elements that women tend to inherently respond to. They have always emphasized color palette, cool music, intuitive operation, overall sleekness in design responsiveness and they boast a knowledgeable, friendly and informative sales and support staff.

The recently released iPod Nano is a perfect example. They have a massive range of metallic colors from hot pink and neon green. Even the ads have the colors dripping off the iPod in a way that’s brilliantly akin to running nail polish—a subtle yet creative touch.

Most of all Apple has given women exactly what they want over the years—user-friendly products and services that make everyday tasks more manageable for the multi-tasking women. And it’s paying off.

According to CNN.com, women are involved in more than 75% of all electronics purchases.

So marketers take note, Apple knows exactly how to appeal to both sexes by putting the female first.

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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