I’m always thinking about marketing and business (yes, that’s because I’m running a business) and I’ve been thinking that if more marketers focused on women and marketing to their interests and needs, whoa, there’s really a lot of moolah to be made.
I’m sure married men will agree that they leave most of the shopping to their wives. Most married men I know aren’t bothered about this weekend’s sale of Milo and milk powder or Breeze detergent. They couldn’t care less if Milo goes up by 20 sen or 50 sen. Men will pay for price increases without much fuss.
Now women. Oh we bitch about prices of foodstuff going up. We get huffed up if Milo is 50 sen more expensive in this supermarket, and we’ll get our husbands to drive us to another supermarket 10 minutes down the road so we can buy cheaper Milo.
And women bargain harder too. In the wet market, you will see women haggling over 100 grammes of peas or wanting to swipe some free red chillies, as a bonus for buying some vegetables! (I have a supermarket mentality though – I buy stuff without haggling so most of the market people love to see me. I’m not really that bothered about 30 sen extra as long as I get good service, haha).
Seriously, marketing to women also means fulfilling our needs. A couple of years ago, I saw this product in Watsons which I would NEVER buy. It was a paper cup-like device, which can be used by a woman going to the loo. Most women hate sitting on public toilet seats so this device is designed to enable a woman to pee without sitting down!
Hah! To enable a woman to pee without sitting down. The product was designed by a man. Does a man know what a woman carries while going to the loo? Tissue paper, handbag. And then she may be wearing heels. Or wearing a skirt. Or jeans. How does one maneuovre in those narrow toilet cubicles, which can be sometimes wet and icky, trying to pee standing up?
That’s why I no longer see that product in Watsons anymore. It was just a weird idea.
But there are also plenty of good ideas around. How about creating a line of taxis driven by women and only picking up women passengers? I would be the first to use this service because safety is a main concern for women travellers. Or gays could drive the taxis – women always feel much safer around gays anyway (gays could even promote makeup and women’s products while driving these taxis!)
How about designing a kitchen (OK, this is for contractors and housing developers) that’s really useful for women, instead of being eye candy? The kitchens I often see are nice to look at but a torture to work in!
Unless we all cook gwai-lo food (you know, saute a bit of onions and then put the meat in and then taking the whole thing and chucking it in the oven for a good bake), having a shiny, stainless steel kitchen isn’t going to help us cope with everyday Asian cooking. We chop and stirfry, we tumis and deepfry, we do all types of things in the kitchen. An Asian kitchen has to look good and still be robustly useful. How to make sure the kitchen’s really user-friendly? Ask a woman la! Ask a woman who cooks too. Not an interior designer who doesn’t cook or spend much time in the kitchen.
OK, how about sanitary pads? The ones with wings? Do you know that women do chafe down there? I’ve talked to other women who find it awfully irritating and who resort to using diaper rash cream. Otherwise, they’ll scratch themselves silly. Hmm, who designs sanitary pads anyway? I hope it’s not men!
Marketing to women also means using lots of commonsense. Women can see through a bluff anyday (that’s why our Moms were so good at telling if we’re lying for the umpteenth time!) and they can smell a bad idea immediately. Marketing to women also means asking women if the product is what they need. That “stand-up-and-pee” was such a bad idea.
And how about those cutey cars (was it Suzuki or something) in the early 90s which had compartments for makeup so that women could put their makeup on while driving? Bad idea. Women don’t put makeup on in the car. Women cannot draw a straight line on their eyelids in a moving vehicle (we risk poking ourselves in the eyes and blinding ourselves). And women won’t be stupid to put RM500 worth of makeup in their car – the makeup will ‘bake’ under our Malaysian sun! Plus, it’s recommended to put lipsticks and nail polishes in the fridge so why the heck would we put makeup in the car? Maybe it’s OK in Japan because the weather ain’t hot!
Can you think of other more ridiculous ideas which target women and make you laugh? Share please!