Wooing Women with Packaging
In just one month three California vineyards have introduced new wine product lines specifically targeted to women. The product offerings are intriguing with names such as “White Lie” and "Mad Housewife" to the latest introduction "Working Girl White." These wine companies are responding to the message: A wine just for women. Interestingly, all three wines have different product approaches. From clever white lies on the corks, to retro chic on the bottle graphics each has its own unique appeal.
What's the driver behind this new product offering? Quite simply, it is the demographics. Women either make or influence 85% of the purchasing decision and companies are finally waking up to that fact. Unfortunately, just taking the man off the box and replacing it with a woman isn't the answer. Nor is it to use pink packaging or other feminine colors.
So what do women really want in their product packaging? What will entice them to pick your product off the shelf? What siren screams "buy me" as she walks down the isle? The answers are not what you might think. Women perceive products differently than their male counterparts. They have different expectations of products. Women say that they product manufactures don't understand their wants and needs either. In fact 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers. This market segment accounts for 60-70 of all product packaging.
So, how do you get this powerful consumer to connect with your packaging? First, see the product though the woman's eyes not the designer’s or brand manager’s. In my recent research, product attributes such as the shape and color were important to people in the packaging industry but not so important to the average consumer. The mostly highly rated characteristics that both groups agreed upon were convenience, ease of storage, and female friendly elements such as the size of package and handles for carrying.
Second, consider how and where the product will be purchased. External factors can influence the purchasing decision as to how and where a woman shops. Recent studies show that women on average no longer make a big “stocking up trip" to the store. In fact they make numerous short trips to get the essentials for the moment. Today's shoppers are under tremendous time constraints and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege of more free time.
Finally, it is imperative to get noticed. How can you grab their attention? Make packaging simple, easy to read, and use. Get rid of the gimmicks and the hype. More than 89% of survey respondents said they would not purchase a product because it was endorsed by a celebrity, and those that did were embarrassed to admit it. Cause marketing also scored low on the scale of importance in influencing a purchase as did their concern for the environment.
So listen to your female buyers the next time you designee a new product, bond with them on an intrinsic level not through gimmicks or the current "in" celebrity. Make your product easy to read, use and time sensitive. By adhering to these fundamentals you will have garnered her attention.