Why brands should rethink gender-based marketing

Key takeaways:

  • While brands might be eager to connect with a specific gender through gender-based marketing campaigns, creating campaigns for women that are built on stereotypes can backfire.
  • In vying for Millennials’ attention, many brands are missing the mark by neglecting their younger counterparts, Gen Z, who hold significant purchasing power.
  • Beauty brands, which as of late have received accolades due to their use of social media to reach consumers, are also finding success with the subscription box model.

Brands need to pay better attention when marketing food to women

When it comes to spending, women hold their own. In the U.S., women now hold roughly half of all non-farm jobs (49.6%) and account for 60% of retail dollars spent. They are also responsible for about 80% of healthcare decisions. On a global scale, women spend about $18 trillion every year across industries. But, when it comes to food, women rule. In fact, a whopping 93% of food purchases are made by women.

It makes sense then that food companies are eager to execute gender-based marketing campaigns aimed at the female demographic. But doing so has required some trial and error. In a recent SmartBrief article, we learn that brands often have difficulty connecting with women. Many attempt to connect through a “women-specific product” rather than the big picture, such as how women incorporate foods into their lifestyles. As the article points out, “you don’t necessarily have to paint something pink in order to get women to notice.” In fact, it seems that this hyper gender-specific approach can backfire.

Gender-based marketing campaigns for Millennials

It’s all about the Millennials – or is it?

Brands are more than eager to appeal to millennials–they’re downright obsessed, and with good reason. Millennials have passed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the US, and they now are close to making up the majority of the workforce. And while this is a statistic that’s impossible to overlook, it is causing many companies to overlook Generation Z. a generation that has just as many dollars to spend.

Generation Z, born after 1995, will be responsible for $145 million in spending by 2020, making their buying power rank right along with their older Millennial counterparts. The myths that Gen Zers only shop online and can’t tear away from their phones is hardly true. The key to resonating with this demographic is to “align the things they currently enjoy, such as gaming or going to the movies, with the things that they aspire to do, like getting their dream job.” This article in Campaign educates about the myths surrounding this group, and the best ways to reach them

Beauty brands find success with subscription-based model

The idea that the world can be delivered to your doorstep is an alluring one, as evidenced by the fact that the subscription box industry is booming. Everything from clothing to ready-to-prepare meals can regularly arrive at your front door every month, and millions of people are buying in. Six million Americans are subscription shoppers, with the market having grown a mind-boggling 800% in the last four years.

Beauty brands have also gotten into the subscription game, with some boxes offering an array of products, such as Onyx. Shilpi Jain of Skinveda says “There are some niche subscription boxes which can actually boost your conversion and be a great marketing and brand awareness tool.” Read onto learn why several independent beauty brands are using these services to widen their customer base and, with the right service, see positive returns.

Cool photo op examples that encourage consumers to create content at experiential activations

Brand activations are one of the fastest and most effective ways to encourage consumers to engage with and spread the word about your company. Whether a brand is activating at a festival, concert or pop-up shop, the goal is always to draw in consumers and encourage action. Often brands use contests, hashtags campaigns, and immersive activities to capture their attention, yet one key tactic is a photo-friendly element within the activation. Not only does it make for the perfect selfie, these Instagrammable areas encourage user generated content, resulting in free and expansive word-of-mouth advertising via social media.

Some brands use a theme-relevant photo booth or area with props for guests to take pictures with. Another well-received tactic can be the use of murals that visitors can pose with. BizBash published a slide show that contains mural examples and inspiration from brands like Delta and Colossal Media to help your brand execute this concept to much fanfare.

Large brands go big on proprietary events

Many experiential activations take place in public spaces, so brands can insert themselves into consumers’ everyday lives. Yet, many larger and established brands are taking experiential further. Brands such as Clif Bar and Spotify are hosting their own proprietary large-scale events to promote their brands and have more control over the attendee experience. And in some cases, when the event diverges from the traditional activation model and is pay-to-attend, it can also serve as an additional revenue stream.

Grocery giant Kroger has joined the proprietary event club with its upcoming three-day Wellness Your Way Festival. The event will feature a performance by Jewel, summits for the food and wellness industry, and a food show expo. The branded event offers a way for consumers to stay informed and entertained while experiencing the values of the Kroger brand and engaging with company’s new OpUP app.

ClassPass expands its service offerings to wellness experiences

Technology has given birth to new industries, services and concepts. For example, Both Uber and AirBnB disrupted industries, and created a marketplace all their own. But within these creative and out-of-the-box worlds, some of these companies are driving ancillary revenue by expanding their base services into related fields. Take the two aforementioned companies as cases in point. Uber created Uber Eats, a meal delivery service, while AirBnB has now ventured into travel services. In both cases, these brands reimagined their value proposition and developed new offerings to benefit consumers.

ClassPass, the service that offers yoga, martial arts, Pilates and other training via a subscription service, is taking things a step further by inviting users to book mini vacations and experiential events on its app. Wellness in the form of travel is wildly lucrative (try $563 million a year). In offering these services, ClassPass Getaways is increasing its appeal to Millennials and other experience-loving consumers.

Consumers want real relationships with brands

One-click shopping. 24-7 support via chat. Free returns. 3-D product images. Across the internet, the new digital reality has heightened consumer expectations of every aspect of the brand experience. On the opposite side, brands have gone so all-in with digital advertising, chat bots, and automation that impersonalizes much of the customer experience, from transactions to interactions. But the data show that consumers want it all – convenience and a personal, relevant relationship with the brand. Because of this, smart marketing is embracing something that technology can’t truly replace: the human element.

With the need to enhance user experience and brand perception, “marketers must provide people with a real value, more choice and control in exchange for their time, attention and data.” According to a recent article in Marketing Dive, people appreciate brands that prioritize the customer as an individual, rather than seeing them as a conversion.