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Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers [Hardcover]

Bridget Brennan

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Book Description

July 7 2009
If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female.
If the business world had a sex, it would be male.

And therein lies the pickle.

Women are the engine of the global economy, driving 80 percent of consumer spending in the United States alone. They hold the purse strings, and when they’ve got a tight grip on them as they do now, companies must be shrewder than ever to win them over. Just when executives have mastered becoming technology literate, they find there’s another skill they need: becoming female literate.

This isn’t always easy. Gender is the most powerful determinant of how a person views the world and everything in it. It’s stronger than age, income, or race. While there are mountains of research done every year segmenting consumers and analyzing why they buy, more often than not it doesn’t factor in the one piece of information that trumps them all: the sex of the buyer. It’s stunning how many companies overlook the psychology of gender when we all know that men and women look at the world so differently.

Bridget Brennan’s Why She Buys shows decision makers how to bridge this divide and capture the business of the world’s most powerful consumers just when they need it most.

• No Matter Where You Live, Women Are a Foreign Country: You’ll discover the value in studying women with the same intensity that you would a foreign market. Women grow up within a culture of their own gender, which is often invisible to men. Brennan dissects this female culture and explains the important brain differences
between men and women that may cause your female customers to notice things about your products, marketing campaigns, or sales environment that you might have overlooked.

• The High Fives: There are five major trends driving the global female population that are key to determining their wants and needs. These global shifts are just beginning to be tapped by businesses, and learning about them can provide you with an invaluable blueprint for long-range planning.

• The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Find out how the best and brightest companies have cracked the female code, and hear horror stories about those that haven’t. Through instructive case studies and interviews, Why She Buys provides practical, field-proven techniques that you can apply to your business immediately, from giants like Procter & Gamble and Toyota to upstarts like Method home-care products and lululemon athletica apparel.

At a time when every company is looking for a competitive advantage, Bridget Brennan offers a new and effective lens for capturing market share.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First Edition edition (July 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307450388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307450388
  • ASIN: 0307450384
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 14.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #393,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Bridget Brennan’s book provides a highly readable road map to help marketers and salespeople understand women’s beliefs, values, and sensitivities. Given that women account for a high percentage of purchases, while many products are developed and sold by men, a reading of Bridget’s book will go a long way to closing this gap and improving the satisfaction of both genders.” —Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Bridget Brennan’s highly informative and entertaining book provides keen–and unusual–insights into both the psychological makeup of women consumers and the demographic facts that everyone in business needs to know in order to execute marketing strategies in this challenging economic environment. Long live the Female Economy!” —Joseph V. Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, The Coca-Cola Company

"Ms. Brennan is all about the commerce she observes.  'If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female.  If the business world had a sex, it would be male.  And therein lies the pickle.' [She] explores the marketing opportunities offered by trends…all of which leave women making even more buying decisions." –Wall Street Journal

"Is the customer always right?  Yes, She is: An entertaining and …rich account of…untapped opportunities.  Fun and anecdotal." --Financial Times 

"Lively, insightful and relentlessly engaging…should be required reading for anyone burdened with a Y chromosome." –Fortune Small Business

"Brennan details the major trends behind female spending and provides strategies for companies to crack the code." –Forbes Woman

“[Brennan] explains why the existing misunderstanding of gender cultures isn't just a gender gap but a gender "canyon," and provides case studies of female-focused initiatives from marketers such as Callaway, Ryland Homes, Lululemon, Lexus and MasterCard" – Advertising Age

“Word of mouth can make or break a brand, and this book confirms the fact that women talk to other women more about products than men do” --Journal of Consumer Marketing

"Why She Buys [guides] retailers and consumer goods manufacturers on how [women] are increasingly powerful consumers and how they think and shop."–LA Times

“Nab the Women’s Market” – Investors Business Daily

“Since we (women) are driving the economy and the economy could use a boost, it’s all good news” – ABC NEWS NOW

“[Women] are the most important constituency because they make all the decisions….a much needed perspective” – Fox Business Morning

“Witty and insightful” – Marie Claire India

About the Author

BRIDGET BRENNAN is the CEO of Female Factor. She has pioneered marketing and sales strategies that appeal to women and has worked with major companies to put them into practice. Throughout her award-winning career, Brennan has worked for clients such as Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Pizza Hut, and United Airlines. She is a popular speaker who has lectured at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Oct. 15 2009
By G. Brisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is loaded with practical examples about the differences between men and women and ideas to leverage those differences to target female consumers. Brennan is at once a seasoned business pro and a master storyteller so her writing is not only fresh, relevant, and insightful, but also totally engaging and memorable. I retained so many helpful tips because she supports her well-researched assertions with vivid examples from the everyday life. Why She Buys is a serious and scholarly business book that is as entertaining as summer beach reading. If your business depends on female consumers this book is a must read for your entire staff. I plan to give copies of this book away at the office holiday party this year- it may be one of the few gift books that people actually read!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Book! Oct. 5 2009
By Lori L. Radun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You might think if you are a woman and you're marketing to a women audience that you don't need this book. Nothing could be further than the truth! I've struggled for five years trying to figure out how to sell and market to the mom market. I tried reading Trillion Dollar Moms, but Why She Buys hit the nail on the head. Wow! There are so many wonderful insights and practical strategies you can use in this book. Bridget Brennan is real, unafraid to tell it like it is. She gives great examples of companies that are missing the mark, and wonderful case studies on companies that are doing a phenomenal job marketing and selling to women. You may think you should just make a pink version of your product, but it is so much deeper than that. Women are complex; believe me, I am one of them. But one thing is for sure. Once you figure out how to appeal to the female market, you will have them on fire for your product or service. If your product targets a women audience, or you want it to, you have to read this book first. Before you try and develop a marketing strategy on your own, let Bridget Brennan help. I thought I knew women before I read this book, but now I totally understand women as consumers.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Why She Buys" the best marketing book since Ogilvy's classic Aug. 5 2009
By Realty Copywriter - Published on Amazon.com
No one on the planet that has anything to do with sales, marketing or advertising should be allowed back to the office until reading this book over and over. What makes the information so helpful is that it approaches marketing from a totally new perspective. The basic theme of the book is that the gender of your audience will be the key factor in whether your marketing works or falls flat. The book lays out a eye-opening premise for all of this. Men are still running most businesses. Corporations do have women at the executive level, but ultimately men make the final decisions about the direction of the marketing. According to the book, however, women influence about 90% of all household buying decisions. So, the majority of marketing firepower (directed by men) is aimed at the consumer market which is mainly female. Well, you can see the problem. The book contains many case studies that show how sagging sales are turned around by changing the marketing message with gender in mind.
This is the best marketing book since David Ogilvy wrote, "Ogilvy On Advertising."
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You think you know, but you have no idea who your consumer is until you read Why She Buys Oct. 12 2009
By Lauren - Published on Amazon.com
Why She Buys is for men and women, sales people and advertising junkies, brand managers and retailers. While you think you might know who your target consumer is, you have no idea until you read Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan. So often we rely on consumer insights and decision trees to help us figure out how to push products and services, but Brennan has reminded us to take a step back from the data and understand our target's values, lifestyle and culture. With women making more than 80% of all purchasing decisions it is important for us to take a closer look at what is most important TO THEM when it comes to meeting the needs of women consumers.

This book is so much more than just gender culture, this book is the inside scoop on everything your consumer wants to share with you, but hasn't had the opportunity. The reality is, if you're not reading this book your competitor is. As someone who is in the advertising industry who works with female-dominated categories and brands, this book is a 'must read' if you plan on differentiating yourself at shelf.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars prepare for the paradigm shift May 29 2012
By Them - Published on Amazon.com
There are lies we tell ourselves about marketing. Some are about the work. Some are about how we measure the work. And some of them are about the consumer. Many of these are born out of honest ignorance. Things we can't know or understand. But when we come across that which is clearly demonstrated to be untrue, it is foolishness not to correct, right?

Then consider this: according to Bridget Brennan, author of Why She Buys, approximately 80% of everything is bought by or heavily influenced by women. If that's so, why do we talk to them like they're not there? Why do we act like men actually buy everything? And what would happen if we stopped marketing this way, and started really analyzing the thinking, decision-making and shopping habits of the people who actually purchased our products and services?

We'd probably sell more stuff and all be more successful, right? And who wants that? Yeah, me too.

To be sure, we have been flooded recently with books on this topic. But so far, none have addressed it, the ramifications, and most importantly the opportunities as well as Ms. Brennan has, making Why She Buys absolutely indispensable.

Be forewarned: [to read the rest of this review, please visit: theagencyreview.wordpress.com]

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