NEWS21 November 2018

Brands failing to connect with women

News Trends UK

UK – Despite brands that are gender-balanced or slightly female-skewed outperforming male-skewed brands, many are failing to reflect and represent women in their marketing and advertising.

Women mixed_crop

While movements like #MeToo have built awareness of gender inequalities, Kantar’s What Women Want study found that major brands are still not effectively acknowledging women’s priorities or communicating with women in an empowering manner at every step of the customer journey. 

The mixed methodology study – which included more than 2,000 interviews with men and women across the UK, brand value based on BrandZ calculations and financial data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel – showed that brands are missing out on revenue by failing to represent women and their values in their marketing.

It found that brands that are gender balanced or even slightly ‘female-skewed’ are 4% healthier than male-skewed brands and 6% healthier than strongly male skewed brands.

The research asked consumers the role they thought 40 brands played in building self-esteem, with those identified as being ‘for me’ (a score nearer 100 ) making a positive contribution and those ‘against me’ (nearer zero) making a negative contribution.

It found that brands contribute more for those with high self-esteem, suggesting that it is easier for brands to endorse self-esteem than it is for them to ‘create’ it. Men favour brands traditionally associated with male spheres of influence such as cars or financial products, compared to women who feel a more meaningful connection with brands associated with day to day purchases such as beauty and clothes.

The few brands identified as getting the balance right were Amazon, Boots and Dove.

Amy Cashman, managing director of Kantar TNS and the lead author of the report, said: “Making 80% of household purchase decisions, women present an essential group of consumers, but they are not being listened to, or seeing themselves reflected in brands.”

Bart Michels, UK country leader for Kantar, added: “Our research shows the work is not over for addressing feelings of inequality. By engaging with women meaningfully and understanding their priorities, brands will not only contribute to their commercial success, but to society as a whole.”