Not only is more than 50 percent of the population
female, but women are the primary shoppers—and they love candy.
Women make 85 percent of purchasing decisions, so the importance
of targeting them effectively is obvious.
“There’s plenty of opportunity for brands
to be doing a better job of communicating to women in the candy and gum
cate-gories,” says Bill Snyder, vice president of marketing and sales
for Acupoll Research Inc, a Cincinnati-based firm dedicated to advertising
assessment and product concept screening.
Either marketing campaigns tend to be
unisex—i.e. not female-focused—or the advertising message
isn’t optimal, Snyder claims. He cites the example of a breath mint
marketer that opted to focus on the low calorie content of its mints.
That’s not especially compelling, says Snyder, because so many other
gums and mints can make a similar claim. Neither does it strike the kind of
emotional chord likely to resonate with women.
Snyder suggests that marketers would do better to build
marketing and advertising messages around themes of community, friendships
and relationships. “Those are messages I haven’t seen surface
around the category,” he says.
“Candy is your emotional compensation,”
says Jen Dreschler of New York City-based Just Ask a Woman, a marketing and
brand consulting company. Leveraging happy memories from childhood is an
effective tool for developing candy-marketing messages, Dreschler suggests.
Thus marketers might do well to portray a mom having
fun with her kids while enjoying candy or—on the other
hand—might show a woman taking a little time out of an otherwise
hectic day to treat herself to some- thing indulgent. Or a commercial might
show a woman sharing candy with a friend.
When portraying relationships, keep it real, counsels
Dreschler. “It’s got to be women she’d want to share
candy with,” she notes.
Finally, make it easy for her. For most women,
time is a precious commodity. Functional candy can fill the bill here. For
example, says Dreschler, Vitamin C-fortified candy delivers a benefit that
a woman is likely to appreciate. So too might portion-controlled products,
which allow women to add a taste of decadence to their
day—without going overboard. n
Marketing to WOMEN Don’ts
1. Don’t do overkill on the mom message. "She doesn’t need to be reminded that
she’s a mom," says Jen Dreschler, of New York City-based Just
Ask a Woman. "She knows. So marketers don’t necessarily need to
show her in a minivan."
2. Don’t do slapstick. That’s not to say that women don’t have a sense of
humor, but a Three Stooges-style routine typically leaves most women cold.
If you’re going the humor route in advertising, use it in the context
of relationships. And fashion the campaign so that it’s the woman
making the joke.
Measuring the Market (all
Population Size: 144 million
Percent of the Population: 51%
Percent Growth Forecast by 2010: 9.3%
SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
Women tend to place their own needs last in
line, particularly during child-rearing years, says Jen Dreschler of New
York City-based Just Ask a Woman. "So sampling and
point-of-purchase materials are really great ways in," says Dreschler.
These merchandising vehicles in particular reach out to women where
they are and don’t require that they make a special effort to try a