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October 13, 2008


Books and reports and news sources have been talking for years about the strategic value of targeting and marketing to women consumers. And businesses have listened. Many have even been created with this insight in mind (a la In Good Company Workplaces). Even more existing businesses have launched new products and services that are designed to specific appeal to women.

Interestingly, however, two perhaps unexpected and traditional businesses have recently take steps to repackage their existing services and offerings in order to heighten their stock in women's minds: Best Buy & The Wall Street Journal.

Springwise reports that Best Buy (one of the worst places on earth, I think) opened a new store in Aurora, CO, that was not only designed with women in mind but was also based on specific feedback solicited from local women consumers. Among the findings "were that female customers wanted more help seeing how products could work together and fit into their lives".

The re-design project took 9 months, and now..."Gone are the chain's typical warehouse-style blue interiors and metal shelving, replaced instead by wood paneling, carpets featuring earth tones and skylights for natural lighting." The company is hoping that the costs invested will be off-set by consumer loyalty...Let's hope so. I haven't gotten to experience the new approach, obviously, but I would be interested to see what it is like. And I would be thrilled, if this new format were to be applied to our local 23rd street store.

Wall Street Journal has just rolled out "Journal Women", which serves as a web-gateway to consolidated relevant news articles for 'Career Women'. So far, I love it, and have temporarily made it one of my home pages...

So, in addition to the more typical, "how do you appeal to women" question, I am thinking more about the notion of repackaging your existing goods for various market segments...

How do you account for regional variations?
Different demographic groups and buyers?

It reminds me of one of my favorite Inc articles from several years ago...
Life Lessons about the company Life Is Good and its approach to franchising. The Life Is Good founders allow franchisers much more autonomy than is typically given so that they can specifically customize their store for various audiences and regions.

All food for thought...

posted by Adelaide

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