If this summer has demonstrated anything, it’s the immense spending power of women. The last few months have been a flurry of success from female-led projects, all with one thing in common – authentically engaging a female audience en masse. From showstopping cinema debuts and world cups to economy-rocking concerts, it is clear that when done right, brands can represent and engage huge female audiences.
According to MBankrate, women will own 75% of discretionary spending by year 2028. Women are increasingly moving away from traditional goods purchasing for the family, and towards self-spending upon ‘experiences and products that bring them joy’. This isn’t exactly hard to spot, especially with the likes of pop titans Beyonce and Taylor Swift making such a mark – Beyonce’s recent concert in Sweden managed to temporarily lower the national inflation rate with hotel sales.
Some brands get it right. Barbie is irrefutable evidence that authentic, quality content created for women will see huge engagement. Barbie was a masterclass in purposeful authenticity, combining stylistics, politics and major brand collaborations – GM, Chevrolet, Chanel, and more – to draw in a vast, dedicated audience of women, but also importantly, of men too. It became the most successful debut from a female film director to date, and a cultural symbol of female empowerment,
Some brands aren’t as successful. One high-profile case of this was Nike’s failure to produce Lioness goalkeeper football shirts in the run up to the world cup, despite demand. When fashion retailer Boohoo carried out Google analysis, it was found that searches for ‘Lioness kit’ had surged considerably in the run-up to the final – by 3981%. It was therefore a missed opportunity for Nike to engage, even after goalkeeper Mary Earps offered to pay for production herself. This is a case of a major brand being reluctant to fully commit, and missing out.
The growing untapped spending power of women is becoming very apparent. While brands have been historically reluctant to fully engage and invest in content that talks authentically to women, this summer has shown that genuine, pragmatic investment pays off significantly. But how can brands craft their approach, and ensure they are talking to the right people in the right way? After all, this isn’t just about engaging women. Surely the ultimate goal for brands is to engage with men and women alike so that they both buy into female-led industries and projects, as should have and hopefully will be the case with football. Getting a grasp of this developing cultural thinking isn’t easy, and can only be done by leveraging the right behavioural and cultural knowledge.
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