Club Industry 2013: Learn the magic of appealing to female consumers

Club Industry’s keynote speaker will offer insight on how to attract female consumers.
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More women are in the workforce than ever before and, for the most part, they are in control of household spending.

This “has an enormous impact [on business], and I’m going to be breaking that down to help fitness professionals and facilities understand the opportunities that come with that world,” said Bridget Brennan, this year’s Club Industry keynote speaker. Brennan is the CEO and founder of Female Factor, a company that specializes in marketing and selling to women.

Even when a woman isn’t paying for something out of her own wages, Brennan said, she still rules the roost.

“She is typically the influencer of the veto vote behind somebody else’s purchase,” she said. “That’s another reason why her seal of approval on your business is so critical.”

Brennan, author of “Why She Buys,” and frequent contributor to Forbes, will impart her wisdom about marketing to women on the attendees of Club Industry, which will be in Chicago from Oct. 23-24. The trade show is for fitness professionals, those running fitness facilities and retailers dealing light commercial equipment.

Appealing to the female consumer is a smart move. We've written before about how women control much of the global spending – $12 trillion of the overall $18.4 trillion in global consumer spending, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

According to Time Magazine, in 2007 purchases made by women were 58 percent of online retail dollars spent; women made 80 percent of health care decisions in the U.S.; and they purchased 45 percent of consumer electronics.

Octane Fitness Spokesperson Julie King said women drive the fitness market, too.

"It's important to appeal to female consumers because on the commercial side, they tend to comprise a larger percentage of health club members; and on the consumer side, they typically have major influence on purchases and buying decisions for the home," King said. "Women tend to be more regular exercisers than men, and they tend to notice more of the aesthetic details of products like fitness equipment."

Brennan didn’t want to give away too many specifics about her talk because, “I want to be vague enough to still be tantalizing,” she said with a laugh.

She did say she plans to address why and how women drive the global consumer economy, and why it’s important to capture their business. She said she’d break her talk down into the following four areas:

  1. The six global trends driving women’s purchasing patterns
  2. The six most important trends driving women’s purchasing decisions
  3. Key ways men and women make purchasing decisions differently
  4. The most powerful motivator for women consumers

Brennan said she decided to focus on marketing to women because she realized that there wasn’t much education on the topic.

“When you get undergraduate degree in business, there is not enough education about what to do if you were selling a product to a woman instead of a man,” Brennan explained. “I felt like this was an oversight in the world where women drive between 70 and 80 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions.”

Brennan’s first book, “Why She Buys,” satisfies that gap. Currently she’s working on her second book, she said, and for now is keeping the topic under wraps.

But it will be under the same umbrella: Selling to women.

“Women make the purchasing decisions on behalf of everybody else in their household,” Brennan explained. “When you make your business appealing to women you please her and your male customers because when you please women, you please everyone.”

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