Marketing To Women

The people at Brown-Foreman have been trying to market a new liquor, Southern Twist, to women. It's been an uphill battle, but they think they have figured out how to market to women. Some of the findings are particular to alcohol marketing.

Control is a big issue for women as well, Hawley said. Research shows they want to be able to have more than one or two cocktails a night without things getting out of hand — at least in the Sex and the City, 30- to 55-year-old demographic that Brown-Forman is targeting.

They also want to avoid the alcohol burn of higher-proof liquors. They think wine is intimidating and dislike the taste and lack of sophistication of beer.

Other information though, can be applied more generally.

"Women respond very well to print media and less to radio and billboards," Hawley said, so the company shifted its advertising more heavily to regional editions of magazines such as House and Garden, Traditional Home and Bon App´┐Żtit.

The content of those print ads changed too. Newer versions give women more things to look at — jewelry, makeup, hairstyles on the models — and put less emphasis on the Southern Twist bottle. There are drink recipes and pictures of the cocktails, so women know what they're supposed to look like.

"You have to market to their peripheral vision," Hawley said.

Gone are the white T-shirts with legends such as "Yummy" or "Desired" across the front that served as promotional give-aways. Female bartenders loved them, Hawley said, but their women customers didn't. The shirts have been replaced by a small net bag of cosmetics, lotion and sweets.

Interesting stuff because the way people view alcohol and thus their consumption of it is affected more by social perceptions and consequences than other products may be. I'll have to see if Mrs. Businesspundit knows what Southern Twist is, and if she has paid attention to any of their ads (if they are in the magazines she reads).

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