Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers, by Bridget Brennan [Crown, 2009].

“The founder of Female Factor Strategic Consulting is a convincing cheerleader for marketing more effectively to women. She points out that women purchase or are the key influencers in about 80% of all consumer product sales in the U.S. alone—but 90% of marketing execs trying to reach them are men.

In her crusade to teach marketers to become female-literate, Brennan offers very practical advice, urging readers to think twice before using overtly “masculine” competitive messages, to avoid violent images and language, and to realize that women, focused on practicality rather than cool bells and whistles, require fairly sophisticated marketing: “pink is not a strategy,” she reminds us tartly. The five important global demographic changes affecting female consumerism—more women in the work force; delayed marriages and therefore more spending on self; lower birthrates resulting in fewer kids (but more stuff); a divorce economy, which translates into needing two of everything; and the growing rate of active older women—mean that the female market must be well catered to.

Brennan’s style is smart and straightforward, and her pragmatic advice is spot-on; marketers should take note.” PW 2009.