Brands falling short for female consumers

23 September 2013
CHICAGO: Most companies still fail to meet the needs of women, even though the world's collective female spending power is forecast to grow by $6tr over the next five years, a new report has warned.

Updated research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the management consulting firm, has estimated that working women around the world will increase their annual incomes by an average of $8,000 by 2018, taking the collective global earned income for females to $18.5tr.

But the report also argues that few brands are taking account of women's time constraints or addressing their biggest dissatisfactions, which it identifies as home services, work clothing and healthcare.

The BCG's poll of nearly 7,800 women in 13 countries found that time-management remains a major concern and many women reported difficulties finding time for themselves while having to juggle household work and finances.

At the same time, 40% of men were found to barely help out with household chores. This figure rose to 63% of Brazilian men, and dropped to as low as 30% in India.

Michael J. Silverstein, a senior partner at BCG, said that women are becoming increasingly affluent and that companies would be well-advised to devise means for them to be able to "trade money for time savings".

"Women are still burdened by having to manage the family finances, with not enough money, not enough time, and too much stress," he said, adding that winning companies should "address their dissatisfactions with bull's-eye responses".

Silverstein cited Gerber, the baby food group, as a good example of a brand that pays close attention to what mothers want. He also praised consumer group Procter & Gamble and lingerie chain Victoria's Secret for understanding women's needs.

These companies have seen significant results in terms of sales growth, consumer loyalty and category dominance, Silverstein added.

Data sourced from BCG; additional content by Warc staff
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