What Women Want – a Discourse on Paco Underhill’s Latest Book

Retrieved from books.simonandschuster.com

Change is in the air; a perfumed, flowery change.

Women are a growing cash supply for businesses who understand the changing female psychographics and demographics in the current economy. From the 25-year-old working class daughters living at home to the 50-year-old trust fund widows with lavish experiences to be had, women are buying now more than ever. In What Women Want, Paco Underhill takes a stab at the increased influence women have in the marketplace and outlines the practical implications therein. Why would he be an authoritative voice on this topic? He is the founder and CEO of Envirosell–a market and consumer behavior research firm–with years of experience under his belt, and the author of bestseller Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.

What he unfortunately leaves out of What Women Want are the compelling statistics that made his first major writing, Why We Buy, so…well…compelling! Instead, Underhill supports most of his arguments with life experiences and personal preferences from women in his private and professional circles.

If you’ve read any of Underhill’s other musings, I suggest only reading the first 14 pages for some real, applicable meat. I’ve served that meat on a concise platter–a list of four things that women are willing to pay for:

  1. Cleanliness — that extra sparkle and shine adds consumer confidence to the average woman. Underhill’s example: dressing rooms and swimming pools.
  2. Control — give them the option to make a change and they’ll love you for it. Women want their environment customizable–personally, professionally. Underhill’s examples: automobile climate control, adjustable seating and multi-purpose home floor plans.
  3. Safety — unlike their male counterparts, women are more aware of their vulnerability, both physically and emotionally. Make them feel safe and confortable with their surroundings. Think 1st level Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They don’t want to feel threatened or taken advantage of. Sales staff, store entryway, parking lot, service offering. Underhill’s examples: well-lit parking garages, locked hotel windows, comfortable shopping atmosphere (i.e. not giving makeup consultation in the middle of the department store), and non-commission based salesmen/employees.
  4. Considerateness — women want to know that you recognize their needs and take care of them. Treat them like individuals. Underhill’s examples: help moving heavy baggage, personalized hotel rooms, and properly sized clothing for those that aren’t Barbie models.

Include these four women-isms in your product offerings, and you’ll see a significant change in sales to women…and interestingly enough, to men as well according to Paco Underhill.

Before you go:

  • See another great review on What Women Want — click here. It’s well worth the read.
  • Own your own copy of What Women Want in paper or on Kindle
  • AND/OR own your own copy of Why We Buy (highly recommended) in paper or on Kindle

© Seth Mueller 2011. All rights reserved.


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