Monday AM July 13th, 2009

A new book asserts that there's an enormous gender gap between the people who decide what to manufacture and those who decide what to buy. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of Why She Buys bookcover

Author Bridget Brennan says women buy or influence the sale of 80 per cent of consumer products, yet men run most companies.

"Most businesses have been male-dominated because, you know, the corporate world was created by men and women have gotten there, at least by historical terms, relatively late.  We're still pretty new on the scene.  And we have always been the purveyor of products for our homes and families.  But there's one thing that's missing from most people's business educations, and that's that there are very few classes taught on gender psychology and gender differences as they relate to business and how people make purchasing decisions."

Brennan says companies are missing the mark on, for example, marketing to working women and the aging population.

"For example, we still live in a world where just under half of all marriages end up in divorce.  Divorce is rarely acknowledged in business, but there is a major opportunity to provide services for people who get divorced.  For instance, I could picture banks promoting divorce specialists.  It's an unanticipated financial event in someone's life.  Promoting those kinds of services, addressing the reality of people's lives and women's lives, could be very beneficial to both the corporation and the consumer."   

Brennan's book Why She Buys: the New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers is published by Crown Business.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...