$100 Book Review: The 80% Minority

Written by Sabine Schleese

The 80% Minority
The 80% Minority: Reaching the real world of women consumers

By Joanne Thomas Yaccato
Viking Canada, 2003, $37.00

What women want

This is the third book by Joanne Thomas Yaccato of the respected Toronto-based gender-marketing consultancy Thomas Yaccato Group. It’s based on a study that shows a gulf between how women consumers want to be treated and how business actually treats them. Yaccato draws examples from Nike, Ford and Royal Bank to show how creating meaningful relationships with women can lift your business.

How? Yaccato argues that companies must use a “gender lens” to engage the attention and loyalty of women consumers, who make 80% of consumer purchase decisions. She says there are only two things a company needs to know to connect with women: A) there are no rules, except for B) the outside message needs to match the inside. Thus, the first step in female-ready branding is to make your corporate and sales cultures “gender intelligent.”

Although the Yaccato survey shows that both men and women felt unrealistically represented in advertising, it also found that realism in advertising is much more important to women than to men — a fact marketers would be wise to observe. Perhaps most surprising is the finding that more men than women surveyed believed understanding the woman consumer should be a company’s top priority.

Sabine Schleese, Managing Director
Schleese Saddlery Service Ltd.
Holland Landing, Ont.

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© 2003 Sabine Schleese

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