Studio Brunstrum
Susan Brunstrum with Carrie Lannon and Bridget Brennan

Bridget Brennan: Woman’s Athletic Club Presentation

August 19, 2019

I recently attended a presentation by Bridget Brennan at the Woman's Athletic Club discussing the power and influence of women in the marketplace. Read my takeaways from the presentation below!

Along with many other women executives and business owners, I had the pleasure of listening to Bridget Brennan, CEO of the consulting firm Female Factor, discuss marketing to women during a luncheon at the Woman’s Athletic Club. I had heard Bridget speak a few years ago and have read her first book, “Why She Buys”, at least three times and given it as a gift too many times to count! So, I was very interested to learn even more about how women make decisions and am now reading her latest book, “Winning Her Business.”

Images via Amazon
Images via Amazon

Here are my 12 takeaways and facts from her presentation:
1. Did you know that women represent 80% of all consumer spending? Women are THE largest group of purchasers and influencers. They dominate consumer spending and have a multiplier effect on sales.
2. All businesses NEED women to survive. The question isn’t about WHY businesses need women. It’s about HOW businesses engage women.
3. Marketing to women is not about excluding men, it’s about excluding stereotypes. Bridget’s tagline? “PINK IS NOT A STRATEGY!”
4. Women drive new trends (think studio-based fitness and athleisure).
5. Women assume responsibility for all emotional labor of their family and friends.
6. Women have primary caregiving responsibility for children and the elderly.
7. Women assume responsibility for managing life’s milestones + celebratory moments.
8. Women move markets as part of their social networks (think Pinterest and HG-TV).
9. Women actively seek out positive interactions.
10. Women talk about fabulous service that exceeds their expectations or horrible service that falls well short of their expectations. They do not talk about average service.
11. The power of word of mouth amongst women and their social networks should be of utmost importance to businesses.
12. Life experiences drive decisions for women.

Studio Brunstrum at WAC presentation

Great in-real-life experiences (or as Bridget calls it IRL) are still the exception and not the rule. How can that be? Businesses have more ways to communicate than ever before with on-line buying. Yet somehow, E-commerce has superseded face-to-face interactions and has become the new benchmark for personal service.

Within the interior design market, people-to-people interactions still reign supreme. Why? Furnishing the interior of a home is the second largest expense most people will have in their lifetime, with the first being the purchase of their home.

Understanding the “who, what, where, when and why” or as I call it, the Client Lifestyle ROI (return on investment) is the underpinning of creating a personal relationship with a client. It helps navigate their life change and combines mutual advocacy along with concierge guidance, expertise and service. This earned and trusted collaboration is then augmented with the sensory engagement of purchasing products and services while making the best buying decisions within a financial threshold.

While I’m not sure how much longer people-to-people interaction will have the home court advantage in the design industry as the purchasing almost all furnishings (products and services needed for a home) can be sourced and purchased via E-commerce, elevating the in-rea- life (IRL) experience will always be client facing.

As with all service centric industries, the question is – are you instilling client confidence by providing valuable advice and insight? As a client, do you value and respect the expertise and knowledge of the design firm you are working with? If the answer is yes to both, you are elevating your client experience and women (the buyer and influencer for almost everything related to a home) will talk about you and your design firm. Word of mouth will be your best source of income as potential clients will actively seek you out.

Susan Brunstrum
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