What women want is the eternal mystery, and we can't all tweak our product lines to fit a woman's top ten desires (true love, regular pedicures and sculpted upper arms, among others). So, if you want to reach women with your wonderful widget, and they don't yet realize that they need your widget at all, what do you do?

Savvy Buying Minds

If sculpted upper arms came in a can, but none of a woman's friends had heard of it or used it, and there wasn't well-placed information on the Web, she likely wouldn't trust it. Women engage in an involved decision-making process that goes beyond seeing a lawnmower once in a newspaper ad or passing a cute red dress in a store window, in most cases.

The buying mind of a woman is a sophisticated and powerful tool. Marketers should try to tap into the characteristics of her buying mind that will guide her to thinking that what your company provides is, indeed, what she wants. Those characteristics are:

1. Women Develop and Use Smart Shopping Skills.

First of all, it is old-fashioned hands-on experience that teaches women to be smart shoppers right from the start. They grew up watching their mothers manage households and now it is second-nature for most women to shop wisely. Whether selecting a stock or finding a doctor for their child, the majority of women go through a typical buying process that involves comparison shopping, consulting several sources, and getting validation from trusted experts or word-of-mouth sources (including their family). A woman's pre-purchase mulling-over process, particularly for big ticket items or emotionally significant or first time purchases, can seem overly thorough (and feel like it takes forever to salespeople or family members), but once she does choose a product or brand, she often stays loyal longer.

Tap into this smart shopping mindset by:

• Helping women determine their best choice, as opposed to focusing on the quickest sale

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image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.