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Most companies flying blind on gender, Chicago co-chair tells Fox News

Monday, January 16, 2012  
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Most companies are not studying gender as it relates to business,Network of Executive Women Chicago Co-Chair Bridget Brennan said in recent interview with Fox News.

"In a world where women so dominate consumer purchasing, it is a blinding oversight that we don’t study gender psychology as it relates to consumer purchasing, ” said Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers.

In virtually every society in the world, women have primary responsibility for both children and the elderly -- and just about everybody in between, Brennan said. "This means when a woman goes shopping, she’s looking at her purchases through the lens of other people’s wants and needs, this really impacts how she makes purchasing decisions.”

Most men don’t have the role of primary shopper for their households, so their frame of reference is different when they are in the shopping landscapes, she noted. Even as men take on more responsibility at home, women often default to the roles they saw their mothers play when in their household and feel it is part of their responsibility as a woman, a wife and a mother to fulfill some of these duties, Brennan said.

One example of something companies get wrong across the board and across industries, she said, is the overuse of the color pink for adult women. For example, companies will come out with a product and then produce the exact same version of a product and make it pink for women.

"Pink is not a strategy,” she said, "and women are suspicious of products put out in the marketplace as ‘for ladies only.’”

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