What do women really want?
Graham at Go Clipless asks us to play brand manager dressups for a day in an effort to answer the unanswerable. Exactly what do women really want?
This is good timing because I had an interesting and wide ranging conversation yesterday with a wonderful 50's + woman about this exact topic, and about what influences her bicycle buying choices.
If the clothes are conservatively designed, there are women that will want them to be sexier. If the colors are too dark, they may be seen as too masculine. If the choices are the same as for men, they will not be seen as special. A conundrum to be sure.
So what would you do? Play cycling product manager for a day. What's your strategy to approach this market, whether you are male or female?
I think I know what women want.................!?!?
She and other women I talk to on a regular basis about this do not want pinks and baby blues, however most of them are roadies and that's where I'll focus this conversation.
The specific conversation was about a Sarah Ulmer Brand full carbon Ultegra WSD machine that was accented with pink, white and silver, the bike was an out of the box fit, but there was no way she could get around the pink. I suggested we blacken it up (seat, tape, post stem) in an effort to de-emphasize the pink even though there wasn't a lot of it. No way.
The feedback I'm getting is that the reference points of this kind of female cyclist are the men they ride with in the bunch, they are absolutely influenced by them simply because they are almost always in the minority and as such want what the guys are having. They don't want to stand out as girly, they just want to fit in and be one of the boys.
This is not an isolated conversation, and as a result, my conclusion is that this particular market want the same bikes, the same clothing and the same accessories in the same colours as the men, just cut and designed for women.
So, as brand manager for a day, I'd like to design every womens high end product to look just like what the men are using.
((I'll take my brand manager salary in a dirty brown paper bag of $100's - just hang around the phone booth at the corner of Main and Central and wait for the phone to ring.))
Update: Smithers has a nice thread going on this, with comments from actual women (gasp!) like Mrs Smithers.
Posted by Phil at 6:57 PM