Jul 21, 2016
My esteemed business partner, Ken Tencer, is a thought leading advocate of innovation. He recently published an article in the Globe & Mail urging entrepreneurs to get in touch with their feminine side in order “… to remain relevant in this age of empathetic opportunity and emotion-driven entrepreneurship.” I started to wonder if the same advice might also apply to male marketers. Wouldn’t our brands benefit if we listened better, asked for directions more often and acknowledged how much we appreciate our customers?
In his Globe article, Ken quotes psychologist Dan Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, who says, “Women tend to be better at emotional empathy than men.” Given that emotional empathy is one of the bedrocks of successful relationships, maybe it really is time for male marketers to get in touch with our feminine sides.
I’ve made the point in the past that building brands has a lot of similarities with tending personal relationships.
I also believe that how much energy you put into it determines how successful you’ll be. Getting in touch with our feminine side may tell us where to invest that energy and how to crystallize our relationship-building priorities. It may also give us some additional insights into what facets of our brand are most appealing to women.
Business Insider had an informative piece by Kate Taylor about Kat Cole, the group president of billion dollar consumer corporation Focus Brands and a bit of a media darling because she used to be a server at Hooters. Focus Brands is the parent company of Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Ms. Cole revealed her three top business tips.
1. Be honest, authentic, and confident in what you stand for.
According to Cole, your values and transparency are what differentiates you in the marketplace.
2. Stay incredibly close to the customer.
Cole responds to every single person who tweets at her, as just one small way to stay close to the consumer.
3. Do the right thing for the right reasons.
This golden rule should guide your partnerships, product launches, and funding decisions.
It seems to me that these tips are not only valuable for brand building… but also for life in general.
And while we’re on the subject of gender, should more of our brands intensify their focus on women? Should traditionally male or gender neutral brands make a greater effort to develop relationships with women? As a brand strategist and designer, my concern is not the politics of gender, but rather the purchasing power of gender. And when it comes to making purchasing decisions, it is pretty clear that women are not the weaker sex. They are goliath and their influence has the clout to make or break brands.
Ken originally published this on July 5, 2016 as a Guest Column in The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/why-getting-in-touch-with-your-feminine-side-is-good-for-business/article30675493/