What Do Women Really Want?
I was flipping through the Harvard Business Review at work today when I found an article called Understanding the "Female Economy." It was written by a man and a woman who wrote the forthcoming book, Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest-Growing Market. The article documents the main areas of opportunity for businesses to sell their wares to women who apparently make the purchase decisions for "94% of home furnishings...92% of vacations...91% of homes...and 60% of automobiles."
The authors also conclude that women "have too many demands on their time and constantly juggle conflicting priorities - work, home, and family." Their solution is for companies to focus on "time-saving solutions or for products and services designed specifically for (women)."
The strategies make perfect sense from a business perspective but from a practical or personal view none of these supposed products or services will help women or men get what they really want...a partner. Sure, they can save a few minutes with some fancy new gadget or streamlined grocery or dining options but if they continue to own most of the major purchase decisions around the home, not to mention much of the actual work that needs attention, satisfaction will continue to be elusive.
Henry David Thoreau weighed in on this issue about 150 years ago in Walden: "I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."