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Marketing to women: how to get it wrong twice - by HP.

Seems there is still a lot of misunderstanding out there about women's behavior as consumers and how we come to make the purchase decision we do. A computer, for instance, can be an impulse buy, according to HP. Or a handbag, for that matter. (read our review of the HP that thinks its a handbag here 

This article, titled "HP thinks it needs sell computers to women as if they were stilletos" shows how a company can get its female consumers completely wrong - twice in a row.

As so many companies will surely do in the coming months, HP is also trying to jump on the Sex and the City (2) bandwagon, hoping no doubt, that it will get them a little closer to there female customers. And they're doing it in a big way. In the coming months, HP will open a series of stores - pardon, boutiques - across the globe that will feature notebooks and mini-computers alongside handbags, shoes and jewelry to launch what the company calls its "spring collection", because as HP's marketing director (rightly) points out "traditional computer-electronics stores are not female friendly" and (wrongly) concludes " many ways computers are accessories. They could be impulse purchases". 

Yes, computer stores are often not female friendly - because the staff is not trained to understand what drives women's purchases in this segment, not because they don't feature handbags and Manolo Blahniks on the same shelf. 

No, we don't see our laptop as a handbag or an accessory that needs to match our shoes or our outfit.

No, a 700 Euro purchase will never fall into the "impulse buy" category unless you're Paris Hilton.

Yes, we actually quite a lot of research - online and by asking people we trust - about the computer we want to buy.

And no, I don't feel more comfortable shopping for that computer just because its surrounded by shoes and handbags.

Rule number one of smart marketing to women: don't dumb it down, which is exactly what you're doing by implying women want to shop for computers - on impulse - while they are surrounded by fashion.

Rule number two of smart marketing to women: understand your consumer. There are people out there who can help you. Do some simple online research, have a look at what the ladies over at Lady Geek have to say. It will give you a good start.

And with that, I hope its the last time we'll see you here in the Bad Marketing to Women Hall of Fame.


Why YOU should attend the JUMP Forum on April 29th in Brussels!

JUMP Forum 2010: The Extraordinary Impact of Women in the Economy!
Join the fourth edition of the JUMP Forum that inspires hundreds of professional Women and Men across Europe, featuring the most successful Women and the most brilliant experts in gender diversity!
For Women: why YOU should attend!
The JUMP Forum is the biggest single day event dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of women. Each year, it offers professional women the opportunity to attend workshops by top business leaders, network with other professional women and to think about and develop their careers.
For Companies
Gender balance is above all a business issue. In a constructive and optimistic way, JUMP helps companies unlock the market and talent potential. It is simply a strategic and economic priority.
The JUMP Forum offers Women practical tools to realise their professional and personal aspirations, and supports organisations to implement a successful gender balance initiative.
Business leaders and gender balance experts will share their views, strategies and advice.
Topics include:
- To quota or not to quota? Europe's best practices on policies, quotas and targets.
- How to profit from a gender balanced business.
- Powerful strategies for your career success.
- How to find your true vocation.
- Using social networks to benefit your career.
This is your chance to learn strategies for success by leaders including:
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox (Canada-France), CEO of 20-first, Consultant, Coach and Author of Why Women Mean Business and the forthcoming How Women Mean Business 
Mirella Visser (Netherlands), Author of De Zijderoute naar de top and Founder-CEO of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership
Rohini Anand (USA), Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Sodexo
Marleen Temmerman, Professor, Member of the Managing Committee of UZ Gent and Member of the Senate
Lieve Verplancke, Managing Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb Belgium 
Dominique Leroy, CEO of Unilever
You can view the day's program hereRegister here