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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.