What Women Look for in a Brand

We all know how important branding is to all marketers, especially to women who account for 7 trillion dollars of consumer spending and 85% of all purchase decisions. That being said, we felt it was essential to pinpoint those brand characteristics that are most important to them.

Trust comes in at the top of the list, followed by authenticity and ethical practices. Women want to buy products from companies that they believe in. The highest percentage of women who thought that trust, authenticity and ethical practices were aged 25-34.

Women also want to buy brands that are friendly to the environment, with eco-friendly, sustainable, all natural, recycled and socially conscious product ratings coming right on the heels of the top three characteristics women want from a brand. Moms accounted for the highest percentages that felt environmentally friendly brands were important, which is not surprising as they are raising children and want a healthy planet for their future.

It seems 'Made in America' is making a comeback, with 66% of women feeling it is important to them. What is interesting is that while 54% of 18-24 year olds felt buying American is important, 83% of women 35-40 felt the same. This shows that the younger generation doesn't put the same importance on American made as their older peers do.

Brands that offer a percentage of their profits to charity or have an alignment with a cause and/or social issues are significant factors to women when they are considering a brand. However, with trust being the most important to them, we have to question whether women feel the authenticity of a brands alignment with charities and causes.

It is very interesting to note that what marketers spend most of their time and money on: great websites, great ads, sponsorships of events and celebrity endorsements are the very characteristics that matter the least to women. If women don't have trust in your brand, or feel you are not being authentic, or question your ethical practices, they are more likely to choose a brand that reflects their top 3 priorities.

The good news is that with social media, marketers can garner trust. For example, product trial and social sharing by women who give their reviews of the products garners trust and authenticity. Even if all the reviews are not stellar, that's ok. Think about Yelp: Even if there were a few bad reviews, but lots of good ones, wouldn't you still try out the restaurant? In short, women want the 'real deal' from brands.