Beer For Women

Why would you fight over a small slice of a big pie when you could have a tart all to yourself? What am I talking about? I’m talking about target audience. There’s a lot of opportunity out there for companies that are willing to market their products to non-traditional segments of the population. I was thinking about this the other day when there was a story on the news about a new beer company that’s brewing beer specifically for women. It’s a simple idea, but over the hundreds of years that beer has been a desirable product, nobody has really tried to do that. Why not? Women drink beer as well. Probably not as much as the male population does, but they still make up a huge portion of the “beer drinking pie.” So, why has it taken so long for a company to target them directly? Here’s my thoughts...

Fear – Like most business decisions, fear is what stands between you and innovation. It’s hard to decide to do something different. What if it fails? Instead of asking “why would it fail?” try asking “why would it succeed?” I would say it would succeed because if only 10% of beer drinkers are women, that is still an enormous number that nobody else is targeting. Why wouldn’t you want to serve that market?

Never thought of it – It’s easy to look at your product and decide on what your biggest target demographic is. Beer = Men. That’s where most companies stamp it and move on. They don’t think beyond the opportunities that are available in other demos. For some companies, that’s fine. Budweiser has been at this game for a long time, so it doesn’t make sense for a market leader to target a smaller group. But, it is a great opportunity for an emerging brand to carve out a niche in a very competitive category.

Pride – Like it or not, some people value ego over business success. Sometimes they won’t target an available demographic just because they don’t want to be the company that “does that.” In essence, they’d rather be a failing “brewery for men” than a successful “brewery for women.” Personally, I’m interested in whatever demographic is going to make my business successful. I wouldn’t care if my buddies made fun of me for selling beer in pink bottles.

So how can this translate to your business? Easy! Take a moment and write down your perfect target clientele. These are the people that you’ll make the most money off of if your product was uncontested. Now, write out every other smaller demographic that also uses your product or service. Assign percentages to each group. In the beer example you might use “men” as 90% of your available customers. “Women” may comprise 10% (conservatively.) Now, write every competitor you can think of that targets each demo beside each group. With the beer example, you could arguably write every beer imaginable on the men’s side. Now, just do the math. If there are 20 breweries fighting over 90% of the market they’ll get around 4.5% each. That’s in a mathematical world. Obviously it will not work out that way in the end. If you’re the only one targeting the 10% of women, you are fighting with nobody over 10%. It’s officially worth looking into.

This can work with any product or service. Why are all cleaning products targeted at women? It isn’t the 1950’s anymore? Plenty of men clean their own homes. It might be a good idea to target bachelors? It doesn’t have to be a male/female thing either. For example, most luxury car companies target lawyers, doctors, accountants and other professionals with classy, urbane sounding commercials. In Alberta, affluent people aren’t always in those positions. There are many trades people & oil workers that bring in six figures. They don’t have the same tastes, or look the same as the aforementioned professionals. But, they still buy luxury vehicles. Why not target them in your advertising instead of the clichéd luxury drivers? Their money is just as good, and nobody is trying to speak to them.

The audience pie can be sliced in an infinite number of ways. The only real way to know your most lucrative demographic  is to know your product & clientele inside out and backwards. When you’ve got that figured out, don’t step over dollars to get to dimes. Your most lucrative client base might be the one everybody else is ignoring.