By Patricia Sellers
August 24, 2009

Our post, “Why CEOs should do housework,” drew a bunch of interesting comments, including one from Dr. LPC in Canterbury, England, who cites research showing that “couples where husbands contribute to housework are also more likely to have additional children.” Dr. LPC surmises that this “must result from all that additional sex they get…”

Whatever.

That August 11 Postcard was about a new book, due out next month, called Women Want More, by Boston Consulting Group senior partner Michael Silverstein. The book is a Women’s marketer’s guide to capturing “the world’s largest and fastest-growing market.” Last week I had lunch with Silverstein–who labeled me a “fast-tracker,” which is one of his six consumer categories. And I guess it’s the best one to be in since fast-trackers, 24% of the female population, comprise 34% of female earned income. Fast-trackers seek adventure and learning, the marketing man says.

Okay, as I sought more learning on this topic of female buying power (women spend over 70% of consumer dollars globally, I learned, and are outpacing men in income growth), I dove into the data he left for me. One chart, in particular, struck me as practically as interesting as Silverstein’s stats about where in the world husbands do housework and where they don’t.

Practically as interesting–and much more practical, if you’re a marketer.

When Silverstein and his BCG colleagues asked 12,000 women in 22 countries about her “favorite brands,” here are the ones that got the most mentions, in order: Nike

, Apple

, Sony

, and Banana Republic and its retail sister, Gap

. After those came Adidas

, Target

, and Dove

.

Investment companies and banks and automakers, Silverstein says, don’t stand a chance in this “favorite brand” tally because women, the BCG research shows, say those businesses don’t understand their needs. “The providers effectively diss women,” Silverstein says.

Hmm, I would add that financial firms and car companies often confuse customers more than simplify. They complicate their offerings. Nike, Apple and the other favorites score because their pitches are clear and direct, even when the products are complex.

And what do women want more of most of all? Time.

That, we all could’ve guessed!

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