Streams

What Women Want to Buy

Friday, July 09, 2010

Paco Underhill discusses the increasing importance of women in today’s marketplace and explains how companies are focusing on making products more appealing to women. In What Women Want: The Global Market Turns Female Friendly, Underhill examines how women’s choices and preferences are changing the commercial world, from the cars we drive to the way we use the Internet.

Guests:

Paco Underhill

Comments [38]

J.C. from Minneapolis

"For you and me," not "for you and I."

Jul. 13 2010 12:05 PM
Daniel Bernhard from Boston, MA

Guys ! Mr Underhill, although he sounds stuffy, has a successful consulting agency. Based on observations and backed by statistical studies he has gathered the business and respect of a rolodex of the most important companies on this planet. As with any psycho-social study, many will feel not represented - only when they are aware of the nuts and bolts of their system - making a big deal of something that has not damaged their lifestyle. The proof is, most of this gentleman's clients have seen a percentage of success, and some have not. Did his findings REALLY traumatize you? Look for a hobby; go become a volunteer ... the best PTSS advice I can give you ... Peace

Jul. 10 2010 02:38 PM
Meg

I had never been embarrassed to be a WNYC listener until after reading these comments; I always felt that as a regular listener I was part of a group that was "generally" more educated, more sophisticated, more tolerant, and competent users of spell check. The interview was interesting and as one other commenter mentioned, based on the methods retailers have found to work, and as retailers know, every method does not work for everybody. Get a grip, this is not sending us back to the 50's.

Jul. 09 2010 09:33 PM
Maggie

In reply to your guests final comments, I suggest you interviewee read Katha Pollitt's latest column, "Women on Top?" in the Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/36605/women-top.
This was a sickening segment, and I'm very disappointed.

Jul. 09 2010 12:43 PM

Underhill is not expressing his opinion. He is explaining proven statistics, what and how women buy, what they are attracted to, and how they tend to think. Of course he's generalizing. But what he's saying is true based on facts. I found this interview very interesting.

Jul. 09 2010 12:42 PM
VANESSA from BK

I am a 24 year old female, currently working on a architecture degree, and I would have your guest know that when i got my laptop, the first feature that i wanted was memory, lots of memory, I was not interested in size nor did I model the laptop bag to see if it looked nice on me or matched my clothes...I really hope no one is going to go out and buy his book, such generalizations and stereotypes should not be read.

Jul. 09 2010 12:42 PM
The Truth from Becky

Are we being punked? If you want to know what a woman wants ask her!! Uh next time before you do the interview dude.

Jul. 09 2010 12:38 PM
Maria from NYC

Ok, while a lot of what the speaker is saying sounds terribly dated and sexist and offensive, people should give him a break on how he speaks. I think he may have overcome a stuttering habit.

Jul. 09 2010 12:38 PM
Lisa from Westchester

I am listening to this show as I plaster a ceiling in my house. To post a comment, I had to close the math lesson I was preparing for my students on the computer my son built for me to my technical specifications.

I can only wonder whether what my physics professors told me about the impossibility of time travel was true, since the guest sounds like he was transported from a bad fifties sitcom.

Where are the women he is trying to cater to? Does he do his market research by reading romance novels? He does know they are fantasies, right?

Jul. 09 2010 12:38 PM
karen from nj

I'm in my late 40's and totally remember when the world was set up entirely for the convenience and pleasure of men. As a woman I was just expected to fit into it even when it didn't fit (literally). One example: To the young women out there who are NFL fans, you would have been hard pressed to find a team jersey that would fit you in 1975. You would have been wearing a men's or boy's shirt that didn't fit in the bust or in the hips. .....I celebrate the fact that the world is finally waking up to the fact that half (or more) of the population is female and that many times we have different wants and needs than men.

Jul. 09 2010 12:35 PM
EL

This middle aged woman would rather have a shiny red sports car that a ridiculous rotiserie!!!!!!

Jul. 09 2010 12:34 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

It's final! This "guy" is NOT invited for dinner tonight!

Jul. 09 2010 12:34 PM

Circuit City stores played blaring music. I am not surprised they went under.
Also as a woman I like to take a bath in hotels. Please bring them back.

Jul. 09 2010 12:34 PM

Okay, so if my laptop is merely an accessory, then aren't a guy's tools? Give me a break.

Jul. 09 2010 12:33 PM
The Truth from Becky

OMG - What?

Jul. 09 2010 12:32 PM
Jon from Brooklyn

Is this a spoof? Is there any reason Lopate is not challenging him on such gross generalizations?

Jul. 09 2010 12:31 PM
Janet from Wyckoff

The last time I purchased a laptop case I did not require a mirror! I find this conversation incredibility condescending to women!

Jul. 09 2010 12:30 PM
joseph from east village new york

HOW ABOUT GAY PEOPLE -
We have the same sensibility of wanting to buy stylish items, plants, along with typical items in a hardware store. Personally I want a salesperson with more sensitive personality -

Has there been any studies done on gay and lesbian buyers?
(now that would be a good show)

Jul. 09 2010 12:30 PM
Janet from Wyckoff

The last time I purchased a laptop case I did not require a mirror! I find this conversation incredibility condescending to women!

Jul. 09 2010 12:29 PM
The Truth from Becky

Woo hoo WHAT?? This is heating me up! This is like showing me the vanity mirror in a brand new sports car...men are clearly the more visual! Women look for quality! and yes usually have done plenty of research on an item before purchasing, not to defend herself in the home store but just because we are smarter- ugghh he is making me nauseaous!

Jul. 09 2010 12:29 PM
David from Northern NJ

For years women fought for equality, now this guy comes along and rips all the hard work to shreds. He seems a bit paranoid and takes himself way too seriously.

Jul. 09 2010 12:28 PM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Isn't your guest describing ways in which retailers should respond to and thereby reinforce certain unflattering stereotypes about women? As a side note, there *are* female tech geeks and metrosexual men who "shop like women" in your guest's definition. I don't think he's completely sexist, but something about his argument makes me uncomfortable.

Jul. 09 2010 12:27 PM
Maggie

Please exhange the term "woman" for "black" or "Jew", and tell me if such assumptions and generalisations would be acceptable in polite conversation. I'm not saying that soulless creeps like this don't categorise all these groups in the same way, it's just that somehow it's acceptable to speak like this in public about women, whereas it would be totally unacceptable for other groups.

Jul. 09 2010 12:27 PM
EL

I feel like I am trapped in a 1950's time warp!

Jul. 09 2010 12:27 PM
Juli from Skillman, NJ

Dude, you have no freaking clue. We care about the ability/utility of equipment more than the looks. Why don't you go back to the 50's where the women you are referring to come from.

Jul. 09 2010 12:26 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn, NY

This conversation is veering on the absurd; two guys talking about women like we're a foreign species.....every time the guys say "they" I feel like I'm being called "sweetheart."

By the way, guys - I love the Home Depot!

Jul. 09 2010 12:25 PM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Isn't your guest describing ways in which retailers should respond to and thereby reinforce certain unflattering stereotypes about women? As a side note, there *are* female tech geeks and metrosexual men who "shop like women" in your guest's definition. I don't think he's completely sexist, but something about his argument makes me uncomfortable.

Jul. 09 2010 12:25 PM
EL

Sorry ..but as a woman, I am finding this really creepy.. as I am purchasing a laptop, I am DEFINITELY someone who wants to know what is under the hood.. and how it works .. not how much it weighs and whether I can accesorize it! This is absurd!

Jul. 09 2010 12:24 PM
Joe from manhattan

Thhhhhhis guy taaaaaalks so wwwwwwweird.

Jul. 09 2010 12:24 PM
Miranda from Manhattan

Is this conversation seriously focusing on some of the oldest, most ridiculous gender stereotypes? Women "now have the courage" to attempt a wall teardown and lead a home improvement project? Your guest works for advertising, and, lo and behold, he is pegging the very same simplistic, silly stereotypes that the advertising industry reinforces about our culture in order to drive its consumption habits. I expect far more from wnyc programming.

Jul. 09 2010 12:23 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Man, this guy has a really creepy voice.

Jul. 09 2010 12:23 PM
anonyme

Ally, I hope that foreignness inspires also gratitude - it used to be waaaaaaay worse!

Jul. 09 2010 12:22 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On "unisex" clothing: ever notice that the sizes--purely by coincidence, I'm sure!--are the same as men's sizes? So a "unisex" small is the size of a medium for women, & often there isn't a size that's any smaller.

And as for hotel rooms, what the hell is the point of putting another sheet *over* the blanket? Is that supposed to appeal to women? because to me it just seems stupid. Then again, most of the geveralizations I'm hearing about what women want don't apply to me. What I want is to be treated as an individual, not according to my sex.

Jul. 09 2010 12:22 PM
Ally from bklyn

it just keeps getting worse... so much of what they're talking about seems about age, not gender? a "woman" is every bit as capable of buying electronics and a man without a special dumbed-down language.

I do all of the household av and computer tech - am by no means a tech geek - but leaps and bounds beyond my husband in this category... sheesh... way out of touch generalizations bordering on offensive...

Jul. 09 2010 12:22 PM
Yun from freezing office

Really interesting....but am I so stereotypical and predictable as a woman?

Jul. 09 2010 12:20 PM
LM

Interesting... BUT.. seriously talk about sweeping generalizations!

Jul. 09 2010 12:17 PM
Hugh

Are men catching up with women at all? I'm definitely more alert to hotels than I used to be -- especially with the bed bug crisis.

Jul. 09 2010 12:17 PM
Ally from bklyn

did lopate just say "lots of women are wearing pants these days"...?

This conversation about "women" between these two guys could not feel more foreign to thought process of a 30-something nyc woman...

Jul. 09 2010 12:17 PM

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