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Put yourself in her Choos

Put yourself in her Choos

Fashion blogger Bébhinn Kelly on how to tap the spending power of the Middle East’s Facebook fashionistas and online yummy mummies.

April 27, 2010 9:15 by



Here’s what not to do: there’s currently a print ad running for cosmetic surgery in Dubai. The ad shows the body of a woman holding a baby and returning to work after maternity leave. The ad implies that her body is not fit for the office (arrows pointing to sagging and stretch marks) and suggests that in order to look like her “pre-maternity leave” self she should visit the cosmetic surgery salon. The fact that this ad even exists shows the gaping hole in the market both from an agency and a research point of view.

From the time women are teens magazines bombard them with enough images of airbrushed celebrities to make even the most beautiful among us feel ugly and fat. A woman who has just given birth and has to return to the workforce 30 days after giving birth does not want to be told she’ll be an eyesore in the office. Most likely, baby weight is still hanging around and every time she sees her husband she feels it. Compounding her feelings of unattractiveness will do nothing to enhance your brand. It will alienate your female clients.

Don’t assume we all have the ability or circumstance to reproduce and don’t assume that we want to.

I attended an all-woman event recently for female entrepreneurs.

The speaker (an older gentleman) started his talk with “A business is like a baby” and then went on to speak about the similarities between a screaming human whom you love with all your heart and soul who grew inside you and changed your body forever, with the signing of legal documents in a Free Zone.

At the risk of stating the obvious, a business is not a baby. If a woman does have a baby, she does not want to talk about it at a business event. Moms and tots groups are for talking about children; a business environment is for work.

That speaker risked not only alienating mothers but alienating women who may not have been able to give birth and did not want to pay over $27 to be reminded of the sad fact.

Who is doing it right in this market and what can I learn from them?

The best example I have seen of a company effectively marketing to women in Dubai is UBS. It actively started to target female consumers about six months ago. I saw the ad for their “women-only lunch” on an email shot. Anyone who RSVP’d and fit the criteria was invited to a skincare and finance workshop lunch at Dubai’s Capital Club. This is smart for two reasons, broadly speaking: unless you are talking about how much money we spend on shoes, women find finance boring and UBS understood this and addressed it head on.



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