Did you know that more than 80% of all consumer products -- including most big-ticket items like cars -- are purchased by women in the United States? That's according to Bridget Brennan's great book, Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers. Globally, women control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending, according to The Female Economy, an article in the Harvard Business Review by Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre.
Women do research online, talk to friends, price shop, and educate themselves before they hand over their hard-earned cash. Just think about it -- whether women are at the market deciding between conventional beef, beef grown without hormones or treated with antibiotics, or grass-fed beef -- they are constantly making informed decisions.
Long gone are the days when women were willing to let manufacturers tell them what they wanted. Now, women are demanding that manufacturers create the consumer products they need. In her book, Brennan conveys a great story about a man and woman going into a car dealership ready to buy a car. Upon taking the car for a test drive, the woman noticed that the cup holder in the car was not configured to hold a large size coffee cup -- the kind she carried to work every day. As a result, she walked away from the dealership, walked into another car dealer and bought the car that met her needs.
But despite the strides we have made as informed consumers, there are still some areas where we typically don't ask enough questions. One of those areas is feminine care. Each month, year after year, we buy tampons without much, or even any thought to the manufacturing process or how the ingredients were grown or sourced. I encourage you to start asking whether your tampons are made from conventional cotton, or whether they are made of organic cotton, which is cotton grown without the use of pesticides. You should also ask whether the product includes synthetic fragrances, or is it fragrance-free?
It's time to open the window on a category of products that come into contact with the most intimate parts of our bodies. Women do a great job researching almost everything else. Isn't it time to look more closely at feminine care?
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