Last year, JWT London conducted a research study that looked at women’s influence on culture, the rise of “female capital,” and the value that women bring to the world as leaders, wealth creators, and artists. The “Female Tribes” report surveyed 8,000 women in 19 countries, and based on the insights the agency found, it has now launched a full-fledged business consultancy division called Female Tribes Consulting.
Leading the new consultancy is Rachel Pashley, who says it’s a response to client demand since the original report was released in May 2016. “Since we launched, clients have come to us asking for our insights and advice. We haven’t had to seek them out. And much of the work we were doing was moving upstream into business design and insight, so it made sense formalize this into a full consultancy offering.”
The agency says that it aims to help clients properly understand the female audience and redesign their business accordingly, and is confident that a business with a 70/30 male/female audience split can be brought up to 50/50 without male drop off, increasing the size of their business by up to 50%.
So far, the agency says it’s worked with a number of brands, including Forevermark in the U.S. to help redesign their Tribute ring collection. This isn’t advertising, but consulting on the actual ring design.
Pashley says the first questions brands ask include, are we targeting the right audience? Can you help us deliver deeper insight to really connect with women? What does this mean for the business? What could we do differently? “And before we even look at communication, we’re looking at product and service design,” she says.
Brands that are approaching female audiences in a dynamic way, according to Pashley, include Under Armour and Netflix. “Under Armour is interesting in the way it’s exploring a more muscular, alpha vision of femininity. It’s uncompromising, bold, and feels fresh,” she says. “Netflix deserves kudos for truly championing female-led content, with characters and narratives that feel real, authentic, and funny.”
JWT is also launching a new regular trends report called The New Femininity, which finds 72% would rather be described as strong, not sweet, 64% prefer products designed by women because they “better understand our needs,” and 79% of women feel that “we need to redefine femininity nowadays.”
For brands evaluating their own approach to femininity in business and women consumers in general, Pashley has a pretty easy test. “Consider whether you’re tuning into women according to their responsibilities–like Busy Working Mum–or truly exploring the possibilities of being a woman, which takes you in a fundamentally different direction,” she says. “Do you look at women through blunt demographics or attitudes and aspirations? And our Women’s Index study—8,000 women in 19 markets—gives us exactly that.”