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Lands’ End is providing a way to feel good about shopping and giving this fall with the launch of its FeelGood Campaign.  For every Lands’ End FeelGood sweater purchased, the company will donate signature FeelGood yarn to Warm Up America!, a nationwide knitting charity dedicated to knitting and crocheting blankets for families in need.  Lands’ End expects to donate thousands of pounds of yarn to the charity where volunteers plan to knit or crochet 7″ x 9″ “squares” which will then be connected by Warm Up America! volunteers to make blankets to be distributed to those less fortunate. “We are excited to build upon the success of last year’s campaign.  We were truly impressed by the number of people that embraced the Lands’ End FeelGood initiative and look forward to another successful year,” says Susan Sachatello, Lands’ End CMO.  “By working together, we can all do something amazing by bringing warmth to thousands of families in need this season.”

Lands’ End is just one of many brands choosing to participate in cause marketing campaigns—a strategy that has proven to work well especially with female consumers.  During his 2009 M2W® presentation, Mike Swenson, EVP/CMO of Barkley, stated, “We’ve known for some time that when a brand uses its power for good, consumers respond with their hearts, loyalty and purchases.  No other consumer demonstrates that more than women.”

A recent poll done by the UK Nielsen Media Research revealed that almost half of the online gaming population is female—a statistic that has online casino operators moving to add more female oriented graphics, games and promotions to the mix.  In addition, online gaming brands are being encouraged to create environments just for women such as the new landing page on Casino.com.  “Designing pages like this gives us a chance to do something different in the world of online gaming,” says Mor Zesso, Director of Graphic Design at Casino.com.  “It gives us a chance to focus on what it is that women like.”

Starting with the design process instead of just launching a marketing campaign could be the key to winning with women.  “When it comes to ‘what a woman wants’, there are untapped business opportunities everywhere,” said Heidi Dangelmaier of 3iying and GirlApproved during her 2010 M2W® workshop presentation.   “To really give women something they will love means we need to rethink the entire design process and craft one that is capable of producing stronger products for females.”

The Coca-Cola Company, a brand that often sends executives to M2W® and whose SVP Wendy Clark was named the Take the Cake Award winner for favorite speaker during last year’s M2Moms®, has pledged to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs throughout Coca-Cola’s global business system by 2020.  The pledge builds upon a commitment made by the company in 2008 to grow its Micro Distribution Centers (MDCs) in Africa.  MDC’s are an independent network of entrepreneurs who distribute Coca-Cola beverage products to retailers.  “Our experience on the great continent of Africa and the model of our existing MDC program provides an expanded platform to empower an additional five million women worldwide over the next ten years. We need to increase awareness that better societies can be created as a result of empowering women,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Coca-Cola Company.   Research conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School and engagement with local stakeholders on Coca-Cola’s MDC business in Africa indicates that women face three main barriers to success: 1) Lack of access to finance; 2) Lack of business skills training; and 3) Lack of access to mentors and networks of peers. The Company plans to conduct further research with potential partners to better understand how to empower women across its global system.   “Enhancing economic opportunities for women in the Coca-Cola value chain will result in increased incomes, enhanced skills in business, increased stature within the community, and improved potential for communities,” adds Kent.

Author Fara Warner agrees.  “Women are the global growth engine—not China, India or the Internet,” said Warner during her 2008 M2W® presentation on the global power of women.  “The fastest way to grow your economy is to educate a girl, give a woman the right to vote, give her equal rights and give her access to capital.”

“Female entrepreneurs contribute $3 trillion dollars to the US economy and their numbers are growing dramatically,” said Jane Out of the Box founder Michele DeKinder-Smith during her workshop presentation at M2W®.  “These women not only make purchasing decisions for their businesses but also their households – so win their loyalty in business and benefit by getting their personal spending too.”  Advice that Jones New York seems to be following with the launch of “The Little Black Book of Career Advice.”   The Little Black Book of Career Advice is a part of the Jones New York “Empowering Your Confidence” campaign, and is a digitally integrated and socially shareable asset that features inspirational quotes from successful women across the country, including Lauren Bush, Arianna Huffington, Bonnie Fuller, Deborah Norville, Bobbi Brown and Ivanka Trump. The book will live on the Jones New York website (JNY.com/empowerment).

Jones New York’s empowerment campaign celebrates the brand’s history of dressing women for success for over 35 years and has joined forces with Dee Dee Myers, the first female White House Press Secretary and author of The New York Times best-selling book Why Women Should Rule the World, to help spread the message.   Stacy Lastrina, chief marketing officer of Jones Apparel Group, said: “The Little Black Book of Career Advice was designed to help inspire women. We all have collected a great deal of wisdom and advice in our lives and careers, and Jones New York wanted to create a platform on which to share it.”

There are many sides to a woman and brands that succeed with their marketing to women efforts are those that discover new ways to keep their products and services relevant to a woman’s life—whatever that life may be.  Sears appears to be tapping into the multidimensional woman with their new campaign, “The Many Sides of Me.”  “The Many Sides of Me” represents the next step in the company’s strategic effort to transform its Softlines businesses and emotionally re-engage women in the Sears brand.  “We have executed against a range of initiatives tied to our strategic pillars that have improved our relevance to customers, including engaging them on a personal level,” said Scott Freidheim, executive vice president, Operating and Support Businesses, Sears Holdings. “With this launch, we’re on a path to ‘Feminize, Energize and Digitize’ the Sears soft side brand positioning.”

This message may sound a bit familiar to those who attended last April’s M2W®.  During the conference, we gained insight into the brand journey of Memorex.  “In 2008, Memorex set out to reposition the brand and develop a deeper connection with an often-forgotten target in the consumer electronics category—women,” said M2W® presenter Jess Walton, brand director, Memorex Consumer Electronics.  “We invested considerable time improving our understanding of how electronics play a role in the lives of women and their families which led to new, innovative products and key marketing strategies.”

For Sears, “The Many Sides of Me” campaign allows women to express their ever-evolving “me’s” while the campaign highlights how women achieve their own unique style by offering an assortment of strong and versatile pieces that become an essential part of their wardrobes.  Sears has tailored its fashion assortment to match how women move seamlessly through their dynamic lives.  The aspirational nature of the platform will evolve throughout 2011 to include additional fashion-driven Softlines categories in order to meet the dynamic needs of today’s consumer.  As an extension of “The Many Sides of Me” print campaign in key September fashion issues, the brand is also collaborating with leading titles Vogue and Lucky and will be featured on their digital shopping platforms. “In the past, Sears has asked women to come to us to see our Softlines offering, but the essence of the new campaign is that the digitally engaged fashion customer wants those first looks to come to her. Mobile is one of the many ways we are reaching out directly to the customer wherever she seeks inspiration and ideas,” said Henson. The collaboration will enable customers to shop and buy Sears Fall fashion merchandise on the Vogue Stylist and Lucky at Your Service apps for the Apple iPhone—another trend we heard about during M2W®’s Pre-Conference Workshop on mobile marketing and social media.

Web-based fashion retailer Shopbop.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, recently launched Shopbop Global, a free service that enables customers outside of the U.S. to prepay import fees at checkout ensuring faster, easier delivery.  The new service is part of the online boutique’s commitment to serving its customers worldwide.  “We’ve seen overwhelming growth in our global customer base as women around the world turn to us for the latest fashion from established and up-and-coming designers,” says Shopbop head of international marketing, Karen Grajwer. “We’re thrilled to bring her this upgrade in service and will continue to seek new ways to improve her shopping experience.”

The growth of global has become part of mainstream marketing to women discussions as heard during several presentations at M2W®.  Fara Warner, Amanda Stevens and the Latina Marketing Brand panel all included statistics and research on how women are becoming an economic force throughout the world.  “New research from around the world reveals that we are entering a time of exponential growth for women as an economic, social and political force,” said Fara Warner, author of The Power of the Purse, during the 6th Annual M2W®.  “No more are we looking at conservative, slow-growth gains for women in the marketplace, but huge leaps in power as the foundations we have built during the past 100 years serve as the catalyst for profound change in the 21st century.”

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