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#FairnessFirst: Go beyond pink branding for true female customer satisfaction

Her focus on how financial services, in particular, tend to connect with females consumers in the wrong way was a stand-out section of Barbara Cador, global head of Kantar's CX+ initiative's opening presentation at the Cape Town version of the Kantar customer experience (CX) advantage 2019 masterclass.

Kantar studies have found a big gap between how women feel about businesses’ customer-centricity. Across the board, in all industries, there’s a gap between the men and women.

Looking at the data to explain this, Molenaar said a lot of the actual ratings are quite similar for men and women, but that’s not playing out in terms of customer-centricity.

Customer centricity and the gender gap

He says it must be that businesses are not really understanding women’s expectations and world views in terms of seeing and experiencing things, and then reaching those needs.

#FairnessFirst: Go beyond pink branding for true female customer satisfaction
#FairnessFirst: Go beyond pink branding for true female customer satisfaction

Because truth be told, women are often disengaged or underserved in their experience with financial services in particular.

And yet Sylvia Ann Hewlett, chair and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, says:
The biggest emerging market in the world is not China; it’s women. We don’t pay this market the respect it deserves.
Cador feels very strongly about this point, especially in terms of stereotypes affecting women’s customer experience. She says it’s a genetic fact that the female brain is in fact 92% similar to the male brain.

The bulk of that 8% difference is explained by how we perceive brands and make decisions.

Female decision-making in finance

Sharing some examples of this, Cador said that females tend to listen to their family, friends, and peers’ experiences when it comes to decision-making, which means they’re more likely than men to be influenced by the consumer reviews of a brand, and less by experts’ views.

Cador adds that financial brands, in particular, get their connection to females wrong by focusing on what comes across as women’s” frivolous expenses”…

#FairnessFirst: Go beyond pink branding for true female customer satisfaction
#FairnessFirst: Go beyond pink branding for true female customer satisfaction

Unfortunately, it seems when engaging with female consumers, brands across the world take this easy solution rather than the authentic solution, sometimes with dire consequences.

But there are outliers. India, for example, is a very advanced market in terms of financial services.

In addition, lots of Indian banks featuring in Kantar’s BrandZ ranking on brand value.

One such bank – Yes Bank – has also managed to connect with female consumers in a different way.

Getting it right globally

It offers customer experience skewed towards women, with women rating their last experience 1.3x more often as “excellent” and therefore recommending it 2.3x more than their masculine counterparts.

Yes Bank has taken this further in also having made a pledge to support female entrepreneurs in India, with programmes for inclusion and women in the workplace and their social life.

Cador points out that doing this in India is not easy, but Yes Bank proves it can be done.

Cador’s also shared the following example by Key Bank in the US on #RealLifeBosses, in taking a stand for female leadership and smashing that glass ceiling.

It stands out as a brave and authentic decision for a gender-balanced brand to make, as this type of communication can irritate a large portion of your consumer base.

Here’s to acknowledging the #RealLifeBosses in every industry.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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