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What Women Want: The Global Marketplace Turns Female-Friendly

3.13 of 5 stars 3.13  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Paco Underhill, the author of the hugely successful Why We Buy, reports on the growing importance of women in the marketplacewhat makes a package, product, or service female-friendly. He offers a tour of the worlds marketplace, with shrewd observations and practical applications to help everybody adapt to the new realities.As large numbers of women become wealthier and mor ...more
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2010)
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Chris Aylott
Let's talk about the little women, shall we? That's the vibe that comes off this book, as Paco Underhill tells men (the audience is clearly men, almost certainly executive men about his age) about what women REALLY want. Curvy things mostly. And hand-holding, and clean stuff.

He went to Vassar in the seventies, so you know he has bona fides as a sensitive guy. (He reminds you of this fact a couple of times in the book.) So hopefully you'll smile and nod as he shares a series of fatuous over-gener
...more
Andrea
Awful! In fact, so awful that by page 8, I decided I must keep reading the entire thing to see if it could possibly get worse. Of course, it did. I'll limit my barf-tastic review to the top five worst things about this book, but suffice it to say, it could be much longer. Zero stars.

1) It's entirely based on his opinion, with a couple of "interviews" with rich women that he knows. There are no scientific studies, no sociocultural studies, nothing on which he bases his writing. Just, "IMO." No re
...more
Jill Furedy
What a disappointment this book was. I really enjoyed his other two books. I expected this one to be similar...observing what customers picked up, how they interacted with products, etc, just that this one would be female focused. I felt like the whole book was just Paco making generalizations about stuff he's seen over the years, with nothing specific to help readers out. Kinda made me think he doesn't want to give away too many more tips and just wants to convince people to hire his company. T ...more
Mary
I was sorely disappointed by Underhill's take on how retailers can appeal to female buyers. Underhill is widely regarded as a guru of retail marketing, yet his advice on appealing to female shoppers is hopelessly antiquated. Unbridled anger coursed through my veins at this statement by Underhill: "Just as a man collects his toys - the all-terrain vehicle, the Harley, or the vintage, seldom-used Porsche he keeps sheeted in one side of the garage - the kitchen has been transformed into the arena w ...more
Jina
I read this book because I had enjoyed Underhill's previous two books. This book was not written for me. It was written by a man, for men who are probably executives in large retail and service companies. Most of the things in it seemed so self-evident that I was surprised anyone would bother to call them out. For example, he talks about the importance of personal security: how most women, after ringing up a purchase, will not move away from the counter until their wallet is securely stowed. And ...more
Lauren
Social psychology and economics are my absolute favorite to read about. They are always easy to relate to and often pretty funny. Read this book! You will go into a store with a completely different viewpoint thanks to the impact women have made on the ever-changing economy. Who knew it was women who contributed to the volcano of pillows in hotel rooms? I think we can all appreciate that contribution.
Annett
Einige interessante Einsichten hat mir das Buch vermittelt, insgesamt ist es für mich jedoch zu sehr auf US-amerikanische Verhältnisse zugeschnitten, auch wenn der Autor immer wieder Beispiele aus aller Welt einstreut. Manches stimmt schlichtweg nicht: Es gibt - anders als bei Frauen - keine gemeinsamen "Hygiene-Rituale" bei Männern? Was ist beispielsweise mit dem türkischen Hammam? Vieles ist für mich - aus Frauensicht - nicht nachvollziehbar, aber das mag an der starken geographischen Ausricht ...more
Jay
After reading this, I thought a more proper title would be "What Stereotypical Women Want". I was quite amazed that the author based his opinions on very little hard data. He did claim to use data on one page, but that didn't seem like enough to me, not enough to base a book's worth of recommendations on, not enough to validate recommendations. This book is written to sound like all recommendations are based on the author's direct observations of how women act in retail environments, but when he ...more
Joe Robles
Paco Underhill is great at boiling down what you need to know in simple and easy to understand concepts. if you've read Why We Buy, then you know he's absolutely brilliant when it comes to retail. I've applied several of his concepts to our business, and while I can't say that it alone is why we continued to post sales increases, even during the recession, it definitely didn't hurt. So when I saw that he'd written a book on the female consumer, I knew I had to pick it up.

I've read two other book
...more
Elizabeth
Oct 15, 2010 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women, get-again
from the library

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 (14)
1 Housequake
15 (10)
2 Don't Phunk with My Hearth
25 (10)
3 Let Us Spray
35 (8)
4 Nice Work If You Can Get It
43 (10)
5 We Can Work It Out
53 (8)
6 To Love, Honor, and Maintain
61 (10)
7 Should I Stay or Should I Go?
71 (18)
8 The Female, Unplugged
89 (14)
9 Women and Sin
103 (14)
10 The Empress's New Clothes
117 (12)
11 C'mon a My Mall
129 (12)
12 Higher Ground
141 (14)
13 Drugstores
155 (10)
14 See Me, Touch Me, F
...more
Becky
I hope he did some serious reseach, and just chose to present his findings with anecdotal examples, because if his clients are paying him to tell them what his friends Pam or Debbie like they could probably cut out the middle man. Also, if the sum total of his advice to them is "Women like places that are clean and safe," I have to wonder (a) what human being doesn't and (b) who needs to pay someone to tell them that?

His whole folksy "Some of my best friends are women" intro is really off putti
...more
Sarah
I agreed with about half of his assessments on why and what women shop for. However, I thought he would have a more scientific approach to his conclusions. For instance, his statement that women don't smoke pot as often as men do is because they're worried about getting the munchies and getting fat as a result. Really? It seems like a big leap to conclude that based on the feedback from a couple of his female friends.
I enjoyed the first half of this book but then I realized that he was able to
...more
Bonnie G.
This book really, really peters out towards the end. He had me enraptured thinking about curves symbolizing women, giving a tour through the mall to show dressing rooms, cleanliness, etc. His other books are pretty spectacular and he made me think about the safety issues women are constantly struggling with (having names overheard in the hotel lobby, for instance). Soon, the food chapter just.....sounds like a cool coffee conversation with an observant friend, but loses all scientific merit. He ...more
Dawn
Short book on how companies are changing to embrace the new roles women are playing, or in some cases, roles women were playing all along but never given credit for. Nowadays women have their own money to spend, and oftentimes are the people making decisions for a lot of the family's money as well. Paco Underhill covers many topics: printers, convenience stores, facebook, hotels, organic food, hardware, even house layouts. It's really interesting, though it doesn't really seem to break new groun ...more
Elizabeth Olson
Underhill, the genius guru who owns the turf at the intersection of psychology & retail marekting, hits another homer. What do women want? It turns out they pretty much want to shop in a clean, well-light, safe place that treats them with respect and lets them easily get what they came for. If you think that sounds a lot like what humans in general want in a shopping experience, you're not wrong. It's just that women are more particular about it, more able to articulate it, more ardent in ex ...more
Trudy
Underhill's "Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping" was a more enjoyable read.

I still do come away with the wish that those trying to sell us things incl mall designers & managing companies, would think about their client more, and less about 'pretty' i.e. the aesthetics, unless the aesthetics serve a very specific purpose.

Such as when you want to give the impression of luxury or cleanliness.

Speaking of which, the author points out that the powers that be need to remember how very influential
...more
Margaret Sankey
At first, I was put off by the idea that it takes a marketing "guru" and extensive marketing testing to discover that women want clean bathrooms, non-surly service and personal safety, but then I reflect on the evil joy I have taken at buying online and avoiding the many stores where any clerk has acted put upon to get things from a high shelf, nosy questions were asked, the ATM was in a dark creepy corner, or anyone stood around watching me load a heavy object into the car. Apparently the invis ...more
Alix
This is a great look at the female market on very general terms...which applies to nearly everything. Now when I go shopping, patronize a restaurant, or compare products or services, I'm always thinking about how they could be better if the business would just read Paco's book. I also appreciated the professional tone, and liked Paco's writing style. If you have clients, customers, or even a female business partner, I highly recommend this quick-moving read.
Nura Yusof
I like Paco Underhill. But this book is geared towards male readers which is somehow disturbing coz' even in this day and age, we still don't get each other. I am chuffed, however, at his assertion that most of the 'innovations' in the various retail spaces are influenced in one way or another, by women. Talk about hearing us roar. Having said that though, this book lacked 'Aha' moments which his two previous outings had.

Still a good read though.
Chad
This is another great book by Paco Underhill. In the book, Underhill explains how changing gender roles in society have influenced the way that we live, the way that we shop and the products that we buy. It is a great book for retailers, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople who work in all industries. As an added bonus, in this book, Underhill provides some early observations about how social media is influencing our day-to-day lives.
Wendy
I had great hopes for this book, expecting insights into the psychological reasons for why most women are the hunters & gatherers. Instead, I had to suffer an insufferable sexist's view of women in the marketplace. A waste of my time. I couldn't stomach any more of his diatribe and ditched this book midway, glad that it was a returnable library copy.
Christine Quinn
As women gain more buying power his company consults with other companies on how to be more women friendly.

I think the author was right on saying women want cleanliness, control, personal safety and politeness from a complany.

I enjoyed readying the author's book, "Why we Buy: The Science of Shopping Call of the Mall" too.
Cathie
A quick and easy read but didn't break new ground. He mostly rehashed existing studies and gave lots of "no duh" observations. Women like clean bathrooms and dressing rooms in shopping centers. Really? The only person who DOESN'T know that is Macy's apparently.
Jennifer
I think this book might more appropriately be called "What Rich Women Want." I appreciate that marketing and products are getting to be more female-friendly, but somehow this book presents a very enclosed view of the average woman and what they want.
Hester
This should be required reading for men. What do women want? To be clean, safe, and healthy. And we want these things more than you do.

I really regret that I accidentally returned this book to the library before I finished.
Meagan Church
Some interesting perspectives on the female psyche in relation to buying habits. Nothing ground breaking from my perspective but could be useful to those in the marketplace, especially men.
Mdraeger
This book was interesting, but not quite as good as "Why we buy" Some interesting observations and some that rely pretty heavily on a certain stereotypical viewpoint of women.
Allison
Dreadfully boring and a disappointment as a follow-up to "Why We Buy". This reads like a PhD dissertation vs. a market research book. Didn't make it past page 50.
Brooke
Paco Underhill consistently delivers entertaining books. However, while the books offer some astute observations, they can occasionally be lacking in hard evidence.
Ingrid
Lots of generalization about what women want which in the end boils down to a bit of common sense and some marketing talent. Nothing new under the sun.
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Underhill has spent more than 25 years conducting research on the different aspects of shopping behavior, earning his status as a leading expert and pioneer in the field. Paco helps companies understand what motivates the behaviors of today’s consumer. His research shows how today’s retail world is ruled by factors such as gender, “trial and touch” and human anatomy. He is an insightful and captiv ...more
More about Paco Underhill...
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping City: Rediscovering the Center Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer: The Baby-Boomer Woman

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