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What Women Want: The Global Market Turns Female Friendly [Kindle Edition]

Paco Underhill
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

PACO UNDERHILL, the author of the hugely successful Why We Buy and The Call of the Mall, reports on the growing importance of women in everybody’s marketplace—what makes a package, product, space, or service "female friendly." Underhill offers a tour of the world’s marketplace—with shrewd observations and practical applications to help everybody adapt to the new realities.

As large numbers of women become steadily wealthier, more powerful, and more independent, their choices and preferences are transforming our commercial environment in a variety of important ways, from the cars we drive to the food we eat; from how we buy and furnish our homes to how we gamble, play, and use the Internet—in short, how we spend our time and money.

With the same flair and humor that made his previous books universally appealing, Underhill examines how a woman’s role as homemaker has evolved into homeowner and what women look for in a home. How the home gym and home office are linked to the women’s health movement and home-based businesses. Why the refrigerator has trumped the stove as the crucial appliance. How every major hotel chain in the world has redesigned rooms and services for the female business traveler. Why some malls, appealing to women, are succeeding while others fail. What women look for online and why some retail websites, like Amazon, attract women while other sites turn them off.

"The point is," writes Underhill, "while men were busy doing other things, women were becoming a major social, cultural, and economic force."

And, as he warns, no business can afford to ignore their power and presence.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Despite continued pay inequities, in 2005 young women under 30 earned more than men for the first time in U.S. history, signaling greater influence in the consumer market. Underhill, founder of Envirosell, Inc., marketer to major retailers, draws on market research and personal observations to detail the ways that women are influencing design, marketing, and service in industries from car manufacturing to architecture to banking. What do women want? Cleanliness, control, safety, and consideration. Women are behind the growth in the health-food industry, new urbanist communities that offer the geographic closeness of cities and the safety of suburbia, and contemporary kitchens with open plans and appliances geared toward convenience. Underhill notes that trends continue to favor the influence of women with the reduction of the manufacturing sector that needs muscle, greater control over women’s reproductive lives, and an education system that suits girls more than boys. Underhill offers good insights, though his tone seems a bit off sometimes, and female readers are likely to wonder how the same material might have yielded different insights from a woman writer. --Vanessa Bush


"The guru of retail consulting offers a wealth of insight into what makes a successful shopping experience for both buyer and seller." --Craig Ryan, The Oregonian

Product Details

  • File Size: 1905 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1416569960
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 18, 2010)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003L78704
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,268 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You've Come a Long Way, Baby July 6, 2010
Having enjoyed and learned a lot from retail expert Paco Underhill's previous two books, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping--Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond and Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping by the Author of Why We Buy, I was pleased to see he has another book out. Despite the cringe-worthy title, I wanted to give Underhill the benefit of a doubt. In What Women Want: The Global Marketplace Turns Female-Friendly, he makes the observation that women do a lot of shopping and not just for clothes and food. They have a say in big ticket items like cars and houses and appliances. Many women are not even married, they work for a living, and buy their own houses, cars, and appliances. Hear me roar.

It's a sure bet that Underhill didn't write this book for women at all. He uses awkward phrasing, making it sound as if he's reporting anthropological findings about a colony of exotic specimens with quaint shopping habits. He shies away from the word "woman" most of the time, opting for "female" and "female of the species."

His major finding is that women like things clean. Clean stores, clean hotel rooms, clean restrooms. Here's a flash for you retailers out there - men like things clean too.

There are some useful nuggets in the book, if you're willing to wade through frequent speculations that women like curvy surfaces as opposed to more manly straight edges. For instance, in the chapter about hotels, Underhill notes that women are more concerned with security than men are.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So very disappointing July 30, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love Paco's work. I'm a Paco fan. His company and insights are remarkable. This book, however, is far from insightful...except for his observations related to Best Buy.

I preordered the book and waited in expectation for the day it arrived. I kept reading page after page wishing a golden gem would appear. "Why We Buy" is a great book with solid research that support his findings. This is a wandering, unorganized, pointless collection of thoughts that would be concluded by anyone who spends a day with their wife or close female friend.

Paco's and Envirosell's work deserves a better representation than this random collection of thoughts...

My wife, knowing that I'm a huge Paco fan, read the book before I could get to it. It took her less than a casual day's reading and she concluded that the introduction is more valuable than the actual content.

Women want: 1)cleanliness, 2)control, 3)safety, 4)you to be considerate...Now, stop there. The essence of the book has now been shared. Avoid the wandering remainder of the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointed October 15, 2010
Paco Underhill is a retail anthropologist. He studies, for example, traffic patterns inside grocery stories. He's the kind of guy who's responsible for why milk is at the back of the store, what appears on the end caps of each aisle, why some cereal goes on the bottom shelf and some on the top ... It's fascinating stuff. In fact, two of my favorite books are his previous ones, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping--Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond and Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping by the Author of Why We Buy.

This book has some of that in it. For example, he does well taking us around hotels, electronics stores, casinos, and clothing stores, and all with a special eye to female consumers. For example, ever think of a drug store as the female equivalent of the much more markedly male convenience store? Makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book comes nowhere close to these passages, or to his other books. Instead, what we get are rambling musings, with no real data to back them up. These cover areas that aren't suited to his retail approach - houses, kitchens, bathrooms - as well as others that might be - gyms, farmer's markets ...

Now, I would have been fascinated by what his research told us about these topics. And, yes, he's an interesting guy, a great writer, and certainly knows whereof he speaks. But, in the end, it's really mostly just musings.

Actually, the overall impression I got with this effort was that Underhill may have simply been "phoning this one in.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Best selling author, Paco Underhill ("Why We Buy" and "The Call of the Mall") narrows his demographic focus in "What Women Want" to tap into America's most important consumer group: women. While they comprise just over half of the U.S. population, women buy or influence the purchase of eighty-five percent of all products and services sold nationwide.

This is a book not just for marketers but also for executives and business owners. To illustrate, let me share a story from my early days managing a branch manufacturing operation in Fort Lauderdale for American Hospital Supply Corporation (now Baxter Health). My parents would always visit my plant when they visited us from Chicago. The first thing my mother would do would be to inspect the women's room. She held fast to a rule that the women's room of any establishment said a lot about the company and its management. Cleanliness, the availability of feminine hygiene products, and a pleasant atmosphere (colors, sofa, etc.) were at the top of the list. She reasoned that since most managers (1970s) were men, they generally paid short shrift to the needs of the female work force. Those that did had a much more productive and satisfied workforce.

Underhill underscores, among many other factors, the "cleanliness factor" in "What Women Want." Many of us, men, need to attention to the needs of women whether they are in the mall or in our companies. And this book delivers on getting us to think again about what we need to deliver to provide a positive "experience" for all women. "No business can afford to ignore their power and presence." - much like what we find in marriage!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed and was able to take valuable information from 'Why ...
I enjoyed and was able to take valuable information from 'Why We Buy' and I assumed that this would be another great book. I was wrong. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chris0987
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great perspective on the the little things that matter.
Published 6 months ago by Dr. PMP
3.0 out of 5 stars good for stats...
I read this for a marketing class project. Good for some specific stats and insights... Nothing groundbreaking, but a good topical read :)
Published 16 months ago by Michelle C.
3.0 out of 5 stars good book
It's a good book, but not even close of what was Why se Buy and Call of The Mall.
Thia book brinca some good cases, but if you are studying the changes on The society,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Marcelo Traldi Fonseca
1.0 out of 5 stars Is it possible to read an entire book and learn nothing???
This book is so shallow and obvious with so many patently sexist remarks and conclusions that it makes me wonder how the author ever got to the point of having a second book... Read more
Published on April 19, 2013 by Annie
2.0 out of 5 stars A magazine article masquerading as a book
This is a magazine article masquerading as a full-length book. There are patches of brilliance as one expects in an Underhill book, but much of it is just filler. Read more
Published on March 19, 2012 by C. Denver Mullican
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts out slow but eventually becomes a great read
What Women Want by Paco Underhill is a fascinating read after you get past the boring first couple of chapters. Read more
Published on October 5, 2011 by Ayla Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Surprised .......
..... that most of the bad reviews are from male readers.

Hats, both fedora and pillbox, off to Mr. Read more
Published on August 14, 2011 by satansconcubine
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his other books
Let me start by saying that I absolutely loved Why We Buy, so compared to that book, I found this one disappointing. Read more
Published on July 10, 2011 by M. Hyman
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money!
I agree with that you can stop reading this book at the intro... just get a copy at a local book store and stand for 3 minutes... that is how long it will take.... Read more
Published on May 29, 2011 by 2Smile
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More About the Author

Paco Underhill is the founder and CEO of Envirosell, Inc. His clients include Microsoft, McDonald's, adidas, and Estee Lauder. He is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He lives in New York City.

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