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Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers Hardcover – July 7, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307450388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307450388
  • ASIN: 0307450384
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The founder of Female Factor Strategic Consulting is a convincing cheerleader for marketing more effectively to women. She points out that women purchase or are the key influencers in about 80% of all consumer product sales in the U.S. alone—but 90% of marketing execs trying to reach them are men. In her crusade to teach marketers to become female-literate, Brennan offers very practical advice, urging readers to think twice before using overtly masculine competitive messages, to avoid violent images and language, and to realize that women, focused on practicality rather than cool bells and whistles, require fairly sophisticated marketing: pink is not a strategy, she reminds us tartly. The five important global demographic changes affecting female consumerism—more women in the work force; delayed marriages and therefore more spending on self; lower birthrates resulting in fewer kids (but more stuff); a divorce economy, which translates into needing two of everything; and the growing rate of active older women—mean that the female market must be well catered to. BrennanÖs style is smart and straightforward, and her pragmatic advice is spot-on; marketers should take note. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Bridget Brennan’s book provides a highly readable road map to help marketers and salespeople understand women’s beliefs, values, and sensitivities. Given that women account for a high percentage of purchases, while many products are developed and sold by men, a reading of Bridget’s book will go a long way to closing this gap and improving the satisfaction of both genders.” —Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Bridget Brennan’s highly informative and entertaining book provides keen–and unusual–insights into both the psychological makeup of women consumers and the demographic facts that everyone in business needs to know in order to execute marketing strategies in this challenging economic environment. Long live the Female Economy!” —Joseph V. Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, The Coca-Cola Company

"Ms. Brennan is all about the commerce she observes.  'If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female.  If the business world had a sex, it would be male.  And therein lies the pickle.' [She] explores the marketing opportunities offered by trends…all of which leave women making even more buying decisions." –Wall Street Journal

"Is the customer always right?  Yes, She is: An entertaining and …rich account of…untapped opportunities.  Fun and anecdotal." --Financial Times 

"Lively, insightful and relentlessly engaging…should be required reading for anyone burdened with a Y chromosome." –Fortune Small Business

"Brennan details the major trends behind female spending and provides strategies for companies to crack the code." –Forbes Woman

“[Brennan] explains why the existing misunderstanding of gender cultures isn't just a gender gap but a gender "canyon," and provides case studies of female-focused initiatives from marketers such as Callaway, Ryland Homes, Lululemon, Lexus and MasterCard" – Advertising Age

“Word of mouth can make or break a brand, and this book confirms the fact that women talk to other women more about products than men do” --Journal of Consumer Marketing

"Why She Buys [guides] retailers and consumer goods manufacturers on how [women] are increasingly powerful consumers and how they think and shop."–LA Times

“Nab the Women’s Market” – Investors Business Daily

“Since we (women) are driving the economy and the economy could use a boost, it’s all good news” – ABC NEWS NOW

“[Women] are the most important constituency because they make all the decisions….a much needed perspective” – Fox Business Morning

“Witty and insightful” – Marie Claire India

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

This book was a page turner, fun to read and insightful.
Graeme S
This is a must read and a great gift book to share with your friends and business colleagues.
Sylvia O. Decker
Both men and women will find Bridget's observations useful.
Beverly A. Firme

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Brisson on October 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is loaded with practical examples about the differences between men and women and ideas to leverage those differences to target female consumers. Brennan is at once a seasoned business pro and a master storyteller so her writing is not only fresh, relevant, and insightful, but also totally engaging and memorable. I retained so many helpful tips because she supports her well-researched assertions with vivid examples from the everyday life. Why She Buys is a serious and scholarly business book that is as entertaining as summer beach reading. If your business depends on female consumers this book is a must read for your entire staff. I plan to give copies of this book away at the office holiday party this year- it may be one of the few gift books that people actually read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori L. Radun on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You might think if you are a woman and you're marketing to a women audience that you don't need this book. Nothing could be further than the truth! I've struggled for five years trying to figure out how to sell and market to the mom market. I tried reading Trillion Dollar Moms, but Why She Buys hit the nail on the head. Wow! There are so many wonderful insights and practical strategies you can use in this book. Bridget Brennan is real, unafraid to tell it like it is. She gives great examples of companies that are missing the mark, and wonderful case studies on companies that are doing a phenomenal job marketing and selling to women. You may think you should just make a pink version of your product, but it is so much deeper than that. Women are complex; believe me, I am one of them. But one thing is for sure. Once you figure out how to appeal to the female market, you will have them on fire for your product or service. If your product targets a women audience, or you want it to, you have to read this book first. Before you try and develop a marketing strategy on your own, let Bridget Brennan help. I thought I knew women before I read this book, but now I totally understand women as consumers.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Realty Copywriter on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
No one on the planet that has anything to do with sales, marketing or advertising should be allowed back to the office until reading this book over and over. What makes the information so helpful is that it approaches marketing from a totally new perspective. The basic theme of the book is that the gender of your audience will be the key factor in whether your marketing works or falls flat. The book lays out a eye-opening premise for all of this. Men are still running most businesses. Corporations do have women at the executive level, but ultimately men make the final decisions about the direction of the marketing. According to the book, however, women influence about 90% of all household buying decisions. So, the majority of marketing firepower (directed by men) is aimed at the consumer market which is mainly female. Well, you can see the problem. The book contains many case studies that show how sagging sales are turned around by changing the marketing message with gender in mind.
This is the best marketing book since David Ogilvy wrote, "Ogilvy On Advertising."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Why She Buys is for men and women, sales people and advertising junkies, brand managers and retailers. While you think you might know who your target consumer is, you have no idea until you read Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan. So often we rely on consumer insights and decision trees to help us figure out how to push products and services, but Brennan has reminded us to take a step back from the data and understand our target's values, lifestyle and culture. With women making more than 80% of all purchasing decisions it is important for us to take a closer look at what is most important TO THEM when it comes to meeting the needs of women consumers.

This book is so much more than just gender culture, this book is the inside scoop on everything your consumer wants to share with you, but hasn't had the opportunity. The reality is, if you're not reading this book your competitor is. As someone who is in the advertising industry who works with female-dominated categories and brands, this book is a 'must read' if you plan on differentiating yourself at shelf.
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Format: Paperback
I am a woman who takes issue with Ms. Brennan's stated assumptions about gender as well as her argument that gender is THE single most important facet of marketing strategy. Ms. Brennan finds women to be generally obsessed with their appearance as well as that of their surroundings, overwhelmingly nurturing, endlessly talking about their emotions, and unimpressed by quantitative information; while men are (according to her) oblivious to their physical surroundings, uncommunicative, and obsessed with objective measurements (at least in the context of consumer goods!). Having said that, I found this book to contain lots of useful and important tips, but it is both misleading and unnecessary to place these suggestions in a sex-based straitjacket. Her numerous bullet points do offer some generally good advice and are helpful in thinking creatively about marketing strategy, but are not and should not be hung on a gender or labeled as (somehow) female-centric insights. Among the useful points she makes are the importance of humor in marketing and advertising, that plenty of people over 65 have lots of disposable income, that what people do is more important than what they say (although she fails to heed her own advice when she trots out survey after survey - more on that below), and that marketing and customer service need to be much more integrated than they generally are. What I think Brennan is really getting at if you strip away all her pedantic ravings about clueless out of touch men and overwrought, overworked, women, is that there needs to be more creativity in marketing.Read more ›
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