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Archive for March, 2009

events_shopsymposium09_01-1I’ll be a panelist at the SHOP Symposium / 09  on March 23 at the Seattle Design Center. Put on by CRAVEbusiness, this annual event offers women who are passionate about their businesses a full day of fun, inspiration and education.

Here are a few people I can’t wait to meet:

Laura Christianson and Jim Rubart of He Blogs, She Blogs
Danielle Laporte of White Hot Truth 
Jacqueline Voci of Soya Marketing  

And, of course, I’ll get to say hi to friends and all-around amazing people Dan McComb and Lara Feltin of Biznik, the social business network that rocks Seattle and the world. 

So – you’re coming, right? : )

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millennium-hotels

Do you ask your customers, “What would you like?”

The Premier Hotel in New York’s Times Square did, and the result is their swanky Women Travelers Floor. According to their website, it’s “designed to provide female travelers with a peace of mind and myriad of comforts to unwind and uplift.”

I’m so there.

The haven is accessible only with an elevator key card, and each room includes women’s magazines like Oprah and Self, a lighted makeup mirror, plush robe and slippers, curling and flattening irons, even yoga mats to stretch the kinks from travel-weary muscles.

Here’s what Forbes.com says about it: “The Premier Hotel in Times Square wasn’t getting too many requests from female solo travelers looking for protection from male guests, but they were getting requests for better makeup lighting and more diet-friendly cuisine. ‘It wasn’t about women asking to not be around men,’ says General Manager Patrick Davidson of the hotel’s decision last year to reserve one entire floor for women guests. ‘It was so they wouldn’t have to worry about packing every little additional thing.’”

I love it. And I’ll be honest. I’m no wimp, but staying alone in a hotel in a strange city can give me the heebie-jeebies.  So provide me with women-friendly perks and a feeling of safety, too? Cool.

Okay, lesson time. How did the Premier Hotel succeed in reaching their female customers?

Answer: They met the needs of their specific market.

The hotel isn’t trying to be all things to all women. If they were, they might stock rooms with playpens for mom travelers or offer city tour options for baby-boomer travelers.

I wrote elsewhere that marketing to women is doomed when we paint “female consumers” with a broad stroke, one big stereotype.  The Premier Hotel avoids this by first identifying exactly the women they’re targeting (business travelers) and then meeting their needs. 

To reach your female customer, know what she wants, what she needs.

How, you wonder? Ask. She’ll tell you. Then, hop to it. Provide for her in big and small ways, and who knows? Maybe  next time we’ll be reading about your business in Forbes.com.

If you’re a woman, would you stay on the Women’s Travelers Floor? If you’re a guy – what do you think of the concept?  

Photo credit: Millenniumhotels.com

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