Celebrate Women Presidents

What woman do you know who is a president? Of a country, brewery, duchy, company, school, or other notable institution?

It’s a great day to celebrate women in presidential roles AND do more to get more women in these types of leadership roles.

While there are lots of facets as to why women and men are at such disparate odds in leadership roles, don’t dwell on why that is, figure out how we can all change it.

Here’s a post of Women Leaders (this list is WAY to short), First Ladies (where’s the First Men list??), and Female Heads of State.

It’s impossible to declare a Year Of The Woman when women still lag behind, are held back, and otherwise are not yet much closer to an equilibrium. International Women’s Day is coming up March 8th – you can prepare and plan now to make progress. Looking at pay rates, duties, promotional patterns, educational opportunities and scholarships, mentoring and support. Consciously change exclusive language (‘guys’, i.e. Congressmen, and so forth). It all matters.

Marketing to women properly sends a message that women are noticed, they matter and are compatriots – not extraneous. What are you doing that sends the right message?

So Happy Presidents Day! Thanks the women in presidential leadership roles – do everything you can to help them grow, flourish and lead.  It’s a much bigger thought than any one industry can fathom and will be better for everyone, the globe over.

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Is "Female Friendly Sports Bar" an Oxymoron?

What is the percentage of female clientele compared with male clientele at sports bars and sports bar concepts restaurants? What is the percentage of women sports bar owners in accordance to the percentage of women owned restaurants?

What if…

sports bars played women’s sports – like all kinds of them, not just token one or big ones or Olympic coverage? All screens, all female, all the time?

…sports bars really wanted to attract female market share? How different or similar to the present model would they be?

…sports bar owners and investors really and obviously gave a damn and asked women what they want in a sports bar? Is this too frightening to explore? Do they really care, really and how can you tell?

…sports bars garnered a bigger slice of the 50.9% of the population that is female by really reaching out to them not just offering ‘something for the ladies’ and having men bring them in?

sports channel claiming to be for women and about women didn’t use purple or pink to identify themselves? (It’s insulting people and totally off base) Do they market men’s sports channels with baby/blue?

What would the layout of the space look like? What would seating choices be? How about drinks menu and food choices? Child and family friendliness that unleashes the harness for women? Would the bathrooms be done correctly? What other amenities would they offer aiming for the female patron, done accurately and appropriately? How many TV’s and big screen or small screens would there actually be? Who would control the viewing content? Would they celebrate and feature female athletes in a non sexualized way? What would the staff uniforms look like? Would they have lots of windows or be dark and non-windowed?

If you don’t think it’s that big a deal or it really matters, crawl out from under your rock and wake up. No business can afford to overlook the overwhelming power of the female consumer.

What if…

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Reflections on 1 Years Worth of Women & Beer

Gearing up for the 2.10.11 Anniversary WEB event

What does one year solidly dedicated to female consumers and their relationship with beer look like?

WEB just celebrated the 2+ year mark for the business and the 1+ year anniversary for WEB in one location. Here are some thoughts relating to what we’ve observed in this one small area of our remarkable country concerning women and beer.

1. Women are engaged, engaging and want to engage. Invite them in, ask them to join you, do so respectfully and appropriately.

2. Sexism has no place at any table. The T & A, tasteless, tactless, apparently funny to someone else who is a bigot/sexist/chauvinist (look up the definition people) ads should be beaten into the ground and used for compost (lots of fertile crap there anyway). We wouldn’t have to bring this up if it weren’t still disconcertingly true in some places and with some breweries.

3. Women like the beers they like, like to try beers of all kinds, and are doing so. Are you inviting them to do just that? Let them make their own decisions on what beers they want to try and decide they like. Toss out assumptions, preconceived notions, and stereotypes.

4. Women are equal players in the beer arena. Treat them as such you’ll see huge rewards – growth, sustainability of sales, and interest which will fuel all kinds of things which fuels…well, you see the cycle (hopefully).

5. There’s still much to do. With over half the population on the planet being female and with women making 80% of purchasing decisions (directly and indirectly), any brewery worth its wort needs to recognize and respect this. Ask yourself: Will you be able to realize your goals without truly and properly involving women?

sign from the WEB event 2.11.10

Case in point: Women Enjoying Beer meet-ups in the last calendar year has offered over 40+ beers, paired with about that many different foods, in several different locations – all with much success. Don’t take my word for it – ask the women.

Part of the reason why is that sheer variety is exciting and worth pursuing. Think of how seasonal beers are the biggest category – it’s exactly like that. Don’t you like to try new and different beers? Then let them do that same on equal footing.  Keep it interesting and they’ll keep coming. Keep it focused on them, and you’ve stuck gold.

There’s a world of women waiting for the breweries who do indeed see the value of their participation and support. What are you waiting for?

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Women Enjoying Beer Get Hairy

Salon Isabella & WEB

Women Enjoying Beer diverged last night with the monthly meet-up. It happened to be our 1 year anniversary in Southern Oregon. Part of the celebration was that we had a few women present who were at the launch of the monthly meet ups last year (2.11.10) (we’re over 2 years old). Very cool!

The locale was a local salon. Let me explain why we choose it. While it may seem disconnected and we certainly don’t want to have everyone think “Oh, women will obviously want to hear about hair, styling (stereotyping) and so forth.” We met here because the professional (and salon owner) who takes care of my locks was receptive and interested in a collaboration.

Collaborations are a big part of WEB’s agenda – being in business for ourselves AND to drive businesses to the co-host/collaborators place for the event and repeatedly afterward makes it successful for all.

Like beer, the arena of hair information is much more vast and intriguing that most think (yes, really).

So thanks to Drew, the whole Salon Isabella Crew for their gracious hosting, the Anniversary Women, all of the rest of the guests, and of course my faithful associate Kate.

Developing the female beer consumer can take all kinds of shapes and forms. Find out who’s receptive, ask, and then see where you can take it.

Here’s the roaming menu from last night:

Beers = Santa Cruz Ale Works Hefeweizen, Dick’s (Variety Pack), Shmaltz He’Brew Genesis Ale.

Foods = banana chips, red D’Anjou pears, fresh mango, dark chocolate covered raisins, sea salt kettle chips, sweet salami, rye bread, feta and basil bread, Italian bread, apricot walnut bread, whole milk Monterrey Jack cheese, wasabi peas, raw pumpkin seeds.

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What Women Mean When They Say "I Don't Like Beer"

You can usually find a beer a women will enjoy

When the average woman says they don’t like beer, they overwhelmingly mean a few things, all along the same vein.

1. Most commonly: they don’t like the beers they’ve had previously. Bear in mind it could have been ‘bad’ keg beer at a high school or college party, beer that had gone bad through oxidation/other off flavor issues, beer that has a negative context – like they drank to much of it and got sick and never want to see that beer again, or simply they don’t like the flavor the beer offers whether or not they realize it.

2. Another iteration: they say ‘I don’t like beer’ and they immediately follow it up with a ” except XY and Z.” So they really do like very specific kinds of beer. They unfortunately lump all beer into the same beer with a capital B together.

3. Some simply don’t like what they’ve had, and are absolutely not interested. So let it go. Pushing them into something they already have a negative image of won’t help anyone. Find out what they do enjoy instead (with or without alcohol).

Here’s what you can do about it. When that phrase exits their mouths, ask them – very non threateningly or accusingly – what they mean? Do they mean they haven’t enjoyed the beers they have had or one of the other scenarios list above in #1.

I was at a party just yesterday and this very thing happened. When I wear my WEB shirts, the conversation seems to start quite easily. People immediately feel compelled to comment and it’s more like a confession for some. I Like Beer. Or (leaning in) I Don’t Like Beer. The important thing to keep in mind is the entry into the topic.

The host flatly stated she didn’t like beer…but….and proceeded to unknowingly correct herself. It’d be like someone saying I don’t like wearing shorts…but on a hot day I like short pants/long shorts/a skirt/a kilt. It’s up to you to decipher and offer an appealing direction.

Find out what kinds of beers they do like, or wines they like, or foods they like and then put your head to matching flavors. So many people like coffee and chocolate that this entrance (into the stout direction) is almost a gimme.

So next time you hear that phrase come out of a woman’s mouth, or man’s for that matter, chase it diplomatically and curiously. When you do it with respect and perhaps suggest, as appropriate, you can make progress.

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Women, Beer and Sports

With the Superbowl upon us, enter the conversation of beer and sports (again). If we drill down more, enter the conversation of beer, sports and advertising.

progress of beer, sports and women moves like a slug

Where are the women? Where are the real women who enjoy beer represented in ANY of the ads put out? Or are we still stuck on sophomoric outmoded and empty jiggle/guys only themes?

If you’re a brewery, you would strike gold this time of year IF you decided that pursing the 50.9% of the population that is women was worth it. And worth it – it is.

This past weekend, Women Enjoying Beer conducted a focus group centered on women, beer and sports. There was unfortunately a lot of acquiescence by the women about the television ads. They simply dismiss them because they don’t apply to them. And they still watch the game, as many do, for the commercials. Yes, some truly like football. However the juggernaut that is Super Bowl Commercials is huge. Therein lies the huge opportunity.

This are strong, intelligent, informed, beer passionate women – who will make sure they get to drink the beer they want to drink. Why then do they roll over about these ads? It’s more of a “it’s not worth my effort” feeling projected because it is the way it has always truly been. And why put the energy into something that isn’t apparently going to change. There are other things to stew about, things of greater import.

From a brewery perspective, are there? You need to make it worth their effort.

It’s an issue of respect, paying attention, shattering bad damaging stereotypes, and pushing positive change. You brew beer that pushes the envelope. Why do you also accept this practice?

When will this day come? I tell you what: the brewer who decides to jump in here stands to gain incredibly with female buy in and support. All by simply addressing women with respect and authenticity.

Who’s stepping up to the 50 yard line on this one?

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CAMFA – Let's Cover Color

What can color tell us about our beer?

C = Color

It may tell us what kind of malted barley’s were used. It can tell us – perhaps – what flavors we might encounter.

Are there hard and fast rules to what color indicates which flavor or hoppiness or alcohol content? No – nothing  absolute. Can it give us an idea? Sometimes, yes.

With color we can consider hue, Lovibond, opacity, and clarity of the beer. Can these things tell us something? Go back and start at the top of this post.

CAMFA = Color Aroma Mouthfeel Flavor Alcohol.

Here are few good resources on Color, the “C” of Women Enjoying Beer’s CAMFA concept.

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Persephone Packs a Punch

Persephone joined me for a pre-dinner drink the other night. She was a gracious guest and left me happy and satisfied. Who is Persephone, you ask?

Persephone's a delight

Persephone is the new Cellar Reserve coming out from Grand Teton Brewing Company located in the incredibly gorgeous area known as Victor, Idaho.

Persephone is an Imperial Pilsner – my first one – and it was quite an experience. First off, I’d flat out say it’s a full bodied beer. As the imperial rating may suggest (ABV 8.76%), it is most definitely not the light body the press release suggests (sorry folks!). Lighter color, yes – light body….um….no.

The aroma was fruity, cantelopey, almost Belgianish. Smooth, yes. Seemingly well balanced too. I’d pair it was an apricot glazed pork roast or ham, a sweet fruit dessert, and also French Toast.

Thanks to the Grand Teton folks for the opportunity to try it. It’s due out February 1st so look for it soon.

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End of 2010

Where were you a year ago? Hard to believe that a year has again flown by.

Women Enjoying Beer sends the entire beer community – consumers and enthusiasts, brewers and brewery workers, supplier and vendors,  distributors and retailers – wishes of good fortune, cheer and business in 2011.

As a company specializing in developing and serving the female beer consumer, there is much WEB can and will do to recruit, engage, learn from, and retain into the marvelous world of beer. To be successful in bringing more women successfully into the fold, we need every one’s buy in.

Buy-in that there is in fact an enormous opportunity for the professional community to grow their business specifically by addressing the female consumer who is not currently engaged, as well as better communicate with existing female patrons. With over 70% of women not involved in beer it shouts at all of us to find out why so few are participating in this beer conversation.

Craft beer in particular has exploded its presence in the USA and the world is very aware of it as well. As a progressive and model nation in many ways, we can also set the pace for equality of invitation to the beer table when properly having the same number of women as men engaged.

That same thought of being unique and bucking conventions that didn’t serve the purpose pre-modern craft beer applies to women and beer. We can indeed do it. All of us together.

Where will you be this time next year?

Here’s to a happy and more balanced New Year for all.

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Wisdom from Paco Underhill

“We live in a world that is owned by men, designed by men and managed by men, and yet we expect women to participate.


But did you know …

1. Women dominate higher education. Most college and university campuses across North America are 60-40 female.
2. Approximately 70% of all American females work outside the home, and women make up nearly 50% of the total workforce.
3. During the recent recession, 82% of job losses befell men, and mothers are the major breadwinners in 40% of American families.
4. The earning power of women globally is expected to reach $18 trillion by 2014


If you’re a man running a business, and if the power and influence females wield hasn’t completely registered on your radar, well, then, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.


If your store, restaurant, bank, hotel lobby, mall, or other public space or amenity doesn’t acknowledge the female factor; if it doesn’t invite women in and make them feel at home, at ease, safe, hygienic, respected and in control, if it doesn’t take into account what women want and expect (which is different from what men want and expect), well, then, it’s bad business.

Paco Underhill is the CEO of Envirosell and the author of Why We Buy and soon to be published What Women Want.”

Excerpt from What Matters Now. (Hint – women are one big thing that matters…)

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What Women Want Series: Part 10 – Great Beer Deserves Great Food

If you have a brewpub offer complementary foods.

If beer is the first focus, don’t bastardize it with greasy “traditional” bar food – why would you do that to your beer? Hook up with a chef to help you if need be, just like you’d consult any other industry specialist.

Great Beer Serves Great Food - and Great People

There are myriad resources for learning to pair your beer with food too: CraftBeer.com, books like Tasting Beer, BeerCook.com, and the BA’s guide to pairing (members get these with membership).

It’s time to rethink what pub fare is and can be.

Several places across the country offer food worthy of their beer. One of the first I think of is Snake River Brewing. When we visited last fall on the Home Free Tour, Chris Erickson, Director of Brewing Op’s, pointed out their enlightened menu. Yum! It’s how it should be: Fresh, wholesome food matching the high quality and investment of craft brewed beer.

If you’re a taproom with no food to speak of or not with any kind of food license, no worries. You can still get creative – SOB has food cart vendors come to them when the taproom is open. Good solution. Just make sure you pick foods that go well with your beers and that the foods are a good value.

People’s expectations for food in a beer establishment are still somewhat low. It’s a great time to blow them out of the mash tun with creative, simple and flavorful foods.

Time to set a new tradition. Great Beer deserves Great Food.

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What Women Want Series: Part 8 – Attention to Titles and Labels

Pay attention to titles, labels, and identifiers.

How you address female consumers matters

It’s important.  Women in focus groups all over America indicate they prefer no titles – no Mrs., no Ms., no Miss. Woman say to simply use their names.

If you don’t know their names or choose to mind your p’s and q’s and need to group them, call them ‘females’ and ‘women.’ ‘Ladies’ is okay, although it’s split input here – some are fine with it and some are not. What you don’t want to do with ‘ladies’ is have a ‘ladies night.’

Why not? Think sleazy ladies nights events of days gone by, bad bars in college that had ladies night. What did those nights have a lot of? Trolling men the women didn’t want hitting on them. If you’re going to do a women’s/females/ladies event, do it only of that one gender. The dynamic of a single gender event is remarkable in its own right, whether it be for only women or only men.

What matters is how the consumer wants to be addressed; not what you think is clever, what you’re comfortable with or what other people put on them. Those in the industry and those who are raving fans of using ‘girls’, ‘chicks’ or other slang aren’t pushing progress. Yes, it’s fine to call a female friend a girl in private. What you have to be aware and cognizant and thoughtful of is the perception of others and how they interpret the title you choose.

Women will give you a stamp of approval when you address them properly

If you choose Women or Females, you can be safely respectful and still be on target, not offending anyone. And that’s part of the import here.

Anyone in any industry needs to always keep in mind: they are not their consumer and therefore it does matter what you call your customers or fans, regardless of what you – the one in the industry – think. Let the jargon and personal feelings go, and ask and respect what women want.

While we’re at it, are women males? Then don’t call them ‘guys’ either. Yes, it’s casual mostly accepted slang. Just because we’re used to it doesn’t make it right. At one time in this country we had separate entrances for blacks and whites. That was accepted and still wasn’t right either.

And no, we’re not being over dramatic. Is pay equal for women and men in this country? No – and until you can connect the dots that it ALL matters, titles and labels and we address one another will make a difference. It’s up to you to decide which kind of difference you are going to make and the progress or stagnation you are going to foster.

Set the pace. Call women what they want to be called, with respect and do it all the time.

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What Women Want Series: Part 5 – Small Things Matter

Small Things Matter. In fact the ‘small ‘things aren’t small at all. They’re big.

Do you pay attention to the details? Details are like the bricks in a wall. If any of them are missing, you notice a hole. And holes are bad. Treat all the factors, whether they be big sections of the brick wall or one brick items, with equal importance.

Small things matter

Here are some things to look at and examine (and repair if needed) for your beer businesses.

  1. How attentive are the servers or staffers?
  2. Are they treating the female guests at the bar with respect and open arms?
  3. Was I able to get here and park my bike or car easily?
  4. Is the bathroom impeccably clean?
  5. Is the label appealing?
  6. Did I get greeted and thanked (in every scenario)?
  7. Is there any overt sexism anywhere? Racism or ageism or any other -ism for that matter?
  8. Is the lighting sufficient to see completely and not squint?
  9. If there is sound, is it at the right level – whether it be brew house noise, music, or general traffic din – so they can talk at normal speech volumes
  10. Do you offer a few choices for beer serving size (on or off premise)?

There are myriad ways to evaluate and ensure the female beer enthusiast is welcomed genuinely and specifically. Get a crew together to take a comprehensive look at your establishment. To make sure it’s worthwhile (dollars, time, and resources) be sure to look at it from the consumer lens.

Better yet, have someone with good judgement in the business contact a few people the rest of the staff does not know to engage in the experience and report back (otherwise known as ‘mystery shopping’). It’s an enormously valuable and useful and timely tool. You get the feedback and you can change things right now.

Small things impact women pre-purchase and therefore impact the purchase. The details – and big things – impact them during and after the purchase too.

Part of this redundant mantra, is Ask The Woman What She Wants. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help. And help you, the women will certainly do.

By the way, treating them to a beer for their feedback is a nice and appropriate way to thank them…

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10 Things Women Want Series: Part 2 – Value as Part of the Purchase

In part 2 of the 10 Things Women Want Series we’ll cover this topic:

Value has to be a part of the purchase.

Value to women involves way more than the wallet and pocketbook.

1. Time value – Was it worth my time? Am I glad I did this or not? Did it enhance or waste my time in retrospect? And will I repeat the endeavor because it was worth my time?

Women, especially as the (still) primary caregivers, want their time to be respected and treated with care. Make the purchase valuable time wise and you’re a lot farther along than most.

2. Experience value – Was that how I wanted to spend my time and energy and did I enjoy it? Was the experience one I really enjoyed and one I want to repeat? (See a theme?) Was the experience one I looked forward to or one I dreaded and how did it come out?

V for Value

Tune in to the experiential value of your beer and the surrounding factors.

2. Money value – Did I spend those dollars how I wanted to or wisely? Do I really feel like my dollars mattered and were truly valued by the brewery, taproom, brewpub, retailer or bar? If so, why – if no, why not? And where will I return and where won’t I recommend due to the dollar value?

Money value is important, sure. It’s simply not the highest on most women’s scale of what they want and what makes ‘it worth it.’ A beer can be $3 a serving or $22. As long as it’s the value she’s looking for, it’s worth it.

Does your beer provide a good time value investment, was the experience worth it to them, and is the money parted with what they felt good about paying?

What Women Want Series: Part 1 – Address the Consumer as the Consumer

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10 Things Women Want Series: Part 1 – Address the Consumer as the Consumer

When’s the last time you intentionally educated yourselves on marketing beer to women? If you’re a business – what’s your answer? If you’re a consumer, when’s the last time you spoke up directly to a brewery or beer business about what you want?

Today we launch a 10 part series of What Women Want – 10 things women all over the USA have told Women Enjoying Beer specifically about per their relationship with beer. Let’s get to it.

Ask Women What They Want

Part 1: Address the consumer side from just that – the consumer angle.

WEB is the only group anywhere on the planet doing specific work anchored in the relationship female consumers have with beer – or why they don’t have one at all. There are other industry and recreation groups. WEB info is singular in that it comes right from the woman’s lens – not the agency or marketers lens, not from the men’s lens, not from the existing female enthusiasts lens.

In order to really understand marketing beer to women, you have to throw out any expert lens, any snob or geek glasses, any preconceived notions and thinking and see it from the fresh perspective of a consumer.

Females want to be asked then listened too per their relationships. They don’t want to have false assumptions and philosophies based on incorrect data, inaccurate stereotypes or otherwise incorrect information shoved down societies collective throat. That’s not only dangerous, it’s intentionally ignorant and lazy.

If you did that you’d be dead wrong and your business would suffer accordingly. Pay attention to what women have to say – not what you think they think or base it on a narrow slice of the female pie.

In order for your accuracy to be just that, you also need to talk to women 21 years of age to over, well, as aged as the female beer enthusiast gets. And here’s a nugget – the female baby boomers are a huge opportunity within the female market share. Numbers’ wise, it’s an incredibly large portion of all women everywhere. Bigger than a few other ‘desirable’ marketing categories – combined. Read Marti’s book for more information.

So when you are looking at addressing the 50.9% of the population who happen to be female in relation to your beer, go to them first. Make sure it is from the consumer side.

Nothing else will do. And the potential gain is huge.

Parts 2 – 10 coming soon. Sign up to get the daily scoop and be ahead of the pack.

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Good Beer Comes In Cans

If you’re a person who gets out and about, particularly to parks and areas where bringing glass is verboten, then look to cans.

Beer in cans is a smart choice

Canned beer is miles ahead of where it used to be and more and more craft beer is being carefully canned for every one’s enjoyment. There are a number of reasons canning beer is smart for the beer, for the brewery, for the distributor and for the consumer.

1. Aluminum cans are eco friendly. They’re lighter weight (reducing carbon footprint in shipping), and are almost infinitely recyclable into new cans  and require way less raw material into recycled vs. new. I’ve heard up to 95% less bauxite, here’s another vantage point.

2. You can bring canned goods into parks and recreation areas. While you most likely wouldn’t slip a bottle of beer into each ski pants pocket, cans would be good. If you wipe out with cans you’ll still not (likely) gashing your leg wide open and you’re respecting the rules of no glass. Still pack everything out, of course.

3. Cans eliminate light. UV and fluorescent light is the enemy of beer. Canned beer totally gets rid of light as an element of danger (keep it cool though too!).

4. Cans have less head space inside than bottles. And less gas, air or otherwise, is better for beer. Oxygen in particular is bad for beer.

5. Cans are lined now where as they used to not be – hence the strong (if not accurate theses days) taste memory of a metallic taste. Regardless, it’s best for the beer and your flavor experience to pour a beer out of whatever vessel it comes in and into a glass. Can, bottle, or keg.

Having been at the inaugural CANFEST in 2009, it was heartening to see that the attendees clearly didn’t give a rip what kind of container the beer came in. They were simply there to enjoy it.

So enjoy your beer and think about cans, or re- think it if you have a bias. Dozens of US brewers are now canning…it’s a great choice for the beer, the drinker and the earth.

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Response and Clarification

I love lively conversation and there’s room for all of it. It’s one thing I love about WEB and the reactions and talk it generates. Conversation makes the wheels of progress move, whichever way they will…In that vein…

Instead of a lengthy and sometimes edited response, I wanted to offer up some clarity to this post on my own blog.

Refresher: Women Enjoying Beer is about just that – enjoying. It’s also about learning, education, the experience, the why, the voice of the every woman represented and so much more. Focus groups, events, knowledge sharing, on site research. It’s about opportunity and enlightenment. It just happens to encompass 50.9% of the population segmented by gender.

Cicerone = another great education format

What WEB is not about: Drinking. Please get your facts straight when you publish material. Per the cited post, Jennifer and I have never spoken, and had one email exchange which occurred June of 2009. Since then I have not heard anything from her or had her contact me requesting accurate information. Here’s her mistake: “And while Women Drinking Beer’s Ginger Johnson is…”

Part of the post: “A couple of months ago, female-facing beer marketing consultant and Women Enjoying Beer blog author Ginger Johnson took our group to task for the use of the word “Girl” in our name. “Women are not ‘Girls,’” she admonished in a post on “dos” and “don’ts” of marketing to women. But while this pretty traditional feminist line surely resonates for some ladies, for people in my group, it’s just way too serious and PC of a consideration.”

People that take time and take more than a superficial look find that the info that WEB shares and offers is based on hundreds of women speaking up across America when given the opportunity. Women aged 21 to over 80 years old, of all kinds of demographic and psychographic slices of the American pie. It’s not about me, personally. It’s the voice of the women.

Also know – I did indeed comment to the GPO post and got a welcome response from Magen Peters specifically, inviting her to talk about it and providing my phone number so she could call me. I neither got an email reply nor a phone call. Your court. We can only swing at the ball when it’s returned.

From that email from Magen: “I don’t think our name has stopped women from coming to our events or learning about craft beer.” Hmmm….I’m confused. Why use ‘women’ here and ‘girls’ there? Which way do you want it?

And I’d still ask – is using an even slightly questionable label for a group that (a large majority) doesn’t want worth it? There are lots of ways to be creative, appropriate and clever without any ‘backlash’. Is the group about women or about you personally?

“Admonished” – fine. Use whatever word you want even though it’s inaccurate – it’s your right to freedom of speech. I simply brought up the fact that 100’s of women have universally and unanimously told WEB that a girl is under 12. If you don’t want to hear part of the conversation, don’t eavesdrop or ask what they’re talking about. P.S. – most women don’t like being called “ladies” either – but you obviously don’t want to hear it.

Feminist – as defined by Dictionary.com =

fem·i·nism

/ˈfɛməˌnɪzəm/  Show Spelled[fem-uh-niz-uhm]  Show IPA –noun

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
Last time I checked then, feminism is a good word. Labels based in uneducated stereotypes or inflammatory definition are never useful. Leave labels for packages.
Next, look at market segments as just that – segments. Women, men, red heads, dog lovers, Jeep drivers. Step out of the gender and into the segmentation – a reality of marketing.

WEB is about bringing beer to life

And next – this snippet: “Johnson asserts that her own focus groups have shown the word to trend badly. But I have evidence to the contrary: The term resonates, especially in the foodservice industry. The Melting Pot, for example, ran a smashingly successful “Girls Night Out” promo in 2009, a time when most casual-priced restaurants like it were suffering. It resulted in a sales uptick that gave the brand a little reprieve from dropping numbers.”

Great and so be it. Good for the Melting Pot. It may resonate, but so does an out of tune violin. Was it a sustainable uptick or a one time deal? Did the “girls” come back? Was it a 1% uptick or a 25% uptick? Did they do a “Boys Night Out” too? Do you work for melting Pot – is that how you know this and what is the specific number to this evidence please? Do you carefully chart and track this information or is it casually handed off by a source? I’m not saying it’s incredible, I’m saying back it up. Tell the women of the world this is what they should expect and be happy with it – to be called an underaged girl and to be happy with it.
Is the supposed food industry support of the implied uneducated sexism the reason why so many restaurants and bars have the women wear low cut shirts, push up bras and the men are allowed to have pants that hang to the knees and shirts all buttoned to the top of their throat? (Why is there a Hooters but no ‘Dick’s’ or ‘Woody’s with himbo’s? Is that the equality you want?) Is that success? Just because of one successful event, does that make the whole picture painted with the same brush? Why don’t you ask the women.
You can call yourself a girl all you want. What women tell Women Enjoying Beer is that they don’t want that kind of label given to them by others. There is a clear difference. It matters not what you think of your title; what matters to the greater whole of global society is the impression the chosen titles and labels (!) are perceived by everyone else. Get out of yourself and your own thinking to that of the population of which you speak – in this case, women.
Up next, this snippet: “But I can bet Johnson would have some choice criticism.” How much do you in fact want to bet? This smells like rotten bait. Don’t assume you know what I or the hundreds of women who answer the call to speak up think. That’s arrogant. And arrogance is never attractive. If you’d ask me, I’d tell you. WEB is not about my personal feelings (again I’ll repeat

Turn your own ideas around and listen to others

this), it’s about 100’s of women being invited to converse and sharing what they think.

And by the way, I know Cathy in Houston and talked with her recently about the success she is pushing for all beer enthusiasts (which is also a core of WEB).
Appropriate humor in good taste is genderless, clever is good. Sexism in any form for any gender is never appropriate in civilized society.
And lastly, I’d point you towards the well respected and highly knowledgeable marketing to women expert, Marti Barletta. We had a wonderful illuminating (for both of us) lunch just over a month ago. Get her book, read it, then get out of your selfish self and listen to what thousands of women have offered. Here’s a link to her book, Marketing To Women: How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market.
So, thanks Jennifer. I enjoyed the post and wish you all the best. Keep enjoying (not necessarily drinking) beer.

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Flawed Assumptions

As a big reader, what’s on peoples’ bookshelves is usually of interest. During a recent trip, one of the books friends had on a shelf was the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, by Ries and Trout.

A piece in the intro hit home with me as it directly applies to Women Enjoying Beer’s goals:

“…programs themselves were based on assumptions that were flawed…”

The context is that there are lots of great people and good ideas. The crux of the issue is that if a process is based on incorrect assumptions, then failure in some way is inevitable.

Turn assumptions upside down

Said another way, if you do your front-end research, make sure the assumptions you’re basing decisions on are accurate and authentic, AND THEN you can prepare for success.

What are you doing to figure out how to reach 70% of the majority population (at 50.9%) – women?

Make extra sure that there are no assumptions. Women like beer and want to be engaged in the conversation, accurately and appropriately. And you can only get even that far if you toss out everything previously related to women and beer.

Assumptions and stereotypes are dangerous and usually exaggerated in some fashion, be it in a big way or small – it’s still exaggeration. And therefore inaccurate.

Start over, start fresh, and you’ll make real progress.

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