In this episode, Stacy sits down with sociologist and consumer insights strategist Dr. Nicola Nice to examine the male-dominated landscape of marketing insights. We’ll learn why liquor brands seem to only target men, how to speak to women as women, and common misconceptions that have perpetuated the industry. Find tips, sips, where to purchase, and Weekly Whirl here

Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur

 


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Website: pompandwhimsy.com
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LinkedIn: nicolalindsey

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Transcripts:

Stacy:            00:00               

  • Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.

Speaker 2:    00:31 

  • Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.

Stacy:            00:35         

  • I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I want to give a very warm welcome to Dr. Nicola Nice who is joining us to discuss her 20 years of experience in working in marketing. Nicola is a trained sociologist in the field of consumer insights and brand strategy where she has consulted for some of the top liquor companies in the world, including Diageo, Bacardi, and Campari. In 2017, her vast experience led her to launching Pomp & Whimsy, a crafted gin designed by women for women in reaction to what she saw as a gender bias in the spirits industry. Pomp & Whimsy has been featured in the likes of Vogue, Forbes and the Robb Report and was recently named a top 100 spirit of 2018 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Stacy:            01:14           

  • Today, we’re going to talk about how to market a traditionally male brand to a female audience as we share her case study of success. You’ve ever noticed how few hard liquor brands are targeted towards women or wondered why that is, whether it can not be done or if it’s just not been done well, we’ll be exploring the do’s and don’ts and marketing to women in an industry where women still face a lot of stigma and discuss the impact of so-called gendering. We’ll learn what has worked for Nicola’s experience, what maybe could be avoided and where other brands are missing the mark. Nicola, welcome.

Nicola:         01:42               

  • Well, thank you for having me.

Stacy:           01:43   

  • You are very welcome. So excited to have you here today. Can you share with our listeners a little bit about your background, where you came from, what got you to where you are today? And we’ll go from there.

Nicola:          01:55               

  • Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned in your great introduction, I’m actually a sociologist by training. I’ve spent the last 20 years in the field of market research, consumer insights and brand strategy. And the last 12 of those running my own agency, Think Conservatory based out of New York. And I specialize over the years in the female consumer advocating for women’s needs and interests within very large global, highly matrix organizations. And the industries that I attended to work mostly in were personal care, fashion, and more recently a lot of work in the liquor space. So it was really during these large pieces of work that I would do for these clients and these in the different industries that I’ve mentioned that I would start to get a handle on the different brand landscapes and the way that consumers are represented by brands in different landscapes.

Nicola:          02:59      

  • I was able, in working in different categories to be able to compare, for example, how you market skincare to men versus how you market hard liquor to women. And to use some of those references in case studies across the different industries to show how there was this gross inequities, especially in the liquor space in the way that brands are marketed and targeted towards different audiences. And specifically that women are very much left out of this conversation and treated, what I see as a secondary audience and rarely a primary audience or at the heart of the brand’s DNA.

Stacy:            03:46               

  • And this led you to creating a brand to respond to this entire gendering issue?

Nicola:          03:55               

  • That’s right. So I recognized that women were not being talked to in a way that I felt as a woman and as a consumer was either aspirational from a brand point of view, but even from a product point of view, speaking to my needs and the way that I and other women drink and who we drink with and when and why and so on. And at some point as often happens to the consultant as I sure you hear all the time, you reach a point where you become frustrated, let’s say at selling all of your ideas to other people and watching them sometimes take them on, sometimes not, sometimes misrepresent them. And you get to a point where you start to think, “You know what, I really should just be doing this myself.”

Nicola:          04:52            

  • And this was really one of those kind of Eureka moments that happened for me back in 2015 when I realized that as a woman I felt frustrated that I wasn’t being spoken to in a way by the liquor industry that made me feel special and successful. And I realized that I shared this view with other women. And at the same time as an entrepreneur, I saw this as a huge opportunity. So that was really what ultimately led to the launch of Pomp & Whimsy in 2017.

Stacy:            05:27     

  • And you had fantastic success with it.

Nicola:          05:30               

  • Yes, it’s been two years in the market. It’s a tough industry to work in because it is highly, highly regulated, which means that unlike other spaces that have been able to benefit from changes in consumers and changes in marketing channels and so on over the last 10 to 15 years, the liquor space is still very traditional and it spells on marketing model, which has been interesting.

Stacy:            06:02    

  • So how did you approach this brand, the creation of it and the marketing of it to position it so differently? What were the steps that you went through that others could learn from when they’re thinking about how to change that brand positioning?

Nicola:           06:19               

  • The first thing that I wanted to do is really just understand women and women’s needs and what women were looking for when it comes to hard liquor. I’m going to be talking specifically about spirits here. Being a researcher, obviously this was where I started. I started by going out across the country and bringing together groups of women who I identified would most likely be in my target audience and talk to them in a qualitative setting about how they drink, when they drink, who they drink with, what their needs are, what their connections to brands are. And then use that as a way to uncover potential unmet areas, unmet need and potential areas of opportunity.

Nicola:           07:08               

  • The same process that I would go through with a client who was looking to develop a new brand or reposition an existing brand. So that was the first step in the process. And in that, I uncovered three particular need states or occasions that I felt were special, let’s say to women and the way that we drink. The first one of those is what we would describe as me moment. This is traditionally in the spirit space marketed as a brown spirits, rocks kind of moment. And the insight that was driving this particular area was coming from stories that women would tell me about how when they come home from work or when they’ve had a busy day, a rough day, a successful day, they’ve had wins in their day, they don’t have something that they get to sit down, savor and celebrate in a way that they felt, say their husbands do.

Nicola:           08:10               

  • So this is a classic moment where a man would be able to crack open his bottle of 25 year old single malt, put it in a crystal rocks glass and feel important, successful, celebrated and so on. And women would tell me in those moments if I am not a whiskey drinker, which is not to say that all women are not, we know that 30% of whiskey drinkers are female. So plenty of women are adopting whiskey in those situations. But for every one of those, there were two of those who were saying, “What do I have in that situation? What is there for me right now?” And the answer to that is primarily wine or champagne. And what they were telling me very clearly was that they were looking for a spirit that they could sip on, swirl in a rocks glass, make them feel special and important.

Nicola:           09:10             

  • And there was nothing that seemed to really be filling that gap for them. At the moment. Then there were two other occasions just to talk through those briefly, but I think the ones that probably as women you will recognize here. So one would be a slightly more celebratory moment perhaps a date night or a girls book club or a bachelorette where we dial things up a little bit. And we do aim to up the energy levels and look for spirits and drinks that are a little more celebratory let’s say. And this is typically a champagne moment or a cocktail moment. And then the third moment is our more hosted event. So one of the big things that is important about women that’s often overlooked is that we are the chief entertainers of the home. And as the chief entertainers of the home, we are the ones who make the guest lists, make the meal plans, and make the cocktail list as well and decide what’s going to be the right thing to drink in this occasion, with this moment, with these people.

Nicola:            10:19             

  • And so in these situations, I think having a spirit that is very easy and versatile to put into a simple batch cocktail that would be crowd pleasing to a large audience was the third factor that we took into account. So that’s where we started with need states.

Stacy:              10:40           

  • And then you designed the product to respond and answer to all of those three needs, and then you had to start marketing it.

Nicola:            10:49       

  • That’s right.

Stacy:              10:50            

  • How did you choose to approach that besides say, “Hey, we’re the gin for women”? What actually did you do in order to convey the messaging that this is a female driven brand strategy? Well, I’m sure you welcome men to drink it as well, you do have it as that base. And how was that positioning really established and shared across the market?

Nicola:             11:13               

  • So this is really interesting. As we started to develop the brand identity, developing the formula was quite easy actually. We knew that we wanted a gin base, we knew it needed to be a gin product. And part of this was going back into history, looking at the history of gin. Gin is not called mother’s ruin for nothing. There was a period in time when a lot of women were drinking a lot of gin in larger volumes. We knew that there was perhaps a disconnect between what gin sounds like as a concept, the infusion of botanicals and fruits and florals into a neutral spirit base. And the reality of tasting gin, which often can taste quite piney and bitter, like Christmas trees as people have described to me before. We knew that in creating the gin we needed an expression of Jen that would be more appealing to a female palate.

Nicola:              12:12            

And so in exploring this, we also did a lot of research into the neurobiology of women’s palates and how we taste to understand not in a blanket way what all women want to taste, but really in a reactionary way to this idea that what we like is pink and fruity and syrupy and sweet, which is actually not the case at all. Women have a tendency to have more sophisticated palates than men, just simply as a function of the fact that we have a higher concentration of taste buds. So 35% of women are what scientists describe as super tasters versus just 15% of men. And what this really means for us as an audience is that in general we are likely to respond to a lot more complex, sophisticated flavor profiles and less so to very big hit you over the head flavors, which is what often we get in the liquor space, whether it is with very heavy cups or whether it is with very smoky mezcal or over proof whiskeys and so on.

Nicola:              13:25               

  • So putting the formula together with the brand is, to answer your question, where we arrived at launch. And what was interesting about how we … Since we’ve been in market and how we’ve positioned ourselves as a brand is that in the beginning we were a little bit nervous about how far to go with the sort of by women for women message. Actually when we first launched, it was really more just the idea that we wanted women to be able to recognize that we were for them, but we weren’t necessarily coming out strongly or saying we’re for women. And it was interesting because where that came from is from the very masculine paradigm of the industry, which says that brands that are focused on women in the liquor space do not succeed.

Nicola:              14:16               

  • That women find them condescending and men don’t like to buy them and bartenders don’t like to pour them. And so there’s a lot of stigma associated with being a brand for women in this space. And naturally, we were hesitant about how strong we should go out with that message thinking that perhaps the odds were stacked against us. And it wasn’t until we started getting out into the market. And really the only way to launch a liquor brand in the beginning is to get boots on the ground and start sampling and getting people tasting and being in events on a very local grassroots kind of level that women would gravitate towards us as intended. But once they started to learn more about us and our brand story, they were the ones who were demanding for us to take a firmer stance on being about women.

Nicola:              15:18       

  • With the idea being that most of the brands that are already in the space are quite clearly male focused as we discussed at the beginning. I mean, at best may be gender neutral. But if you go into a bar or a liquor store and you look at the back bar, just as an objective observer, take a look at the array of brands that are in front of you and ask yourself, “Which of these do you think have been created with me, my needs in mind as a woman?” And you’d be hard pressed to pick one out. You might say, “I like the packaging of that,” but to actually sort of say, this one really gets me,” they’re very few and far between. And so to have a brand that is expressly showing women that we get them was something that we would kind of taken aback at how quickly people started to gravitate around that and support that.

Nicola:              16:19         

  • And as a result started to look to us to make a slightly stronger statement about being for women. And I think a lot of this comes from for me at least from this sort of view that I’m not interested in getting involved in normative discussions about gender when it comes to any category actually. I think as women we’re tired of being told what to drink and when to drink. We’re tired of being told if you want to be taken seriously, you’ll drink whiskey with the boys. If not, you’ll drink pink and fruity drinks. I don’t really want to get into those conversations about what women should be drinking. I want to go straight to them and ask them what they’re looking for. And so that’s what we did, and that’s what we’re doing.

Stacy:                17:08               

  • That’s awesome. That’s great. And so you’ve gone out, you’ve heard that you actually need to have a stronger voice supporting women as a brand. And how have you done that through your messaging and your marketing, and what have you all done to be that proven ground for women to show that you’re responding and that you are embracing what they’re asking for?

Nicola:              17:31               

  • I think there’s a couple of different campaigns that we’ve been pursuing over the last year that demonstrate our commitment to telling the story of women. So our brand mission is to give women back their rightful place in the history of the cocktail and put the joy of mixology back into the modern woman’s hands. So there’s two pieces to that. The first is identifying the fact that there is a hole in the narrative of the cocktail and the way that the story is being told right now where you would be forgiven for thinking that men invented the cocktail and men propagated the cocktail. And that’s largely as a result of the fact that cocktails have been written about by men in public arenas that were primarily run by men.

Nicola:              18:26              

The history of the cocktail dates back to the mid 1800s and is widely credited to a very famous New York bartender by the name of Jerry Thomas who was the first person to ever publish a fully comprehensive compendium of bar recipes, which then went on to influence bartenders around the world. But what’s interesting is that he wasn’t the only one who was writing about drinks, and he wasn’t the only one making drinks. And the women at the time who were largely confined, it being the Victorian era to the private space, the home, their writing was really more about cocktails and homemaking and home management, and entertaining for the home. But very much passing down these recipes that went from grandmother to mother to daughter. And writing these up into manuals that sold millions of copies.

Nicola:              19:28              

  •  We’ve taken it upon ourselves to retell the stories of these women and share them with our audience today. So through a series of events, for example, as well as through our digital content, which is all about matching up the women that we think have played a role and been forgotten and never been talked about with the current movers and shakers, the women in the industry today, the makers and the mixes and the servers and the hostesses who are having just as an important role in driving the renascence of the cocktail trend, which is now mainstream, right? Having come towards the late 1990s, it’s now very much a part of the mainstream.

Nicola:              20:14           

  • We are owning that narrative right now because we’re the only ones who are really making this connection. So that’s the first thing that we’re doing. And then the second piece is obviously about inspiring the modern women to take mixology into our own hands. And I think one of the other upshots of the cocktail and mixology trend and craze has been that we as consumers as mixology, bartending has become, once again a respected, which is a great thing. The impact that it’s had on us as consumers is that we feel we no longer know how to make cocktails. If we are not using 10 ingredients and doing funny techniques and setting fire to things and rinses and sprays and spritzes and so on, that we’re not making a proper cocktail.

Nicola:              21:08         

  • And the truth is, is that anyone can make a cocktail. It’s not that complicated. And so a lot of what we focus our efforts on, both through our content and through our in person activations is encouraging and inspiring and empowering women to take on that role as chief cocktail maker in the home. So that’s the other side of what we really do.

Stacy:                21:33    

  • It’s really interesting because it is. I mean, I even bartended in college, but when I’m faced with having to make cocktails, I cook all the time. I can cook like no tomorrow, but it’s no different. It’s ingredients that you’re putting together for flavor. But I will still take a step aside and let my husband makes the cocktails. It is truly a role that’s very gendered in/

Nicola:              21:56              

  • Yeah. It’s very strange because, I don’t know where this comes from exactly, but there’s almost this kind of innate societal belief that somehow men understand liquor and women don’t and that women have to defer to men. I call BS on that. I think that men are better and in all areas at faking it than women are, and women are the ones who are always admitting to their faults. But I think the reality is, is that cocktailing and mixology is very simple. You gave the example of cooking, I feel the same way. I’m a pretty good cook, I would never describe myself as a chef. And similarly, I mix a pretty good cocktail. I’d never described myself as a mixologist or bartender.

Nicola:              22:45            

  • And there is an art to it. But the truth is, it’s not that hard to create a good cocktail at home. It’s very simple principles. And as long as you stick to those principles, you’re going to have a winning drink.

Stacy:                22:57               

  • I love the fact that you said that women have literally more taste buds so they’re able to taste things more, and it kind of aligns with women being able to multitask more as well.

Nicola:              23:07       

There’s actually a biological, an evolutionary biological reason why women would be primed to have more sensitive taste buds. And the reason for that is that as the carers of infants and small children, we’re the first line of defense against toxicity. And so most things that are toxic taste very bitter. And people who are super tasters who have this higher proportion, higher density of taste buds are extremely, one of the giveaways is that they are extremely sensitive to bitter of tastes. And that’s usually the first test to see if you are a super taster or not. And as a result you, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that a lot of the top wine tasters are actually female.

Stacy:                24:03    

  • Oh, that’s amazing because that’s not even a field at all that one would assume.

Nicola:              24:10      

  • Yeah. Again, it’s very male dominated, men make all the noise. And that’s not to say that there are not male super tasters of course, which there are. But women have a more innate ability, in my opinion, to be able to discern flavor.

Stacy:                24:29             

  • Well, it goes back to hunters and gatherers back in the day when you had to find the berries as a woman while someone else was looking for the meat and hunting. And you are also trying to remember where the berries were in the field and then make sure you didn’t poison your entire family at the same time with the berries that you found. So that makes sense.

Nicola:              24:46          

  • Yes, absolutely. And the other thing is, is that we have a much stronger sense of smell as well. And most of our taste is actually olfactory. It’s quite limited the number of things that we taste on our tongue, the rest is tasted through our all factory passages. And it’s been shown that women have more neurons and more brain cells in their olfactory receptors, in their olfactory regions of their brain than men do as well. So all of this kind of comes together and makes sense.

Stacy:                25:21               

  • When we first starting to record, before we actually started recording, you and I were talking about the Superbowl and how this year they were literally over 50% of women in the United States were tuned in. And advertisers responded to that. They were more ads this year, I think catering towards women featuring women and also featuring liquor brands targeting women than ever before. And that’s fascinating that there is this trend that is being driven by companies like yours.

Nicola:              25:54    

  • Yeah. I think the sports arena has a lot of parallels to the liquor arena. And the statistic that I picked up on, which I think is the one you were referring to here is that 45% of the NFL fan base is female, and yet traditionally, only 25% of the advertising during the Superbowl has been targeted at women. Again, and not gross discrepancy where we’re just treated as a secondary audience, it’s assumed that we’re watching anyway. But the truth is that when it comes to sports as in liquor, women drive the majority of the household spending. 70% of household spending on liquor is driven by women. Women account for 57% of total wine volume in this country. One in three, as I said, whiskey drinker is a female. So there’s a ton of money that’s being left on the table by not taking us seriously as consumers and just treating us as secondary audiences.

Nicola:              26:57       

  • And I think that marketers are starting to wake up to this. And there was very much a pink halo over the Superbowl on Sunday, which was great to see. And it was great to see brands that Olay that have never advertised on a platform like that before taking a stand and saying, we know our audience is watching and this is a good message for us and for the families who are watching to promote and highlight and shine and more progressive light on the Superbowl. What was interesting about the liquor brands, it was usually beer brands that advertise during the super bowl. But there was one ad that really struck me, I don’t know if you saw this one. Did you see the one, it was an Anheuser-Busch, AB InBev ad for a relatively new brand called Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer.

Stacy:                28:01               

  • Yes, I did.

Nicola:              28:02            

  • Two mermaids. The mermaids float down, they’re pitching the product to some sharks in a sort of fictional shark tank type idea. And they introduced themselves as the makers of Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer. And it’s quite obvious, I mean, if you’re going to use mermaids as a trope and you’re going to be talking about sparkling waters with botanicals, I don’t think it takes much to work out that we’re the audience that they are trying to talk to. And what kind of struck me as struck a lot of women who are makers in this industry is that of course we know that the two actresses are not the makers of Bon & Viv if they introduced themselves as the makers, but there are no women who are the makers of that product.

Nicola:              29:00               

  • The product was actually founded by a guy, and then it was later acquired by Anheuser-Busch. And I think that the message to us as women is that perhaps female liquor founders are as mythical as these mermaids. Perhaps we don’t really exist. I think that’s a shame. I think on the one hand, it’s great that we’re being spoken to through this platform. And finally after being ignored for so long in this space, marketers are talking to us. But it’s just a shame that there’s not the authenticity that I think we as intelligent female would be really able to get behind that says, oh, you’re not just doing this because this is the year of the woman and 2019 is about women being in Congress and women’s empowerment. And instead, it’s just a cynical ploy to try and get into our purses.

Stacy:                30:00               

  • Fair enough. I’ll have to think more about that on the cynical ploy part. So beyond liquor, I know your focus here today that we’re talking about with your brand are liquor brands, but this applies to so many other categories. This is about marketing in general and broadening one’s reach in order to actually engage with an audience that has been underserved overall in many categories. So I think a lot of the lessons that you’re talking about can be applied there. If a brand is looking within themselves and looking at their marketing, what is the first thing that they really need to do to analyze if they are going in the direction of serving all or if they need to pivot a bit and widen?

Nicola:              30:56           

  • Yeah. I think this is a really interesting topic, the topic of gendering and marketing because I think that there are a lot of brands that would make the argument that gender is irrelevant, what’s important is lifestyle and psychographics and age stage of life and so on. And I think I can see the argument both ways here. But for me, I don’t think that we’re ever going to get away from the fact that gender is fundamental to identity. And as long as it is part of our identity, it’s going to drive the way we respond, react, behave and connect. at the end of the day, it all depends on what your brand is and what your brand values and what you stand for, and what’s the experience and values that you’re trying to translate to your audience.

Nicola:              32:00             

  • And sometimes gender may not be relevant to that, and other times it’s going to be very relevant. I gave a few minutes ago examples of some occasions for drinking for women that are unique to women in my opinion. it’s not to say that men don’t get together and drink socially, but how many guys book clubs have you been to where there’s been a signature cocktail? I’m guessing not many, right? So I think it’s okay for men and women to have separate experiences and social and joint experience. And I think it’s okay for brands to reach out to us and talk to us in both scenarios. But it’s definitely a hot topic at the moment.

Nicola:              32:51         

  • And is something that I get asked that question quite a bit on where we have had pushback with Pomp & Whimsy. It’s been on this sort of question of should we be gendering this industry? Shouldn’t what we be doing is making other brands more inclusive? Shouldn’t we just be making the industry as a whole more inclusive? And there are two things that I say to that. The first thing I say is, “Well, what do you think the industry is right now if it’s not very gendered? Just count on one hand if you can how many brands in the liquor space are actively targeted towards women. And then count how many-

Stacy:                33:36               

  • Two. I can come up with two off the top of my head.

Nicola:              33:43           

  • And then count how many liquor brands are actively targeted towards men or named after men. Yes, I would say that with Pomp & Whimsy, we are not exclusive to men anymore than Jack Daniels would say they are exclusive to women. It’s not our intention to try and treat women as one homogeneous audience, right? Because we’re not. And we’re not intended either to exclude men from being able to enjoy and appreciate the product and the brand. And I think so far we’ve been successful in that because I can tell when we do mixed gender events and tastings and samplings that men are just as interested, not just in the product but in the brand story as women are. I think that for me is probably the biggest achievement that we’ve made so far is that I feel that we are successfully reversing the tables and saying we can speak to men as a secondary audience to women the way we have been spoken to as a secondary audience by all the other brands that are out there. And that’s what makes us different.

Stacy:                34:55         

  • It’s going to take a lot of other brands joining you in doing this before there’s even going to be a level of equality between the sexes.

Nicola:               35:04               

  • Oh, absolutely. I just see gender as a spectrum, and so the brand landscape and brand positioning should be a spectrum too. And right now, that spectrum is very weighted in one direction. And I would love to see the other end filled out and for all of us to have more choices.

Stacy:                 35:27      

  • Is there anything a brand could do or would do that you would see as being a mistake in their efforts to redefining their gender marketing and starting off in the wrong direction?

Nicola:               35:44              

  • Well, I think authenticity is key. I think that the consumer has evolved a lot over the last 10 or 15 years. And we’ve seen this in lots of other categories where the era of the big brand, the big brand that speaks top down to consumers is over. And I think that consumers are now looking to connect to brands that have real stories. And we’ve seen this in the craft movement, but I think it goes broader than that. I think it’s best observed in the craft movement, whether it’s in craft beer or craft spirits or other categories. But even beyond that connecting to a physical place or a physical person or a real story that gives that brand relevance to that audience. And the mistake that I would try to avoid is fabricating those stories.

Nicola:               36:48    

  • I think that you need to look for your own authenticity and have transparency in that. If you don’t, I think that’s where you’re going to come across some pushback. And I think the other thing is it’s important to speak to us as women and not because we are women, right? So there’s a difference. We always say in the field of consumer insights, there’s a difference between an insight and a truth. And just because something is true, it doesn’t mean that’s the thing, right? Doesn’t mean that’s the thing you act on, right? Give the example of the lady Doritos, for example. The insight or the observation there was that women don’t like eating Doritos because they don’t like getting the powdery cheese on their fingers.

Nicola:                37:49               

  • So the proposed solution to that was to create Doritos just for us that are less powdery. And then what happens is we react to that negatively because that’s an observation, but it’s not an insight. To get to the insight, you have to go deeper into our connections with snacking and our connections with brands. And it can’t just be reduced to if we change this one thing about it, then all of a sudden we’ve got women.

Stacy:                  38:24         

  • No, and licking your fingers after eating Doritos is one of the pleasures of eating Doritos.

Nicola:                38:29   

  • Right, exactly. I mean, I think you know that going in when you open a bag of Doritos.

Stacy:                   38:35      

  • Cheetos, you’re going to have an orange smile. Doritos, you’re going to have orange fingers. I mean, why not? So we are certainly seeing in the last year and this year, it’s the age of women. I mean, that’s really what it is at the moment where we’re seeing such massive reversals in a male hierarchy and more women having a voice and taking a voice and requesting to have that voice. Do you see more brands in the years to come moving towards that inclusivity into building and supporting women and doing a massive shift?

Nicola:                  39:20     

  • Yeah. I have this to discussion often. I’ll branch out, I keep coming back to liquor because that’s just the space that I’m in at the moment. But the industry, the liquor industry is still very much run by men. It’s still very much a male dominated space as all most industries to be honest, except perhaps market qualitative research. But because of that there, I think that there isn’t necessarily a recognition that a movement is happening until people start seeing the dollar signs. So just to give you an example, I had one of our distributors come to me, reach out to me the other day and say, “I’ve just been into this particular bar or account and the account is owned by women, and they only want to have women owned brands on their bar,” which is awesome.

Nicola:                   40:21         

  • So he came to me saying, “I think this would be a good fit for you.” Great. But then he’s like, “Who else is there?” And I’m like, “Why are you asking me? You should know.” Partly in reaction to that, we have actually formed a collective of female founded brands in response to the growing interest and demand for female owned and founded products among our customer base. And you could say that this is a move to meet a particular trend and demand of course, yes. But what we hope is that in so doing, not only can we help each other’s businesses, but we can help amplify the voices of women in general in the industry. Because I think that ultimately the more we can bring diversity into all levels, whether it is on the board, whether it’s in the creative teams, whether it’s in the research teams or whether it’s in the venture capital groups that are funding and funding female founder businesses, we will get better product, better innovation and better businesses as a result.

Nicola:                   41:36           

  • So it’s in everyone’s interest. So to answer your question, do I think we will see more inclusivity? I think where there are dollar signs, that will be a driver towards more inclusivity. And we could argue, is it for the right reasons? Honestly, I don’t care. I think a rising tide lifts all ships, and it doesn’t matter what the motivation is if the end result is a win/win for everybody.

Stacy:                     42:03      

  • And it is, it’s a win for literally everyone whether in the pocket book or mental state, whatever it may be, and as a society. So that’s fantastic. Is there anything that you wanted to share in addition to our listeners today?

Nicola:                   42:21               

  • Well obviously, I mentioned this group, we call it the Women’s Cocktail Collective. I would love to give a plug to this organization because we’ve come together specifically for women’s history month to help bars, restaurants, hotels put women made cocktails on their menus so that a proportion of those proceeds can go back into organizations that are helping support women in our industry and women in society in general. I would love for your listeners to actively go out and seek some women made spirits and liqueurs and try them for themselves. And if they see this program to support it knowing that it will help fantastic organizations.

Nicola:                    43:15

  • I can name them. One is a group called Outsmart New York City, which is an organization that is trying to prohibit, prevent, and eradicate sexual violence in the hospitality industry because it is a big problem. Wherever there is liquor involved, there’s usually sex and ultimately violence as well, unfortunately. It’s the dark side of the industry. But the other organization that we’re supporting through this initiative is Women’s National History Museum going back to this idea of women being written out of history in this area as in other areas. We want to ensure that for the future, our place is secured.

Stacy:                      43:59    

  • That is wonderful. And I will certainly be keeping my eye out ensuring that I can find more brands that are women owned and women driven as well in the liquor industry. So I’m looking forward to taste testing away.

Nicola:                     44:13 

  • I would love that.

Stacy:                       44:14          

  • Yes. Thank you so much Nicola for coming on the show today. I know I enjoyed it, I learned a lot. I’m sure our listeners did too. And really greatly appreciate the time that you spent with us.

Nicola:                     44:24           

  • Thank you so much, I really enjoyed it too. The next time I’m LA, we’ll have to grab a cocktail.

Stacy:                       44:30     

  • We will absolutely have to do that, I am onboard.

Nicola:                     44:33       

  •   Okay, very good.

 

 

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