The phrase “the power of a woman,” draws inferences from a variety of social and cultural themes. And through her company 85% Niche, Miriam Muléy is focusing on its strong business implications. Of all U.S. segment markets, it is estimated that women, roughly 147,000,000 of the population, make up the No. 1 consumer group, averaging over $3.7 trillion in consumer spending power. Women spend an additional $1.5 trillion as purchasing agents.
85% Niche, a company whose offerings include brand marketing and new product development, was named after the percentage of sales directly and indirectly influenced by women Muléy, who has more than 25 years of marketing expertise with corporations such as General Motors, Clairol, Johnson & Johnson, and Avon, is working with businesses and organizations interested in reaching this market, which is not only powerfully influential but also complex. She stresses that women are not a monolithic segment.
“Companies tend to bucket all women into one group, but there is far too much diversity among us to believe that any one homogenous marketing plan can be as effective as a plan that recognizes the power of Latina women, black women of the diaspora, Asian women, Middle Eastern women, and others,” she says. “While there’s a lot that holds us in common as women, there is also a lot that differentiates us and that’s where the 85% niche comes into play.”
White women account for 68.1% of the total number of women in the U.S.; 13.% are Latina women; 12.6% are black women, Asians are 4.1%; 1.4% are considered bi-racial or multiracial, and 0.9% are considered Native American/Alaskan/ Pacific Islander.
Muléy is hoping that setting marketing and promotional practices to target these women may inevitably assist corporate cultures, which often assume women of color—in particular black women—are one in the same.
“My family is from the Caribbean,” says Muléy, “and we’re Puerto Rican. The Caribbean experience is very different from the African American experience, and I think that companies aren’t sensitized to how they can do a better job in appealing to those audiences.”
Muléy recognizes that some companies may be hesitant to delve into what may seem like invisible and insignificant numbers, but stresses that there are ways to reach these individuals without spreading money “peanut butter thin,” and losing the strength of the push.
“It’s about taking the pie and slicing it more effectively to really reach the growth of women and the growth of diverse women,” she says. “By the year 2050, 50% of the U.S. population will be nonwhite and 50% of California is already nonwhite. We can’t keep our head under the ground, marginalizing the impact of what women bring to the table. It’s a strategic business imperative.”