The Gender Intelligence Lab™

Founded in 1993, The Thomas Yaccato Group (TYG) is the country’s preeminent expert in Gender Intelligence™. The company studies women consumer’s often tangled and complicated relationship with the companies trying to reach her. Our research reveals a rather pronounced disconnect, one that seems to baffle most marketers. We specialize in bridging this gap. Using a wide-angle gender lens methodology, we creatively focus company resources and brain power on the daunting challenge of creating sustainable and enduring brand and product development strategies. Our programs include comprehensive education for decision-makers and strategy-influencers, mystery store shops and market research - all which serve to radically transform “same-old, same-old” thinking into a revolutionary new business world view – one that focuses on women consumers.

The Gender Intelligence Lab™ - Why Focus on Women?
When conducting research, the obvious reason to focus on women is that women control 80% of the consumer dollar spent. The not-so-obvious reasons are social and biological.

  • One role that hasn’t changed for women over the years is that of being the principal shopper for the family. From a very early age, girls are given much more purposeful consumer training than boys. It follows that girls grow up to be women who are highly trained consumers that control the family’s purse strings.

  • Women’s biology engenders an uncanny ability to notice details at a micro-level. (Ask any husband...) Women have wider peripheral vision, more acute senses of hearing and smell than men. The female brain is wired in such a way that they instantaneously process subtle cues, like colour and quality of packaging, ease of maneuvering around your store/office/website, if the salesperson is wearing scuffed shoes and the company’s presence in the community. Consequently, women have an instinctive radar that can instantly discern if a company is authentically meeting their needs or simply satisfying their own.

  • Women have highly-developed language and communication skills. Research reveals girls speak and read earlier than boys. Women like to hear and tell stories, share knowledge and information, give referrals and opinions to a statistically-significant greater degree than men.

While there are many influences, these three in particular – purposeful consumer training/principal shopper, highly developed senses and women’s propensity for sharing information - converge to create an extremely evolved consumer with highly sophisticated antennae. She, better than anyone, can articulate the role your brand plays in consumer’s lives. And...she’s enthusiastic to tell you what you need to know.

Needs Segmentation with a Gender Lens™
Using needs-based segmentation as our platform, The Gender Intelligence Lab makes simple the complex process of intersecting consumer needs with your brand strategy and product/service attributes. Women’s sophisticated consumer behaviour allows us to answer questions like - “What role does our products or services play in the lives of our customers?” “Are they ‘buying’ what we’re offering?” “How do we improve the product?”- in superbly rich detail.

Here’s another reason The Lab works so well. It builds a solid foundation that allows a company to develop and implement a brand strategy that can grow and evolve. It’s an intelligent way to build brand equity. Simply put, if you meet the high standards of this discerning consumer, everyone is going to benefit. (Make it women-friendly, make it everybody-friendly.) The quality and caliber of the data means companies can capitalize on and create strategic opportunities fast and efficiently, gaining a considerable competitive edge.

Learning from Listening Events
TYG’s accredited gender intelligent research team employs a unique research technique - the listening event. The best way to create the necessary atmosphere – one that women feel comfortable sharing deep insights - is to have a small group of eight to ten share a high quality meal. Locations are chosen that are relevant to what’s being discussed. For example, IKEA wanted to understand women entrepreneurs, so the events were hosted at women- owned restaurants. In intimate gatherings, the ability to zero in on specific details is greatly enhanced. The other critical element is having enough time to develop relationships and explore the themes being discussed. These listening events are three hours in length. What a randomly chosen, 43-year-old woman sitting with other women in a comfortable, unhurried environment can bring to light about a product or issue is astounding.

Forming Your Own All-Women Strategic Marketing Team
In the listening events, participants take on the role of “VP of Marketing”. They are specifically asked how to get your brand on women’s radar. This is a powerful yet simple way to get another layer of consumer intelligence. Women also have homework to complete in advance. They participate in a wonderfully creative exercise that involves putting together “collages” from a variety of sources – personal photos, magazines, newspapers – that graphically represent a specific topic or issue. This provides a deeper dimension to the data.

Gender Intelligent Surveys Online
TYG offers online access to a database of thousands of women across North America which can add additional research scope and reach.

Getting the Most for Your Research Dollar
Companies such as Sobeys, Allstate, ExxonMobil, Petro-Canada, St-Hubert, Avon, and IKEA have acquired - and benefited enormously from – consumer insights gained by using this unique research methodology. Your company not only receives a comprehensive report detailing results, but also receives the benefit of years of expertise around women consumer’s behaviour and preferences. Combine this expertise with our gender intelligent needs segmentation approach and the “all-women strategic marketing team”, your company will have everything needed to create an authentic and long-term connection with the world’s most powerful consumer group.

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The Thomas Yaccato Group's Annual Survey: Canada's Gender Intelligent Companies
Listening Events

"As part of our market research program, the Quebec Furniture Manufacturers' Association hired Joanne to conduct a Gender Intelligence Lab(tm) on the home furnishings industry to get a better sense of what women need when it comes to their home and the furniture they choose to put in it-an unprecedented step in our industry. Although we instinctively knew that women played a huge role in our industry, we had no idea how powerful the findings would be.

The new insights uncovered through TYG's Gender Intelligence Lab(tm) touched on all stages of the furniture buying process: from research to the actual shopping experience, through to the moment furniture arrives in the home. These findings have literally transformed the way our manufacturers view and relate to this powerful constituency.

Joanne is passionate, engaging and really knows how to captivate her audience - even an audience whose first language isn't English! She presented her findings to our members and conducted workshops with them on several occasions and was able to effectively transfer all of the new research insights to them. More importantly, our members were able to walk away with newfound inspiration and tools that they could immediately apply to their product design, communications tools and entire organization. They now know that by making it women-friendly they make it everybody-friendly!"

Jean François Michaud
President and CEO