Marketing to the Inner Mean Girls

Now that school is back in full swing all over the country, I wonder how many young girls are going to have to face bullies this semester. Remember them? The ones that made fun of what you were wearing, who you were hanging with and what you were doing? Turns out, as we get older, the mean girl that we need to watch out for is actually the one living in our own head.

You heard it before; women are their own worst critics. According to Christine Arylo and Amy Ahlers, founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School, there are 17 types of Inner Mean Girls. From ‘Negative Nelly’ to ‘Mean Patty’, women’s self criticism can wreak havoc on their mental health.

Take for example the constant complaint that women are overwhelmed.  Ahlers points out that this is a ‘Big Fat Lie that Women Tell Themselves’ and that they are actually underwhelmed and have lost their passion.

Is it true? Are all these super busy women really just underwhelmed with their lives?  From our experience, the answer is often a combination of being underwhelmed and over-extended (another mean girl trait) and they feel the need to communicate how much is on their plate so that they will get credit/empathy for all that they do.  This is what we call the Martyrdom Whole Truth and while women can get caught up in it, they can also lead marketers to believe that they are super-stressed and don’t have time for brands and messaging.

While Ahlers and Arylo are helping women tame the inner mean girls through their reform school program, marketers can learn to market to (or around) them.  And that’s like getting two customers in one!

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May 23, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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