How brands can target the female consumer to get them on side

The impact Instagram posts have on body image and the media sexually exploiting women have both been newsworthy topics over the past year. This could be attributable to campaigns such as #MeToo, the rise of the influencer and their dominating effect on young girls or the increase in mental health problems holding social media and unrealistic imagery accountable.

As our female generations grow up and pave the way, society around us has modernised and changed thoughts that never before used to question the way in which women behave or people behave towards us. This has had a direct effect on brands, specifically those in the fashion industry, and how effective their campaigns are at converting females into consumers.

For my MSc in marketing and communications, I researched into what women want to look at and what they don’t when being targeted by a brands advertising campaign and both sexuality and Instagram has a lot of influence.


  1. Present a lifestyle, a story – show women adverts that have relatable scenarios, like having fun with friends, so they can see how your product can fit in to their life.  Online fashion brands are getting great at this!
  2. Be more inclusive and think about your audience – women want to be presented in all shapes and sizes, colours and religions.
  3. Empower women and let them take control of their identity. We don’t need male desires dominating the way we should be portrayed in adverts.
  4. Do use influencers to endorse your brand but use guidelines so they promote your product ethically.


  1. Women are BORED of being sexualised and gender stereotyped for the male gaze – we aren’t domesticated, we aren’t sexually available and we certainly aren’t erratic so why are we still being presented like it.
  2. Don’t pay for an influencer to promote your brand if they are going to post a perfect, photo-shopped picture– women don’t respond well to unrealistic imagery.
  3. Don’t exploit young girls – research suggests that what teenagers see on social media contributes towards mental health problems because they feel they need to act the same way as their peers or celebrities to be popular. What message is your brand sending to the younger generation?