Can Gender Profiling Help YOU Expand Your Solar Business?


This post was originally published on Solar Power World.

Glenna Wiseman explains why women are great solar customers. She also elaborates on how solar marketers can benefit by understanding the segments within the market of women consumers.

By Glenna WisemanSpecial To Solar Power World

Have you identified the consumer profiles of your female solar clients?

Tinesha Craig, director of the i-on-Women division of Insights in Marketing in Chicago, has spent much of her career working with brands to help them market to women, including General Mills, Kraft and PepsiCo.

Released Dec. 4, 2013, her firm’s new e-book, Getting Women to Buy: Better Insights to Transform Your Marketing, provides valuable information to marketers about what women want and how to give it to them.

“One thing has been consistent in my career: Most companies market to women as if we are one big blob,” Craig says. “We are not all the same. As the ability of women to control and influence of purchase decisions for their families continues to rise, communicating with them has become much more sophisticated. ”

The solar industry, in particular, should be successful marketing to women, according to Craig, who quoted 2013 GfK MRI Doublebase research:

  • 11% more women than men buy natural products because they are concerned about the environment
  • 54% of women say they would pay more for a product that is environmentally safe, which is 12% higher than men
  • 55% of men agree people that are worried about the environment are overacting, which is 10% higher than women

“Women are more concerned about the environment,” Craig says. “Women are more likely to spend more on eco-friendly products. Applicable to the solar industry, women are not fairly represented in terms of employment in green economy companies. Taking all of this into consideration, it makes sense there would be an imbalance in solar marketing to women.”

Solar marketers can improve the state of marketing to women. First, we need to understand the profiles of our current female customers. Our marketing investments must connect successfully with those profile groups, and we need to monitor our programs to make necessary course corrections.

What are the five profile groups and how can the solar industry use this information to successfully market to women?

The Insights in Marketing five Female Behavioral Insight Profiles (FBI Profiles) are drawn from a survey of 1,300 women 18 to 67 years old. The research revealed five different types of women consumers or distinct psychological profiles, each ranging in size from 16% to 26% of all women:


  • Profile 1 women (26%) value achievement, and the impression they make on others is critical.
  • Profile 2 women (21%) are conservative with deep respect for family traditions.
  • Profile 3 women (20%) are so predictable you could almost set your watch by them.
  • Profile 4 women (17%) are dealing with the stress of trying to keep up with the momentum of life.
  • Profile 5 women (16%) are experience junkies. They want to see it all, taste it all, try it all — even if only once.

Relating this work to the solar industry, even in this preview, is fascinating.

Profile 1 and 5 women, for example, are the early adopters. They love new and innovative. They are more tech savvy and drive social media. Profile types 2 and 3’s are much more likely to be influenced by word of mouth. They take the advice of people they trust. From this example, we can derive it is highly likely the early adopter profiles are key to penetrating a new neighborhood, with those in profiles 2 and 3 driving further adoption as a result of the recommendation of 1’s and 5’s.

Glenna Wiseman is the founder of Identity3, a marketing services company leveraging the unique marketplace identity of solar, renewable energy and green economy companies to fuel their growth. She is also the co-founder of Women4Solar. Like Women4Solar on FacebookLinkedIn and on Twitter @Women4Solar. Email her at


  • Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy, Report April 2013, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • Grant Thornton International Business Review 2012