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UK Based Agency JWT Launches A Business Consultancy From Their Female Tribes Initiative

J. Walter Thompson has launched a consultancy that takes insights from a study of more than 8,000 women across 19 countries to help clients’ businesses become more female-oriented.

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JWT London practiced a research study last year that analyzed the values that women bring to the world as leaders, artists and wealth creators as the rise of “female capital” and women’s positive influence on culture. The report is based on the insights the agency found, and has now launched a full-service business division called Female Tribes Consulting.

As the leader of the business, Rachel Pashley says that the venture is kind of an answer to the client demand, that has increasingly generated since the original report was released in May 2016.

Since we launched, clients have come to us asking for our insights and advice. We haven’t had to seek them out. And much of the work we were doing was moving upstream into business design and insight, so it made sense formalize this into a full consultancy offering.

The agency aims to serve clients who properly appreciate the female audience and revise their business. It is confident that a business with a 70/30 male/female audience split can be brought up to 50/50 without male drop off, rising the size of their business by up to 50%.

The agency admits they worked with a number of brands so far, including Forevermark in the US to help revamp their Tribute ring collection.

According to Pashley, include Under Armour and Netflix, brands that are approaching female audiences in a vigorous way, says,

Under Armour is interesting in the way it’s exploring a more muscular, alpha vision of femininity. It’s uncompromising, bold, and feels fresh. Netflix deserves kudos for truly championing female-led content, with characters and narratives that feel real, authentic, and funny.

J. Walter Thompson is also rolling out a new trend report called The New Femininity, which reveals that 72% of women would rather be described as strong than sweet, 64% prefer products designed by women because they “better understand our needs” plus, 79% of women feel that “we need to redefine femininity nowadays”.


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However, some people think the exact opposite, such as Isobel Smyth, the Director of Cultural and Consumer Insights at The Leading Edge. She recently takes JWT’s action not so positive, because of the thought that female-focused consultancy is like targeting “women” doesn’t work as it risks pandering stereotypes a lot more.

She commented her further thoughts about the project to Campaign as,

To me, it feels like we’re going backwards. As an industry, have we really done that badly targeting to women, that this seems the only answer? What about those female marketers successfully leading brand campaigns and strategies?

And as a woman who works in marketing – specifically unearthing insights – I’m frankly, a little offended.

It’s true there are many poor insights, but that’s usually because it’s not actually an insight. Real insight comes from discovering compelling human truths. So, if you’re missing real understanding of people, the insight will be poor.

Smyth listed four reasons why the business model of female marketing may fail, she explained the issues that leads to targeting, branding strategy, clarity of the ideas, the exact purpose of doing female-focused projects. This is a different aspect to the subject, however the objective state of mind is, she may have considerable points.


Meanwhile, JWT’s explanation lasts below,

Consider whether you’re tuning into women according to their responsibilities–like Busy Working Mum–or truly exploring the possibilities of being a woman, which takes you in a fundamentally different direction.

Do you look at women through blunt demographics or attitudes and aspirations? And our Women’s Index study—8,000 women in 19 markets—gives us exactly that.

Female Tribe is just the project we need these days, so we’d like to congratulate JWT for this. There may be other aspects to the topic, but yet, we’re proud to see more women in the industry.

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