Brandweek dot com did a piece on the redesign of popular woman's site iVillage, last week. It's a bit of fluff but it addresses the issue of being current in the marketplace and of knowing your audience. I found it interesting in a research-y kind of way.
First of all, the introduction of the piece, describing iVillage is interesting: "iVillage, an NBC Universal-owned site that aims to connect women on topics like health, wellness, fitness and pregnancy, has relaunched several of its most popular digital channels, undergone a logo change, and is introducing new interactive features this spring. The effort is part of iVillage's strategy to become the premier, online information resource for women."
What's interesting about this? Well, the fact that iVillage is one of the oldest properties on the net and yet, the writer of this Brandweek piece uses words like, "aims to connect" and "strategy to become..." - a description that would lead me, if I did not know better, to believe iVillage was new, just launched, and not an established, well-known and regarded women's site.
I like the answers given by Jodi Kahn, evp of the network (a former Time Inc. vet, according to the piece). Here are some of her answers to the rather mainstream, uninspiring questions:
To the "why" of the redesign, Jodi said, "In November of 2008, we condusted an exhaustive research o nthe women's space... three things informed us: One, it is a female-driven economy, women are living [busy] lives, and they touch [a minimum of] five devices a day."
No mention of what those five devices are, but the reality seems true, to me. I'm wondering what "exhaustive research" they did when those answers were right at their fingertips, but iVillage is a big company and big companies seem to believe spending a lot on research is the only and best way to get answers.
To the question on the relaunch of the "health" section of the site, Jodi said, "...we found that...in health specifically, the driver of the experience--what women are looking for--is information that is quick and simple. The key insight was, women are at the center of a very large care circle, so it's not just their daughter or their mother, but also their neighbor and friend, so that we're all caring for a lot of people in our universe."
No disputing that, here. It's so on target, and so true, but so not news or "new" that I have to wonder why iVillage is just learning that. Haven't we, here on Lip-sticking, been telling you that for some time? Women have been at the forefront of health issues for - ever! It started with our grandmother's grandmother. It will continue with our grandchildren's children, and beyond. It's what women do.
Well, the point of the article was to feature iVillage, to give them some press that allowed them to tout their advertising opportunities, and to support their assertion that they are "...on this growth trajectory and for us, it's really to be the leading women's digital brand --both for consumers and advertisers and partners."
Yet, I don't see a pet tab. iVillage, where are my pets? You must know that pets are of prime importance to women. Didn't some of your exhaustive research uncover that? Hmm....