Who Loses When Brands Market To Specific Genders? Turns Out, It's Everyone


What would we do if companies didn't furnish their products with the pink wrappers and floral details we need to know they are for women? Save a lot of money, probably.

While we were already skeptical about any real differences between products geared towards men and women, this video confirms our doubts. The segment from Australia's The Checkout reveals the secrets behind gendered marketing, and despite the bright colors and smart designs, it's not pretty.

Hosts Kirsten Drysdale and Zoe Norton Lodge discuss how companies change the packaging on products to attract a specific consumer base, male or female. A few particularly glaring attempts caused some controversy. Lego faced backlash when it debuted its "Lego Friends" collection for girls, while GoldieBlocks received mass praise and criticism for creating a female-oriented engineering toy line that still embraces pink and "girly" packaging.

It's not just kids' toys that get the blue-or-pink treatment: Products from sports equipment to soap are separated by gender, with female-geared products often costing more.

Companies can trick certain consumers into paying more for the same thing -- but gender segmentation can backfire. When companies pander aggressively to a female consumer base and later develop products for the male market, the joke's on them. According to The Checkout, Dove's "stylized bird logo" didn't scream "manly" to male consumers.

Despite "gender contamination," women are more likely to buy men's products than men are to buy masculinity-threatening women's products. So, brilliant corporate capitalists of America, might we suggest charging more for men's products?

Next time you're perusing your local drug store for razors or shampoo, take a look across the aisle and see what you might be missing out on.

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