Marketing towards females:
In most aspects of life, men and women act and react differently to different situations. This suggests that their responses and buying decisions regarding advertising and marketing will also differ. According to Richard Johnson (writing for Optimonk) When selling to females, brands tend to use descriptive words, include disclaimers, use soft, calm words and most importantly – the message must end in a way where it gives the feeling that the brand understands them, and will support them. In contrast, when targeting men, brands messages are generally concise, clear and straight to the point. They use “power words”, and back up what they claim with facts and figures. They also tend to provide solutions to problems, via the products they are selling. In general, women take in more information from an advertisement than men, but they require far more exposure to the advertising to be convinced by it.
Although there is not much evidence of physiological differences in male and female brains in terms of decision making, but this does not mean they do not exist. When you think about how your father or brother or any male you know, compared to how you think (or vice versa if you are a male), you instantly think of the differences and that men generally think differently to women.
Why do brands feel the need to target women and men separately?
According to Red Evolution, in general, females are the primary buying deciders within households, especially during festive periods, such as Christmas. Most female partners will be able to relate – they are the ones left to organise every Christmas gift (and everything in between) for the family, his family and everyone in between. This is because females are thought to be more organised and thoughtful when it comes to gift buying, but in reality, it’s mostly that gift purchasing is just hassle the men don’t want to deal with. This trait can be seen even day to day when it comes to advertising for the likes of household products such as washing powder, fabric conditioner and even your grocery shopping – for example Iceland’s slogan ‘That’s why Mums Go To Iceland’. Although these facts may not be politically correct when written down like this, they are true in most areas within the UK. Brands’ advertising agencies know that typically, the females of the households will be the ones making the major buying decisions, and therefore they are the ones who should be primarily targeted, in addition specific female products should be more expensive than male’s – which brings me back to the Pink Tax.
Female targeted packaging design
According to Intermac processing and packing, almost 60% of all consumers in Germany decide on buying a product on the based on its packaging. Even children know that shower gel in a dark bottle is for men, and lighter coloured, slim bottles are supposed to appeal more to women. These features are exploited by brands and the packaging industry, as well as in the price. Recently, the UK brand Boots, was criticised, and was forced to review its pricing structure. Until then, women had paid £2.50 more for eye cream than the male equivalent, and over 50p more for a pack of 10 identical disposable shavers. In France there is currently a public debate about a ban on such practice, and in California and New York it has already been banned. Following a comparative study of 800 products, US financial experts are currently paying €1.15 more for similar products at the Big Apple than men. Only one seventh of all packaging did not carry higher price tags.
Richard Johnson. (2021). Gender Differences in Advertising Between Men and Women. [online] Available at: https://www.optimonk.com/gender-targeting-the-differences-between-men-and-women/
Red Evolution. (2015). Why Do Marketers Target Females? [online] Available at: https://blog.redevolution.com/why-do-marketers-target-females
Intermac processing and packing. (2015). GENDER MARKETING – PRICES AND PACKAGING. [online] Available at: https://www.interpack.com/en/TIGHTLY_PACKED/SECTORS/COSMETICS_PACKAGING/News/Gender_marketing_%E2%80%93_prices_and_packaging