Tired of a pink iPad with an uploaded cooking recipes App, or a pink bicycle, or a pen for women that incites you to ‘act as a lady and think like a man’? The Washington Post is making the point.
Well, hopefully this is the end of offering women “man” products, but in pink, and charging 7% to 13% more for them. The trap is thinking that women are a niche target. I can only quote Jim Winters: “Most of the things marketers do don’t have to have a gender,” said Jim Winters, president of branding agency Badger & Winters. “Women are not a special-interest group. They are over half the population.” In fact, the female economy represents a $20 trillion dollar opportunity in annual consumer spending, with a growth twice as big as India and China combined, and expected to reach $28 trillion in the next five years.
Another trap is actually coming from women, and I will now quote Jessamyn Neuhaus, a pop- culture scholar and professor of history at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. “After all, feminism did a pretty good job of showing that women can do what men do. What we haven’t achieved is showing that men can do what women can do”. It reminds me of another blog I wrote where a young designer stated that, while girls are taught positive masculine traits like self-confidence and strength, little is done to teach boys positive feminine traits like emotion and nurturing.
This is the sole purpose of INNOVEVE™, unleashing the innovative feminine side in any human being to make sure that we don’t lose the power of our feminine traits that are essential to our balance and future success.
So, how do you create for women? All is about subtlety and empathy.
Think ‘high heels’. We (as women) all want to look sexy, yes, but we also want to be able to walk without pain. So far, high heels have mostly been designed by men for the male gaze. The stiletto was invented by French designers Roger Vivier and André Perugia in the early 1900s (now I feel sorry I am French…). They look really good, but how many times do we end an evening with blisters and coming back home bare foot (50% of women experience daily pain from their shoes)? Fortunately, Antonia Saint Dunbar, a serial entrepreneur, is redesigning the high heels for women, as per this Fast Company article.
I am convinced that women can definitely innovate for women, and in addition we all have a feminine side we can leverage to create products that truly resonate with our consumers.