Pastel pens, pink cars: Why products ‘for her’ annoy instead of entice – Life Inc.
It used to be that car seats were designed for babies, and pens were made for people.
But these days, it seems like everyday products from diapers to cars are being offered in a version “for her” – and that version usually comes in pink.
Experts say the proliferation of products aimed at girls and women makes some sense. That’s because women are avid consumers of everything from cars to gadgets, and they can be pickier than men.
“They want all the same things as men, and then some. They want more,” said Marti Barletta, a consultant and author of “Marketing to Women.”
But that doesn’t mean companies are doing it right when they create, and market, products for women. In fact, Barletta and others say, many companies are hurting themselves by adding extras they think women will want – rather than the features they’d actually like to have.
Then they add insult to injury by marketing them in a way that some women perceive as condescending.
“Women don’t like being called out as a separate market,” Barletta said. “They’re like, ‘Why don’t cars have what we want?’”
The penmaker Bic’s line of pastel-hued pens “for her” received a comedic lambasting from Ellen Degeneres and have been mocked mercilessly on Amazon.com, where hundreds of men and women have posted of tongue-in-cheek reviews poking fun at the very concept of a pen for a woman.
“I use these wonderful little pens to draw pictures of butterflies and rainbows while watching ‘Steel Magnolias’ and eating bon-bons. Thank you, BIC! You have your finger on the pulse of the 21st century woman!” goes one typical review.