I’ve heard people in the cycling industry call their approach to developing women’s products “shrink it and pink it,” which actually seems fairly progressive compared to some of these other strategies.
Why do companies keep making offensive pink products “for her”?
The ePad Femme is just the latest in a long line of ill-conceived, insulting, “female-focused” products. Here, we look into the mystery of the unnecessary genderification of gender-neutral products.
In October, the Eurostar Group introduced a product called The ePad Femme—an eReader just for women. It sells for $190, and it comes preloaded with stereotypically feminine apps, which seem to revolve around fitness, cooking, and man-pleasing. It is, of course, pink. Eurostar Group is a Dubai-based company, and the tablet received little attention in the U.S. until the past week or two, when bloggers picked up an article in the Jerusalem Post about how Eurostar was marketing the tablet as a Valentine’s Day gift. Cue the understandable outrage at such a sexist product.
This opprobrium happens every time there’s a goofy product marketed as something “for women”: Check out the Bic Cristal Pen for Her, the Della computer for women, and Honda’s car for women for debacles similar to the ePad Femme kerfuffle. And even marketers who aren’t creating a bespoke product for women seem to cling to some jaw-droppingly retrograde notions about women’s behavior vis-à-vis their existing product and women’s lives in general—witness Samsung’s embarrassing Galaxy S4 event, which featured a group of drunk ladies preoccupied with weight loss and marrying doctors.
Since the public response to the pinkification of gender-neutral products seems, at face value, to be universally negative, we were wondering, why do companies keep making these things?
We asked Jonah Disend, CEO at the brand development firm Redscout, and Gina Reimann, director of industrial design at Redscout, to clue us in on why Eurostar might have created the ePad Femme.
Find out what she had to say here.
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