Blog: Gender marketing

Catherine Sleep | 20 May 2004

One of the most talked-about trends in marketing today concerns the difference between men and women. Gender marketing is the new buzzword, so we commissioned one of our leading contributors, Hugh Westbrook, to investigate the matter.

The resulting story is intriguing. One of the experts Hugh consulted told him that the major difference between the genders is that “men buy products and women buy relationships. If a company wants to reach women they have to build up a relationship with them.” Another of Hugh’s interviewees talked of women as ‘storytellers’ who are prepared to buy a product that doesn’t taste as good as its rival as long as it has an interesting story on the packaging.

I’m not convinced the world is that simple. I’ve always thought dividing the whole planet up into 12 categories for astrological purposes was crude, never mind a mere two, and that on the basis of physiological make-up. I prefer to think of us all as individuals, randomly making choices in a manner undecipherable to even the shrewdest advertising people. But clearly I live in Cloud Cuckoo Land, as illustrated by Nestlé’s success with Yorkie (for boys) and Double (for girls).

Check out the open-access Feature of the Week below and make up your own mind.

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