How To Market Your Products To Either Gender (Even If You’re An Idiot)

As anyone knows, the differences between men and women are genetically hardwired into our very nature. This is why girls like pink, and boys like blue- because our cavewomen ancestors recognised pink as the colour of berries for when they’re gathering fruit, while the cavemen liked blue because blue skies meant good weather for hunting. Because that sounds like a totally real thing and in no way completely made up. Well, apart from the fact that as far back as the early 20th century we believed the exact opposite. Someone writing for Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department in 1918 said of pink that it was “a more decided and stronger color … more suitable for the boy”. The same piece that that “blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

Still, unless you listen to stuff like history and science then our disposition for girls to like pink and boys to like blue is totally immutable and not at all a totally arbitrary distinction we thought up in the 50s.

This is important to know if you work in marketing, particularly packaging. For example, let’s take a look at the razor blade. A razor is, on the face of it, a fairly basic bit of kit. We have, after all, been working with sharpened blades since our cavewomen ancestors were picking fruit that made them genetically preconditioned to like pink (presumably they didn’t find any bananas). Since then we’ve perfected the technology so that we now have a fine blade that is useful for the removal of hair. Fairly straight forward, and an unambitious packaging designer might simply resort to point out that your razor is better at removing hair than the razors manufactured by a rival company.

But to do that would mean that you lacked the insight to provide two types of packaging, one for each gender!

How To Do Lady Razor Packaging For Ladies

To appeal to the ladies, it isn’t enough to simply colour your packaging pink. Instead, you’ll need to think carefully about the female brain as we imagine it is. Women like being pretty, so you need to convince them that using this sharpened blade to remove their hair will make them pretty. Use names like “Goddess” and “Diva” that summon up images of ladies looking pretty, and put pictures of pink fabric on the packaging, because fabric reminds women of dresses, their favourite thing.

The copy that you include on the packaging is also important. Use lots of “Girl Words” like “gentle” “soothing” and “comfort”. If your copy is well written enough, you should be able to convince your lady customer that she’s not in fact removing hair from her body with a sharpened bit of metal, but giving herself a sort of sharpened hug.

How To Do Man Razor Packaging For Men

Men of course, do not like pink things, despite it being the colour of a nice, manly steak, or manly strawberry ice cream. Instead, obviously, you will colour it blue, or possibly black or grey. Forget all of that stuff about “comfort” or “gentle” that you used for writing the copy for the lady razor packaging.

Instead of trying to convince men that they’re getting a hug of their razor, you should convince them that their razor is basically an F-16 made of swords. Razors with four, five or six blades are best, because they convince men that their hair is evolving to swerve, Matrix-like, whenever they see a coming blade.

Where ladies have a grip for their “feminine hands” men have grips on their razors kind of like what a gun would have. Where ladies “shave” men just stab themselves in the face until all their hair is dead!

For more ideas, try looking at battery packaging, which is full of lightening strikes, words like “energiser” and imagines of great big shiny metal things which men like. They haven’t made batteries for women yet…

Note to self: Invent “Women’s batteries”.

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who covers subjects such as packaging jobs, marketing and social media. He shaves using a sharpened piece of flint.