gci

Current cover

Gender-fluid Brand Design

Contact Author Matt Burke, Creative Director, Almighty Brands
Close
Fill out my online form.
gender fluid consumers

Tap Into Business Solutions! This is just part of the article. Want the complete story, plus a host of other brand-boosting articles to make your job easier? Sign up!

Gender stereotypes have been the bane of branding specialists for decades. Remember the ridicule when, in 2012, pen manufacturer Bic produceda For Her pens in “female-appropriate” pink and purple, “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand”? Or when U.K. shoe chain Clarks received complaints over its Dolly Babe girls shoesb?

That marketers are still making such obvious blunders in today’s social media savvy society is, frankly, mind-boggling. Just recently, Kleenex was forced to rename its Mansize tissues as Extra Large after being criticized for being sexistc.

Similarly, U.K. supermarket chain Waitrose was lambasted by a feminist campaigner for selling a sandwich branded as a Gentleman’s Smoked Chicken Caesar Rolld.

Want the rest of the story? Simply sign up. It’s easy. Plus, it only takes 1 minute and it’s free!

Many will see these examples as indisputable branding errors that should never have ended up in production. But setting the right tone can be tricky. So how should marketers navigate this complex landscape? 

Want to read the full article? Check out the May 2019 digital edition of Global Cosmetic Industry magazine. 

Footnotes: 

aHanna Furness, “BIC ridiculed over ‘comfortable’ pink pens for women,” www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9503359/BIC-ridiculed-over-comfortable-pink-pens-for-women.html

b“Is gender-neutral branding the future?”; www.dacgroup.com/en-gb/blog/gender-neutral-branding-future/

c“Kleenex drops Mansize branding after complaints,” www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/18/kleenex-drops-mansize-branding-from-tissue-boxes-after-complaints-sexism

dMiranda Aldersley, “Waitrose is forced to rename ‘sexist sandwich’ in its Heston Blumenthal range known as the Gentleman’s Roll after campaigners slammed it on Twitter,” www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6287773/Waitrose-forced-rename-sexist-sandwich-known-Gentlemans-Roll.html

Related Content