ReThinking Pink

When my first book, Marketing to Women, came out in 2003, one of the key principles was “don’t paint the brand pink.”  I was trying to alert marketers to the risks of simplistically painting the brand pink. The practice was so common at that time that, in fact, one of my most esteemed colleagues, prolific blogger Andrea Learned, titled her book the following year, Don’t Think Pink. Both of us were trying to warn against the all-too-prevalent marketing tactic du jour: “shrink it and pink it.”

But I think we’ve moved beyond that now.

In January, I noticed another blogger friend, Kelley Skoloda, blogging on her fire engine red netbook.  We had both been invited to be panelists at Kodak’s K-Zone at the Consumer Electronics Show. She said she had spent hours looking for a netbook that was not black or silver.  Kelley did her research and knew what features she wanted.  She found several netbooks that met her criteria.  But then she decided she wanted something extra and chose her netbook because it was fire engine red.  Color was not the most important feature in the netbook, and wasn’t on the original criteria list, but color turned out to be the deciding factor.

Women like aesthetics. They like color. Companies shouldn’t be surprised when women choose pink. But here’s where I qualify my new fondness for pink- it needs to be part of a package aimed at attracting women. Beware of focusing only on pink (or other pastels) as the way to attract women to a product.

Kudos to Dell, which does a great job of offering multiple colors of computers, pink included, without sacrificing product capabilities or adding a hefty price for a little color.  Apple’s iPod Nano also has a rainbow of color choices that have been standard for the past few generations of iPod.

Verizon, however, seems to be missing the boat with pink, smoky violet and flamingo red as the only phone color choices. Women aren’t going to buy the pink phone just because it’s pink. It’s not what they want. Companies need to meet needs first – then add color.

The point?  It’s ok to think pink. But ensure that all other factors are equal.  And don’t insult women by making pink the only color choice.  You won’t win women’s business by painting something pink, but you’ll win their business when pink is the deciding factor.

This entry was posted in Importance of Aesthetics, Marketing to Women and tagged , on by .

About Marti

To The Huffington Post, she’s “the High Priestess of Marketing to Women;” to TIME magazine, “the Chief Rabbi of the Sheconomy.” Renowned business guru Tom Peters calls her “the First Lady of Marketing to Women” and says she “is one of the best presenters, male or female, I’ve ever seen.” Marti Barletta shows you how to get more customers, make more money per customer and keep customers loyal longer - simply by getting smarter about women. Her first book, Marketing to Women, is available in 19 languages,” and her latest book, PrimeTime Women, focuses in on the market’s high-spending sweet spot - Boomer women in their mid-life prime – and shows marketers how to use this prime segment’s growth, size and buying power to propel their business for the next 20 years. As the go-to authority on marketing to women, women in leadership and women’s growing role in shaping the 21st century, Barletta has been quoted on CBS, ABC, MSNBC and NPR, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, Fast Company, TIME, Business Week, Inc., and many other publications worldwide. Ms. Barletta’s consulting clients have included Diageo, Ford, Kodak, Pfizer, Volvo Worldwide and others. A popular speaker internationally, she has enjoyed rave reviews on every continent except Antarctica, including in Australia, Chile, Dubai, Japan and Sweden. She has spoken for hundreds of companies, conferences and associations; and across dozens of industries, including consumer products, financial services, travel and tourism, retail and real estate development, to name a few. She is proud to say that numerous clients have booked her for return appearances. Her dynamic style, command of her subject and passion for her topic make her a popular speaker. Audiences love her practical tactics tailored to the interests of each audience, her lively style and sense of humor, and her memorable stories about men, women and marketing. Specialties:I show you how to attract more customers, keep them longer, and earn more money from every customer simply by getting smarter about today's mightiest market - women.

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