Gender Contamination

Marketers know that a common way to boost sales in any business is to split a market by gender. For example; if a body wash is a product traditionally purchased by women, design a body was exclusively for men and see what happens. If you persuade both genders that they are better off with their own specific items, then you could wind up with double the sales. You’ll see many households with two types of soap, two types of diet soda, two sets of identical kids building blocks, one pick and one blue and so on.

Why does this work so well? Apparently men don’t want to buy stuff strongly associated with women. This resistance has led to ads like the one launched recently by Dr. Pepper Ten. Traditionally diet soda is more related to women so they wanted to make it more ‘manly’.

All of this gender stuff now has a formal term: Gender Contamination. What is that? Gender Contamination is when it captures the cultural disapproval that takes place when objects seen as having a strong gender identity are used by the wrong gender. Keep this stuff in mind when marketing your products. Could you have a male and female version of what you’re selling?

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