The recent backlash against Czech beer brand Aurosa‘s #beerforher was swift and brutal. From the delicate pink faux marble bottle, a font that is nothing short of frothy and a truly cringe worthy marketing campaign nothing escaped the scorn of female bloggers, journalists and just about any women with a social media account.
There was also negative feedback in May 2016 with the launch of High Heels Brewing. Founder, Kristi McGuire was trying to “celebrate that it was brewed by a woman” but it was the ‘just for women’ branding and marketing that was disliked by many.
A year later one has to note that the momentum against the ‘crafted for her’ Aurosa Beer was more wide spread and forceful. The company website describes its target market as follows: “Aurosa is a representation of a woman’s strength and a girl’s tenderness” media outlets call the European beer brand ‘sexist’ and ‘patronizing’.
Women have been pinkized for a long time. The spectrum of products just for females runs the gamut from cars to power tools; many enjoy strong customer loyalty. Some such as Bic’s For Her Pens and Miss Bic Flex Lighter were not among them as both products were met with ridicule.
So where are marketers in the hits and misses of pink items? One obvious point is not all females like pink; they don’t wear it or relate to the interpretation of its ‘femininity, warmth, nurturing, love, sweetness’. Does this mean if they don’t embrace the pink that they are none of those things? Of course not but they resent the stereotyping.
Brands need to consider are they about to pinkize something where women don’t feel that there is gender gap or a need for a product designed ‘just for her’. Beer consumption does have masculine overtones however both large and craft breweries also embrace the art of storytelling in their ads which include males and females enjoying their downtime with a cold brew.
For a business to use archaic titles like ‘Miss’, phrases reminding them to be both strong and tender or describing how something was designed especially for the female ‘hand’ is insulting.
“Sometimes painting a product pink simply tells a woman that a brand hasn’t really given any thought to her and her needs at all. Pink is style, not substance, and it certainly isn’t a marketing strategy. “
– Linda Landers, CEO of Girlpower Marketing
Where does this leave a business who wants to embark on a female centric campaign?
- If product based and you are going ‘pink’ consider how your marketing may only resonate with a portion of the female demographic.
- Do your market research.
- Be careful with font choice and copy, coming across as offensive and patronizing is only one wrong word away.
- Make sure everyone on your team is engaged and informed about the various stages. Be open to their thoughts and feedback.
- Test each phase of your roll out and continue to gather feedback after launch.
As a coach & mentor to female entrepreneurs, Lynette Allen knows the importance of doing it just right. Her branding while ‘feminine’ is always modern and fresh. Every detail of her business image and marketing is carefully thought through so that her demographic feel respected and understood. A visit to Lynette’s website Her Invitation shows that pink isn’t ignored instead it is used as a visual tool or enhancement when needed.
Pink does have its place in the colour spectrum and isn’t disappearing anytime soon. It has even evolved into Millennial Pink encompassing many different shades which have probably shown up somewhere in your lifestyle choices – Millennial pink took over your Instagram feed. Now it’s coming for your food – Maura Judkis, Culture, Food & Art Reporter – Washington Post
For whatever reason the consumer embraces this colour it is their choice what pink item or experience they will or will not buy; then they can post it to social media with praise or hate the power is ultimately theirs.
Jill Crossland is a business and marketing consultant who can take your business and social media to the next level.