Apple is the world's most discreetly feminine brand, according to Forbes columnist Bridget Brennan. Ms. Brennan makes the case that feminizing its various product lines in what has traditionally been considered a masculine industry has been a big part of the success the company has enjoyed in recent years.
"Consider the iPod, she wrote, "small, elegant and curvy, it's everything that stereo equipment never was. Traditional stereo shops seem as out of date as vinyl, and stand in contrast to Apple stores, which are light, bright and bursting with women. Though pink is offered as one of many color choices, women buy iPods because of their performance."
She added, "Apple seems to understand that bringing women en masse into a category--as Nintendo has done with gaming and Callaway is starting to do with golf--is boon for business."
The importance of appealing to women, according to Ms. Brennan, is that women dominate consumer purchase decisions -- some 80% of such decisions are made by women, and even in electronic, women are responsible for 61% of purchasing decisions and buy 50% of the consumer electronics sold in the U.S.
In addition to its product design, Ms. Brennan cited the fact that Apple products don't need manuals, and that the company offers face-to-face service in the form of its Apple Stores, both of which she feels appeal to women.
Apple: Think Feminine? Is that part of the company's success? Ms. Brennan makes a compelling argument to that effect.