Columnist Makes Case for Apple Being the Most Discreetly Feminine Brand

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Pink iPods - the Secret of Apple's Success?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 Traditional stereo shops seem as out of date as vinyl, and stand in contrast to Apple stores, which are light, bright and bursting with women.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.

Comments

jfbiii

As long as the products don’t give off a “discrete” feminine odor and/or come with a nozzle for dealing with same, I’m ok with it.

daemon

Ms. Brennan has fallen into the sexist attitude that women are afraid of complexity.

Tiger

To quote Maxwell Smart, “She missed it by ‘that’ much.

That in this case is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Apple is bringing to life what we saw as kids watching the Jestons and Star Trek. The company makes science fiction a reality. The “World of Tomorrow” at Disney is here today.

Apparently, Ms. Brennan is still living in the world of yesteryear.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ms. Brennan has fallen into the sexist attitude that women are afraid of complexity.

Not quite, but close. She has reiterated the obvious fact that insecure men use (mostly unnecessary complexity) to assert power. Elegance and simplicity are especially valuable to women. Men who deliver those get extra special treatment in bed.

cb

Oh, wonderful! I hope Oprah will share this with the world! Tee-hee-hee…

Joe Kelley

Maybe she’s on to something.  Dave Hamilton really likes Apple stuff and he’s kind of a “girly man”  (JUST KIDDING DAVE!)

eugenio

Does this mean Apple is marketing away from feminist lesbians?

daemon

Not quite, but close. She has reiterated the obvious fact that insecure men use (mostly unnecessary complexity) to assert power. Elegance and simplicity are especially valuable to women. Men who deliver those get extra special treatment in bed.

Huh, and here I was taught knowledge was power. Just goes to show you, can’t trust all those insecure teachers wielding their unnecessarily complex lessons, but oddly they were all female, not male….

JulesLt

It’s less to do with sexism than maths. If you sell to 100% of people rather than 48% your sales are likely to rise.

Auto-companies discovered that at the end of the 60s.

Tiger

“Auto companies discovered that at the end of the 60s”

Yet seem to have forgotten it by about the 80s.

vasic

always moving out said:

We also like (sic)

I don’t think you are using sic the right way. It doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means.

Sic (latin: thus, thusly) is used to denote that some text was quoted directly from the original, verbatim, and the quote usually contains some grammatical mistake. You normally put sic italicised, in aquare brackets, right after such text, so that the reader would understand that the error in the text was in fact made in the original text you quoted, and not by you.

For example, here is a quote from the original US constitution:

“The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker…”

daemon

And here I always thought [sic] was an acronym for “syntax in context.”

vasic

deamon:

Very common misconception. Also popular are “spelt (or spelled, in US) in context”, or “Said in copy”, and few other backronyms for sic.

As for always moving out, nice try, but doesn’t quite sell it, despite the four (presumably) Romance languages of which you claim to have command. In English, you don’t put [sic] before the quote to which it refers; you put it behind that quote. But hey, what do I know, among my four languages, only two are Romance (i.e. derived from latin), and neither is my mother tongue (nor is English, for that matter)...

And on the subject at hand (so that you don’t complain that I’m only policing grammar here); there is absolutely nothing wrong about the article and its ideas. Just like there IS, and will continue to be, difference between men and women. This has NOTHING to do with equality in society (equal opportunities, equal pay, etc). This has more to do with the legacy of history and the way we (as in, Western societies) raise our girls, as opposed to boys. Apple as a company is clearly acknowledging this difference very successfully. It is possible (but unlikely) that they aren’t actually consciously doing it (in other words: “How do we make our computers more appealing to women?”), but Johnny Ive and his industrial design team is clearly extremely acutely aware of the level of appeal good design can have.

The article uses numbers to successfully argue that women represent disproportionately high percentage of purchasing decision makers (“deciders”...), and this number is even more exceptionally high within the consumer electronic segment of the market. Appealing specifically (but non-exclusively) to them (whether on purpose, or just as a consequence of brilliant industrial design) is an extremely smart business strategy.

Mikuro

  Bosco said:

  Not quite, but close. She has reiterated the obvious fact that insecure men use (mostly unnecessary complexity) to assert power. Elegance and simplicity are especially valuable to women. Men who deliver those get extra special treatment in bed.

Huh, and here I was taught knowledge was power. Just goes to show you, can?t trust all those insecure teachers wielding their unnecessarily complex lessons, but oddly they were all female, not male?.

We need to distinguish between legitimate complexity and complexity for the sake of complexity. Complexity needs to be justified. The idea that “if it’s hard to use it must be because it’s more powerful!” is shallow, and I think the point being made here is that men fall for the trap more readily than women (at least when it comes to electronics). Emperor’s-new-clothes syndrome, perhaps.

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