How Brands are Trying to Win Against Gender Bias
A shift towards gender-neutrality: That's the only way to make your company work
Brands today can lay the way to a more rightful future by throwing light on areas most in need of change. Gender is a loaded topic and nobody takes it more seriously than the world of fashion with labels such as Vuitton, Gucci who are in the front of combat facing society’s changing outlook towards the traditional masculine-feminine divide. Zara recently introduced its ‘Ungendered’ range under its Trafulac line. As androgynous fashion finds itself in the mainstream, it is opening up options for all those interested in discovering non-binary clothing, including genderqueer and transsexual. A very bold move in the dynamic world of fashion.
Conventional representations of femininity and manliness based on gender are becoming obscured, as gender fluidity is being accepted as the common norm. It’s no secret that today’s consumers are engaging with brands in more places than one. With technologies like voice assistants, augmented reality, and the internet of things continuing to mature, brands will need to consider how to create experiences that can connect across an increasingly distinct buying journey.
A new report called The Future is FeMale examined more than 15,000 people in over 30 countries and as a result of their findings, it has been concluded that the lines between genders are becoming less important to most people across the globe. Mattel claimed a lot of praise on the launch of its commercial featuring a boy playing with Barbie doll. It was done for the limited-release of Moschino Barbie. PlayStation released a new game called Pyre which allowed the participants to create gender-neutral characters. Louis Vuitton chose the famous Jaden Smith as the face of its women's wear campaign.
Cheerio’s “How To Dad” took some of the first steps in challenging traditional role definitions.
“Wonder Woman” - Marvel movie did wonders after 19 male-led films since the movie franchise launched in 2008.
The Banana Republic chose to replace its conventional line with a unisex collection appropriate for both boys and girls.
Brands spearheading change
As a part of an experiment, a research project was conducted with human subjects in the real world to challenge the age old norm ##LikeAGirl which has no positive connotation to it. They converted the age old saying to confidence, power, vigour and strength. The P&G feminine care brand got universal admiration for putting this message out there.
The #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign was Isis Wenger’s baby. She is a Female software engineer who was slammed on social media for being 'too pretty' and 'not real'. She fought back with the campaign #ILookLikeAnEngineer smashing gender stereotypes where she encourages girls to put up pictures of themselves proving nerds can be pretty too. The campaign went viral on Twitter and Instagram.
Whiskey and Women
Whiskey and women in the advertising industry has been a tricky path. It has been frowned upon for decades. This campaign by Jim Beam capitalized on the fact that women are closing the gender gap of bourbon sales, placing its product in a new light as women drink liquor too.
Women and Machine
Much like the whiskey market, the automotive market noticed the changing trends across the globe. No other motorcycle celebrates the instant name gratification as Harley Davidson does. Auto manufacturers today find it extremely important to genuinely appeal to women at par with men.
Clothing brand gap launched its ad which said - boy “The little scholar”, while the girl’s clothes read “The social butterfly”. The campaign triggered outrage and was called out sexist. The ad was swamped with criticism all over social media and the company learnt its lesson. Consumers reward brands for breaking gender stereotypes and the leaders of tomorrow are trying to bridge this gap for a seamless shopping experience.
Brands now have a chance to really get to know consumers, putting them in a position of power to express themselves and divulge their true selves. Brands are increasingly trying to tap on consumers lifestyle, without giving them labels as its not only a progressive move for society but business as well. Breaking gender stereotypes is proving to be beneficial for brands as customers are supportive of it.