I have always had a seasonal diet; root vegetable packed stews and roast dinners during those dreadfully cold London winter months. As spring approaches Italian dishes slowly make their delicious way back to my palette, with the Easter bank holiday traditionally filled with various visits to Carluccio’s. Myself and metro friends dine alfresco, desperately pretending to ourselves that summer has finally returned. It is during those sparse months that my summer body decides that fruit will once again replace the various chocolate bars that my winter body absorbed; simply to tackle the hibernation that only my immune system appears lucky enough to take. However odd my affair with fruit, it is a stark contrast to that of the fairer sexes. Ladies, it would appear, love eating fruit no matter the season, and it is for this reason that perhaps, one of the largest challenges of the technology era has finally been overcome.
I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. B. R. Ambedkar
It has been a vast shame that for several decades the interests of the female technology market have been ignored. This could be because there simply hasn’t been a demand up until late, or is due to sexual discrimination from a marketing perspective? Nevertheless, who are you going to hold to account, everyone? I speak for a number of men that when I say that growing up playing video games, with that group of best friends was your teenage god given right! Locked away together from the adult world, we would do battle on a daily basis with foes far greater than that of a cartoonists imagination, bashing our thumbs to the beat of the entire Appetite for Destruction album! Regardless of how much fun we had, how much better would it have been if we had girls who were also interested in the games we played, not only from a fun aspect, but from a social one as well? I would often ponder this, confused at how puzzle lead games, with cute characters didn’t appeal to girls. With the late 90’s boom of the laptop, the early 00’s saw a multitude of computers purchased by young women needing them for school and university, but how many owned them for recessional purposes?
An independent marketing survey carried out at that time found that as much as 84% of women purchasing laptops and home computers were done so for educational and professional purposes. Yet, in the same survey 74% of men purchasing laptops did so purely for recreational purposes. The truth is that women didn’t buy laptops because of that of ‘want’ they simply needed them to get by. Companies such as Compaq, Sony and even the giant Microsoft were missing a huge untapped market. Then out of the towers of complex cables and jargon heavy manuals finally came that much needed beacon of light.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs
Enter the company with it’s fruit symbolised branding. They were indeed clever enough to realise that the only way you’ll ever appeal to this vast untapped market, was by simply not having the most advanced tech that requires a 300 page manual, but by simply making their products beautiful, elegant and fashionable. It all started with the iPod. Apple invented not only the best MP3 players on the market, but they also designed it to very simplistic specifications that, like it or not feminists appealed to the majority of young women. Combine this with funky stylised advertising, TV adverts that could only compare to Gap‘s with its fresh feel, clear message, and subliminal after feeling that owning this product will make your life exceptionally cool.
Throw in the only pair of white headphones on the market, that clearly indicate that you’re one of those blessed with an ultra-awesome life that everybody wants, and you’ve got yourself a marketing campaign worthy of the gods! They turned girls from needing tech products into wanting them, and then this turned their products into a trend which finally created the most power marketing affect that every brand wants for its flagship product; they turned that want back into a need, but this need is different, it’s the type where you know you need it, but you could never justify the reason why.
Follow sound business trends, not fashion trends. Janice Dickinson
Apple’s marketing team and designers are the most savvy on the planet. Even to the point that Apple in the last few years released a new flagship product, the iPad, and nobody even needed them, there wasn’t even a market for it! This alone demonstrates the power of design combined with fashion. Exploiting the needs of a group can be incredibly beneficial. Take for example the pink pound (or dollar as it’s called over the pond), Homosexual men have a huge influence over the female market “if you win the gays, you win the women”. However, influence can stream purely by owning one of the other products in the first instance, because as I type this post out in my iPhone’s note section, there is this little voice saying to me “imagine how streamlined this would be if you were typing it on an iPad?” This power is one that every company wants at the core for its products branding, for our little voices to whisper “go on, you know you want to!” Apple has made gadgets that appeal to women, for the simple reason they have exploited us as stereotypes, because that really is, all that we are.