What a Student can Teach Us About Marketing to Women.

A european design student – Remi van Oers – has provided a brilliant example of marketing to women, that offers some great lessons for us.

Easy-Car-Jack design provides an alternative to using the typical car-jack, and getting your hands, knees, and clothes dirty in the process.  His car-jack requires only one push of a button.

Easy-Car-Jack has a tiny hole at its back that sucks air into an accordion-like balloon. The balloon…then inflates almost immediately, propping up vehicles as heavy as 1.3 tons…All you’ve got to do is press a button.”    Click here to see how it works

When I saw this product, the phrase (made famous by the Volvo YCC project) came to mind: “when you meet the expectations of women, you *exceed* the expectations of men”.

This is a marketing to women win because it hits the bulls-eye on two essential Themes of Marketing to Women:

1. Empowerment:
Because of this design, you can now jack up your own car – unassisted.  You don’t have to flag down the nearest male stranger at a time when you’re the most vulnerable: at the side of the road, without an operating car.

2. Ease of Life
Because of this design, time-pressured drivers don’t have to wait for a tow truck.  If you can jack up the car yourself, you don’t need to waste precious time waiting for someone else to help.

BUT – one big mistake the product write-up and images make, is that it alienates the huge male market.

Men will  never buy a car-jack that is promoted as “change a tire and wear four-inch heels at the same time”, or “A car-jack perfect for lady-like tire changes”.  No way, no how, will guys line up to buy it, even though it solves their problems too.

Marketing to women doesn’t have to be “PINK”.  Women don’t need to be told it’s a product “for women”.  If a product empowers them, and makes their lives easier in a practical way, women will buy it.

The smarter approach would be to promote the car-jack on its merits:  simplicity, speed, and clean hands.  Include images of both men and women using the product.   This way, you get both markets.

Now, we need a complementary design innovation to change the tire, once the car is up on the jack.  Who’s up for it?


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