Thinking about Sex?

femme den
One of the world’s leading product design consultancies, Smart Design, has a spin-off initiative called Femme Den that focuses on Designing for Women. Set up by 4 female designers, their motives do not stray far from the Smart Design methodology which uses “the understanding of people’s perceptions and emotional connections” as a strategic competitive advantage for their customers. It seems this is more important than even their customer’s brand! Very interesting.

“Today’s women have tremendous clout. In a recent study conducted by Growth Strategies, American women were found to buy or influence 80% of consumer and business goods and services. …Despite cultural shifts products and services are consistently designed without women in mind. And although many companies have recognized the female market to be a significant opportunity, they are failing to connect with this sizable segment.”

Everyone knows that designing for women is big business. Companies have tried and many have missed the mark with weak offerings such as pink products with monthly biological calculators, or some puke worthy cutesy character plastered all over it. Rather than assuming what women want, they should read Femme Den’s “Design & Gender: Thinking About Sex” white paper where they list out their five guidelines that can help designers “connect” with women.
Briefly their 5 points are:
1) Give her benefits not features.
2) Focus on the entire buying and product experience.
3) Consider her body. Yes, women’s ergonomics are different than that of men.
4) Consider her lifestyle. Including sometimes having babies.
5) Consider how it makes her feel. Do you think your product makes her feel less of a man?
The white paper is a pretty good and quick read, and I encourage all of you to download it for your reference. However if you want more, do check out their very excellent blog with many great examples of good or bad design for women. Nice if you are looking for case studies on how to better position your product to the female market.

  • Karen Swim

    August 26, 2008 at 7:56 am Reply

    DT, as I read the 5 points above I nodded in recognition. This is way I have always approached marketing whether targeting men or women. The problem with many corporations is that they did treat women differently in all the wrong ways – pink and cartoon characters are not a marketing strategy. Great post and thank you for introducing me to femmeden.

  • Sharon

    August 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm Reply

    It’s really not a hard task to catch an women’s eye but it is difficult.The blog is very interesting and it has focused on various considerations of women.

  • Raghuraj Ananthoj (Raj)

    August 30, 2008 at 2:08 am Reply

    Thats a fanatastic article..DT i really admire your work and posts man…ive become addicted to DS…bellissimo.
    keep me posted…

  • DT

    August 30, 2008 at 9:01 am Reply

    Hi Karen, I think so. The way marketing and design deal with the consumers market is very similar. I hope you will find femmeden useful.
    Hi Raj,
    Thanks for the very kind comments. Please stay in tough?

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