The Pink Premium

24Feb10

A trend I have noticed recently – a trend I call the Pink Premium – has piqued my curiosity.

It started with an innocent Amazon trawl for a Speedo Aquabeat. Admittedly, I liked the hot pink version – as long as I am getting a dinky mp3 player, I may as well get a colourful one – but it was £5 more expensive. How odd – the cost of pink is 8% of the price value? A quick check revealed that the Aquabeat was not the item on Amazon subject to a Pink Premium:

The other thing I noticed – all of the above had relatively low pricepoints. You will not be able to find a pink Xbox 360 console, a pink Loewe television, a pink Leica camera, pink Bang & Olufsen speakers, or a pink Macbook Pro.

My initial thoughts is that these products are not only targeted at young women, but the companies are content to rip them off or take advantage of their love for all things pink. Either that, or they assume these women, or girls, are so blinded by the shiny pink that they will be content to pay above the odds for essentially the same product.

This is not only insulting and possibly disgusting. This also shows, again, that many of these companies do not know how to reach affluent women. HP have “shrinked and pinked” the netbook to target young women. What have they done to target professional affluent women? Ummmm not much as far as I can see, except to hope beyond hope that the men in their lives will guide them to their products.

It’s a faint hope. Women are intensely loyal consumers and are able to appreciate high-value goods. Neiman Marcus, the luxury fashion store, commented in an FT article that their female clients still exhibited, “a strong desire for luxury merchandise”, even if she has cut back on spending in response to the psychological blow of seeing her household’s wealth decline.”

Technology companies need to work much harder (or smarter?) to appeal to women and realise the value of this important market. Shrinking and pinking – and price padding – is not a marketing plan.

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