How focusing on serving women, creating cost effective, minimalist design, and cutting out the pink tax for good makes for an effective brand launch strategy.

Filling those opportunity market gaps with well-thought out products is key to quick traction for any brand or business launch. Finding a gap that taps into a pain point like changing the shave game; think Dollar Shave Club for women, is strategic and fast growth too. Shaving is celebrated for men, and is framed as a chore for women. There are numerous companies that have been created to give men a better, more affordable shave experience, and women are an afterthought. Big mistake when women do well over eighty percent of all the buying in the personal care market.

Why Don’t We Mind The Market Gender Gap?

Given market dynamics, it doesn’t even make sense that the shave market doesn’t cater to women as much as men. Emerging shave/body brand Billie recognized this gap, to put women first, oh, and get rid of the “Pink Tax” in the process. Nixing this particular pain point, Founder, Georgina Cooley and her partner decided to go direct to consumer. By controlling the experience from start to finish, by cutting out the middle-woman, they are able to cut cost and create a better customer experience; establishing trust and loyalty in a commodity market.

What Is The Pink Tax?

The ‘Pink Tax’ is a term that’s been coined to identify the ten to fifteen percent increase charged to women over men for services and items. To have a blouse dry cleaned costs more than a men’s shirt, and there’s less fabric. When it comes to clothing, a plain white women’s shirt costs more, again, even though there’s typically less fabric. What we can see through this is that women are the true shoppers, they are willing to spend more, and this has been taken advantage of. Lack of disregard for the consumer base creates a lack of loyalty. I can tell you, as a woman, I personally boycott every pink gimmicky product (especially razors) on the market, just on principle.

To build trust, you not only have to identify this gap in the market, but should set out to fill it in a way that is consumer-centric. In the case of Billie, something for women, packaged, delivered, and at cost of exactly what they want and can afford. Then, go deeper and find the pain point in the gap, where women do not have as many cost effective options and are being marketed to in a way that play on old school standards and stereotypes. Make it pink and stick a flowery label on it. Up until now, nobody asked the consumer.

Don’t Forget Market Testing & Observation

Conducting right-fit market testing that is low-cost is essential to a consumer-centric process. This is not about asking her what she likes. It is getting the hands of the ideal market on to the product, packaging and entire buying experience. Not only will you observe a lot about the design and function, but if you listen, observe and stop selling the idea, you will find out what drives your market to buy. So many businesses skip the testing phase or don’t take the feedback from their designers that they need to test. These processes are easier and more cost effective than ever before, so skipping them is basically brand negligence. This is how you get it right faster.

Something Georgina said at the end of our interview struck a note with me. Brands should be doing good in the world. The new standard is not doing good by saving the world. the new standard is shifting brand dynamics by putting consumers, especially women, into power, and they demand that you do good in their everyday world.


Read the original INC article published on February 13, 2018.

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