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Packagings Battle of the Sexes

New research has discovered that women are up to four times more likely to be influenced by personalised packaging than men.

The study by easy Fairs, the company behind the Packaging Innovations London 2014 show, found that both women and girls were much more likely to buy products because of their packaging than their male counterparts.

What Women Want When It Comes to Packaging

The study focussed on the views of 500 packaging design experts and marketing professionals. A total of 43 per cent of those questioned said that ‘branded personality’ packaging was favoured by women. More than a third (37 per cent) also claimed that girls are enticed by gender-specific designs much more than boys. Just ten per cent suggested that this type of packaging had the same effect on boys.

Almost half of the people involved in the survey (42 per cent) said that gender cues included in packaging designs help to sell more products. This is obviously a view shared by McCoys and their ‘Man Crisps’ slogan and Lambrini, where female drinkers ‘wanna have fun’. Yorkie chocolate is said to be a product ‘not for girls’.

The packaging and marketing experts were also questioned on which sectors used gender-specific designs the most. The cosmetics and toiletries industry came out on top with 86 per cent, followed by the fashion world at 67 per cent. Toys polled at 49 per cent and the alcohol industry was named by 37 per cent of the respondents.

‘Blue for boys’ and ‘pink for girls’ may seem like an outdated stereotype, but 40 per cent of the people involved in the study claimed that these colour preferences are still relevant. A total of 39 per cent of people said they believed that a firm would lose business if they decided to opt for gender-neutral packaging, and 28 per cent stated that gender specifics equalled smart marketing. More than 39 per cent actually admitted to having considered using this kind of gender bias in a bid to increase sales.

Nevertheless, 33 per cent of the people questioned did think that more gender-neutral packaging is on the way. This could certainly be true given the reach of some recent campaigns such as Let Toys Be Toys, aimed at getting large retailers to take gender labels off packaging. At the end of 2013, for example, Marks & Spencer pledged to opt for gender-neutral toy packaging.

At Holmes Mann, we love a good debate as much as we love bespoke packaging. What are your thoughts on gender specific packaging? Let us know in the comments in below.

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