After feeling painfully tech-obsolete after attending SXSWi, I finally upgraded to a new toy: a white Samsung netbook. It's cute. It's got a six hour battery. It fits in my purse. And it isn't pink.
Now, I have nothing against pink as a color. I own some pink shirts, some books, some pens. It's fine, one of the many colors I enjoy looking at.
What I hate are pink technology pimps, those marketers/salespeople that assume that since I am walking around in the possession of a uterus, everything I touch must be coated in pink and/or rhinestones.
And I am not alone.
Writing for Wired's Gadget Lab, Priya Ganapati breaks it down:
[G]adget companies seem to find it difficult to design, produce and market products to women without resorting to stereotypes. The current strategy among most gadget makers is that if it is for women, it must be pink or sparkly.
And worse still is the insult that normally comes with the assumption that I'm a pink sparkly princess. It's not enough that they want us to fit in with their pre-existing color palette, but then they have the nerve to think we will be so blinded by the rhinestone bling that we'd forget to check for important things. Like, you know, cost and functionality. Ganapati made me put my fist in the air when she wrote:
If you think pink and sparkly strategy is lazy, so is slapping a designer label on a product for women and pricing it much higher than similar products. HP Vivienne Tam netbook, I am looking at you. The netbook hit some of the right notes. It's a pleasant red, has a stylish exterior and comes with a matching Vivienne Tam designed clutch. But for those perks, women have to shell out $700, much more than the $350 for a comparable HP black or blue netbook.
Now, I'll just put it out there. I'm a slut for pretty. And so this was actually the first netbook I looked at when I was in the market to purchase one. While I loved the color (ooh!), the design left me a bit cold. I was planning to cover it with a skin. But then I realized:
1. This machinery will not do what I need it to do.
2. It's smaller than I want.
3. It's far more expensive than what I want.
4. It's far more expensive than the identical model without the V.Tam label
I may be a slut for pretty, but this whore has standards.
So, away I went to give Samsung $400 for sleek, white machine with the battery life, keyboard size, and RAM I wanted that also manages to fit into the tiniest of totes. And for some reason, men go crazy when they see it, eagerly inquiring about the experience and specs. Man, if I was single, this thing would be better than a cute puppy.
Slapping pink paint on some basic ass technology isn't going to help you move units - tailoring it to a woman's needs will.
So marketers/product developers/entrepreneurs, please do me a favor: stop and think before you make it pink.