Young Riley noticed and articulated what is wrong with most marketing practices and highlights our cultural failings around gender roles in one small video.
From a public relations marketing perspective, her rant against the ‘all pink’ trick is something marketers (as in those who devise and focus group test the products) need to heed. As a culture we have a responsibility to create toys that generate more than princess syndrome for little girls. Not all children, regardless of gender, fit into the same box. Not all 40 year old women do either–there are 40 year old grandmothers, 40 year old new moms and 40 year old highly successful single women with no desire to parent. We can no longer market merely by age and gender. Instead we need to focus our products on LIFESTYLE and what consumer behaviors are.
As small business owners, we likely make products that we love–but not all our customers will look like us. And that’s something to take into account.
In Riley’s case, we need to figure out if our target plays with dolls or super heroes or both. And if they play with either, what colors do they prefer–or are they color blind (figuratively or literally)?
The packaging and advertising needs to target our audience, but not to the exclusion of those who might be interested in the product if we don’t over market to one segment. Princesses could come in a rainbow of colors. Princesses can be superheros. And superheros come in a variety of colors. This is the balance for all products and services and takes self control for small business owners. Not all sports or hunting fans are men; not all home decor designers are women or focus on women. And some girls don’t want to be tricked into pink princesses-they’d rather have a super hero.