Gender and age neutral brands triumph

Katherine - 29 th May 2015

The success of brands such as Apple, Uniqlo, Facebook and IKEA could be attributed to their aggressive and unapologetic gender and age neutrality.

These brands are defined by attitude – not basic demographics – which explains their appeal to everyone. 

But it’s not just these brands that could be considered neutral, as barriers within popular culture have long been broken – from pioneering sixties stars such as David Bowie and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, to current superstars like Lady Gaga.

Furthermore, The Telegraph’s Anna Hart raises a point I hadn’t fully appreciated, suggesting if these brands appeal to everyone, are we all becoming the same bland boring mess who share the same likes and dislikes? 

For example, studies suggest there is currently a 40% overlap in music taste between 13 and 60-year-olds, while we nearly all watch the Great British Bake Off or House of Cards.

Digging into this trend of neutrality, Selfridges’ new Agender campaign in its Oxford Street flagship store is to be set to see three floors installed, on which they say they will take customers on a “journey where they can choose to shop and dress without limitations or stereotypes”.

They haven’t revealed how they’ll do this; one way could be stocking brands that consider themselves gender neutral and displaying them on androgynous mannequins.

It would be great if they binned the usual boring layout – you know, floor 1= women, floor 2= men –and replaced it with departments like “for feeling fabulous” (party dressing), “for getting your sweat on” (workout gear), with all products and services divided by wants and needs.

As a Senior CX Strategist, Katherine enjoys moderating research and facilitating collaborative workshops to provide clients with essential insight for the development of their brands. Previous management roles at McDonald’s and Marks & Spencer mean that Katherine’s passion and expertise is rooted in retail and hospitality. 
Find out more about Katherine