Today I wanted to talk about something that annoys me a little bit every time I go shopping for new exercise equipment.
In every store I’ve browsed in so far, there’s been a pastel section for women and a black or grey section somewhere else for men.
I haven’t noticed a huge difference in quality between the two sections, although the equipment that’s being marketed to women is smaller and lighter than it is in the “regular” section.
The next time I need to move on to a bigger set of weights, I’m going to be paying closer attention to price. I think I remember it being about the same in both areas, but I’ll be curious to see if I’m right about that.
It bothers me, though, that something that everyone should be doing to improve their health is being broken down this way.
Gender Is Irrelevant
While I understand the urge to develop unique marketing strategies for different slices of the population, this is such an inefficient and unhelpful way to do it.
Weight, mats, exercise bands, and other pieces of equipment have nothing at all to do with your gender. I’ve known all kinds of people who need something lightweight or smaller than average for many different reasons.
Like me, some of them might be petite. Others could be fitness beginners, recovering from an injury, or living with a disability that requires certain accommodations when they exercise.
All of these groups can be marketed to without assuming that everyone in them is a woman or that everyone who doesn’t need them is a man. It’s weird to me, then, to see people divided up this way for reasons that don’t make any sense.
This is something I’ve been thinking about more and more as I’m starting to move into the sections of the fitness department that aren’t marketing themselves to women.
It’s incredibly strange to ignore half of your customer base that way.
No, I don’t care what colour my weights are or if a store offers matching accessories to go along with them.
The Bottom Line
All I want is solid, dependable equipment whose advertisements don’t divide people by gender. There are so many more interesting ways to design and market a product.
Maybe they could replace the pictures of men and women on their products with athletic dogs everywhere instead?
It would make just as much sense as dividing it up by gender. This kind of strategy would also be a hundred percent more cute than what we’re currently working with.