Yesterday, I discovered just how different two very similar concepts could be when I was sent two separate emails attempting to sell me beer and beer-related products as a Valentine’s Day present.
The first was from Saveology, one of the many generic deal sites to which I am subscribed.
More men than women prefer beer, so, from a marketing perspective, why is it not okay to do this kind of thing?
The ad copy, in essence, precludes the idea that someone might buy the deal for herself, or that someone might buy it for his or her girlfriend, for that matter. Instead, it must be someone buying it for a male significant other. Not only is this assumption infuriating, it excludes customers. In a recession, why would you want to preclude people from your target audience, at all, full stop?
Furthermore, the beer market for women, particularly when it comes to craft beer, is a growing one. Why wouldn’t a company want to be on the forefront of a growing market?
Later in the day, I received another email, this one from TapHunter, a deal and information site that is craft-beer oriented:
Both of the deal emails are beer-related and marketed as part of Valentine’s Day. Both of them include a magazine subscription. TapHunter’s, however, manages to keep the language gender-neutral or at least inclusive. Of course, its copy does assume that you’re in a relationship and buying for a significant other, but Valentine’s Day is inherently couple-ist.
I suppose I should cut Saveology a bit of slack based on the fact that they aren’t a craft beer-oriented site and thus perhaps not aware of what a Google search concerning women and beer might yield — or that the relationship between women who love beer, even when beer doesn’t love us back, is a fraught one. Still, they’ve lost at least one sale thanks to their inability to move past stereotypes, and I am sending them my feedback, as well.
The first email is lazy and relies on stereotypes, which ends up alienating potential consumers, while the second considers most potential consumers and alienates only those who are probably not so thrilled about the idea of Valentine’s Day in the first place. In other words, considering it in a broader context, the second email is a great example of how easy it is to simply not be sexist. Who knew?
Main image via.