There’s a popular mantra out there that some marketers today still rely on to expand their product offerings to attract women: “pink it and shrink it.” This strategy involves taking an everyday product, producing it in a Pepto-Bismol-pink shade, and making it smaller for women to use.

This method is implemented with razors (the most common offender), earbuds, drills, tool boxes…and the list goes on and on. The main issue with this strategy, though, is that the real problems are rarely addressed. The reason razors are the most common offender is the simple fact that shaving your legs is a lot different than shaving your face.

Does the “Pink It and Shrink It” Strategy Really Work?

Thankfully, some companies are getting the hint and are actually listening to women’s complaints about “pink it and shrink it.” A decade ago, the National Football League (NFL) applied this slightly offensive and inaccurate strategy to appeal to female fans. You could always find jerseys in pink and white with sparkly numbers and players’ names, instead of the traditional colors that are seen on the field. While some women loved this idea, not everyone was on board. Now the option to find women’s shirts and jerseys in say, orange and navy blue, is a lot easier.

Recently, the NFL women’s store changed strategies to offer more chic choices rather than just smaller versions of the men’s style. The “Fit for You” campaign illustrates the more fitted and less boxy shirt styles that are available for women to wear on game day; ads for this campaign were spotted in magazines like InStyle, Lucky, People, and even Sports Illustrated. It’s refreshing to hear that they finally took notice and have these styles available!

According to the NFL’s VP of Consumer Products, Tracey Bieczinski, there are 79 million female fans that make up 44% of its NFL fan base. It only makes sense to offer them products they actually won’t mind wearing, even if it’s not form-fitting and pink.

In order to better sell to their fans, the NFL has also increased its clothing line to include not only jerseys, but also denim skirts, hair clips, jewelry, nail polishes in team colors, and also fancy high-end bags from designer Anastasia Moda that cost upwards of $2,995 for a jeweled clutch.

Since this shift from their strategy of “pink it and shrink it” they have noticed an increase in female shoppers and a 40% increase in September alone. This proves that maybe women aren’t just pink and sparkle-obsessed shoppers, but want choices and options.

Final Thoughts

This case study from the National Football League (a major organization) proves that not everything has to be covered in sparkles or be pink to appeal to women. This is an extremely outdated strategy, and it doesn’t really have a place in marketing.

Women, like any target demographic, want choices. So even if there are no guarantees of a victory for their favorite team, they can still feel confident in their NFL merchandise next time they watch the big game. And this is true whether the jersey is pink, blue, red, rainbow, or any other color!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.