If you have ever walked down the hygiene section of your grocery store, you have may have noticed (possibly with a smirk) that the deodorants listed on the shelves have different price tags associated with which gender is expected to purchase them. This is no accident. The deodorants marketed towards men have an artificially higher price tag than those marketed towards women despite very little difference in performance. This is because the deodorant industry (along with several other industries) exclusively uses a marketing strategy targeting men by featuring their product as a solution for those with difficulty finding women. Since no demographic spends more money than men between the ages of 18 and 35, this has proven to be an extremely successful campaign.
The Difference in Gender Based Marketing
Recently journalists and news programs have attempted to figure out just how the shakedown of deodorants & antiperspirants for men can justify charging a higher rate than deodorants & antiperspirants for women. Since the deodorant marketing towards women features the element of attracting the opposite sex much less frequently than male deodorant, the demand for female deodorant is far less (despite the fact that women sweat no less than men). A careful analysis of men and women's deodorants of the same brand will reveal that not only do they use the same chemical agent in order to eliminate the bacteria that cause bad body odor, but they both use it in exactly the same quantities. As such, there is no harm or shame in a man using a woman's deodorant, or vice-versa, should they choose to buck the trend.
The Reaction From the Crowd
This information should seem to be enough to cause many men to reconsider their hygiene choices, since they are capable of saving more money by choosing the less-masculine choice. When presented with this choice, however, many men defy logic. Less than 5% of men who use deodorant are willing to use the brand that is marketed towards women and contains pink flowers on the side. The reason is quite simple—the same men who purchase deodorant in the hopes of becoming more attractive towards potential dates are not willing to jeopardize their manliness with feminine products. This is exactly how the deodorant industry likes it, since they make less than 10% of their profits on gender-neutral deodorants.
The End Game of Smelling Better
The result of this marketing blitz suggests that although many men are gullible, women are not significantly better. Though women are not subject to advertisements that promise them one (or more) of the men of their dreams should they swipe a few layers on, they still prefer the feminine issue products instead of the gender neutral products by the same margins that men prefer the masculine issue products. Women respond to the marketing that suggests they be fragrant and happy instead of simply eliminating their unpleasant bacteria. The deodorants for men and women, as such, are really no different but have vastly different selling points.