Red Wing Shoes Adapt to Women


While there are certainly brands and products that are only targeted at one gender, these brands might be missing a big opportunity to bridge the gender divide. And we don’t mean the “pink it and shrink it” approach to market products to women. Companies have to understand the female shoppers’ needs and wants, and make sure to build unique products for them.

One company that is taking a more female-centric approach is Red Wing Shoe Company in Minnesota. It worked out its $300+ boots were being purchased by women, not large boys, and took action. A big clue was the surge in small shoe sizes, followed by a big uptick in social media postings.

After discovering that women account for roughly 10% of its Men’s Heritage collection sales, the company took note and began to restructure products for a female consumer. While certain models are identical to the men’s products, other new styles are distinctly for women. Materials used have also shifted as the company reconstructed models to account for the difference sizes and weights of women, particularly when breaking in new boots.

These boots are made for stomping.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Discuss the differences between marketing clothing to men versus women.
2. What products/companies have been successful at adapting their products to both genders? What accounts for this success?
3. Show the company’s site:
4. Discuss the site. Does it account for women shoppers?
5. What changes should the company make to market to women on the Web site?
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

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