It’s 6:30 PM. I was supposed to write this in the morning but I woke up late, dived head-first into the day and still reeling from all the work. I will no longer stay in bed beyond 7 AM. I have been waking up without alarm last few days but I will start using it now. I can NOT miss this 90-90-1, especially now that I found out that I want to write about and learn about marketing to women.
So, today’s post is about Pink Tax.
What is Pink Tax?
In simple words, it’s the extra money that women need to pay for products that are apparently tailor-made for them.
For example, shaving razors. Multiple women told me (see the disclaimer at the end of this post) that a women’s razor is at least 20% extra (than a man’s) even though it functions the same. The makers do the smart thing of doing communication around it that justifies the inflated price. In the case of the razors, apparently, they say that the blade and the rubber thingy in between the blades are coated with Aloe Vera that keeps the skin of the user safe. They also say that the design of the razors “glides” smoother on the curvy skin. They added a roller to make the functioning better.
I mean wow!
To me, all these are mere gimmicks to charge more.
Other categories where I am told this pink tax exists in India are garments (the same tee-shirt for women is about 10% more expensive (as per pop research I did), travel (multiple women told me that they get fleeced more), jewellery (simple things like rings are gram-for-gram more expensive for women), healthcare (contraceptives, condoms etc), personal care products (does) and more.
The pink tax is valid if the products and services rendered require additional effort. For example, a haircut. In general, women tend to have longer hair and thus the person working on hair for women will probably need to make additional effort. And thus the additional compensation makes sense.
But for categories like razors, garments, health products and others, I think it sucks that the pink tax exists.
So, why does the pink tax exist?
To be honest, I couldn’t think of any specific reason apart from corporate greed. From whatever I know the products are not really different from what they make for male audiences. To “expand” their offering and create newer markets, businesses create these
products gimmicks and try and charge more. And of course, they would justify the same by throwing information, justification and a combination of some of Cialdini’s principles of influence at us!
So pink tax exists and there is no denying it. Just that a lot of people aren’t aware of it. And for women as consumers, better awareness will translate into more value for money.
While writing about this post, I realised that there seems to be a lack of content and literature about the pink tax in India. Apart from one post on Mint, an article on Outlook, a BusinessLine piece by a professor of marketing from IIM Amritsar talking about research her students did and a Logical Indian piece, I couldn’t find anything worthwhile. The piece by the professor is worth reading, in case you want some data.
I wanted to research more and learn more but I am not sure what more to read. If you have access to some work on this space, please do point me to it. I am beginning to think that the pink tax may not even exist in India and this could be a mere anecdotal theory that has got more wind than it deserves or merits.
Guess this is about it. See you tomorrow.
PS: This was a painfully short post and a disappointing piece of text. When I come back tomorrow morning (for sure) to write, I hope I have something substantive to contribute.
PPS: For this post, I leaned onto what I already knew about marketing, what I found via desk research and what members of the #SoG told me in one of our #janHitMeJaari sessions. All errors are mine and please help me fix those.
PPPS: As I write these over the next 3 months or so, I plan to share early drafts with some people. If you want to get those, give me feedback before I publish, lemme me know and I will add you to a WA group. Lol, I love these groups ;P