I Am Your Target Market is about visibility. It’s for those moments when you are staring at a wall of men’s superhero shirts because there aren’t any in the women’s department. It’s for when you can’t find an action figure for your favorite female character. It’s for when you walk into a game store and have to convince the clerk there that you are buying the dice for yourself.
Women do somewhere around 80% of the purchasing in America, and it’s even higher when it comes to purchasing for other people. So, why do retailers, studies, and manufacturers continue to behave like we don’t exist?
I’m not saying things aren’t better than they used to be, but really we shouldn’t have to settle for “better than nothing.”
As an independent t-shirt designer, the lack of female shirts in the world is one of my biggest pet peeves. Buying Geek shirts in female styles is spotty at best, and of course, if you can find them, they are more expensive than their male counterparts.
Now, of course, you know all of this. So why don’t they? Well, a couple of reasons. There is still a general generational misconception that when it comes to certain things, there is girl stuff and boy stuff. The next issue is that, frankly, we let them ignore us.
When we can’t find a women’s shirt we like, we just, without thinking, head over to the men’s department grab an ill-fitting shirt and move on with our lives. The problem is that no one knows. We didn’t tell the store manager. We didn’t decide to purchase elsewhere. We didn’t even tell the poor kid who rang up our purchase that is corporately obligated to ask us if we found everything we were looking for. We caved, and no one even knows we did.
My favorite response to why places don’t make “girls shirts” is, “But no one ever buys them.” Well, let me tell you, purchasing director. Part of the reason no one buys your women’s shirts is they are terrible. I was at Walmart a couple of months ago. I had some Christmas present exchange money to spend, so I walked around. I saw the wall of men’s superhero shirts, then the wall of boys’ superhero shirts, and even the wall of pink and purple girls’ superhero shirts (why are they all only pink and purple?). But then I got to the women’s department, and I was greeted by maybe four women’s superhero shirts. So, I dug through, and was able to find one Superman shirt in my size, bought it, and decided to wear it to work the next day. So, the next morning, I groggily got dressed at 6:30 am in my dimly lit bathroom and headed to work. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom at work hours later that I discovered the horrible truth that the shirt I bought was utterly see-through, and my bright blue bra was completely visible. Like I said, your women’s shirts are awful!
Now think about it, if Think Geek and Her Universe both folded tomorrow, where would you find most of your stuff? So, what can you do about it?
Well, we are fortunate enough to be around in the Social Media Age. Your voice can be heard. This is where I Am Your Target Market comes in.
Is the hashtag likely to change the world? No, but it can’t hurt, right? So, what do you do?
- Keep buying your cool geeky stuff. When you post a picture on Social—come on you know you will—just use the hashtag #IAMYOURTARGETMARKET and let them know how much you appreciate being treated as a viable market.
- When you are looking…use the hashtag to let them know that they missed out on the chance to sell to you. You were there, you wanted to spend money and they dropped the ball!
So lets work together to show them we’re here and worth listening too!