How default-male design and ideas are limiting business growth, and what we can do about it – a new insight report released by The Others & Me.

“Women are the world’s most powerful consumers… Women’s engagement has the power to move markets” (Forbes, Oct 20th 2022.)

In these tough economic times, identifying new profit pools and maximising competitive advantage has never been more important for brands and businesses.

And yet, the vast majority of companies are systematically overlooking the most powerful consumers on the planet: women.

Evidence shows that most products and services are designed around default-male bodies, lives, interests, tastes and experiences. Even when we think we’re being gender-neutral, most physical products, technology, built environments, entertainment, services, content and comms are designed from a default-male point of view.

In some cases, such as car design, it’s literally killing women: women are 47% more likely to be seriously injured and 17% more likely to die in identical crashes because cars are still built around a male driver. Yet work to address these kinds of issues and opportunities isn’t happening often enough, because the ‘gender agenda’ tends to get pushed into conversations about DEI or recruitment.

The good news: companies that spot these gender-based product and service opportunities can reap huge commercial benefits. Better serving the marginalised majority is great for business, and this growth doesn’t need to come at the expense of current consumers.

However, centuries of social conditioning, myths and misinformation means that the opportunities aren’t easy to spot for any of us, whatever our gender and lived experience.

Strategic innovation consultancy The Others & Me has authored a new Insight Report introducing marketers, agencies, CX and product designers to these ideas and opportunities. ‘The Power of the Invisible Women’ also identifies markets and categories where the default gender bias works the other way, where men are the overlooked audience. And it recognises how these issues and opportunities are intensified for people who are marginalised in other ways too, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race and age.

Lori Meakin, The Others & Me Founder and CEO, says “For anyone whose job involves understanding consumers, audiences or users, this report will provide a vital new perspective on how to drive brand and business growth and build differentiation.”

Find out more on The Others & Me, and download the insight report.