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Marketing Beyond the Gender Binary

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Marketing Beyond the Gender Binary

Marketers must rethink gender to win the next generations of consumers.

MIT Sloan Management Review,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Brand marketers who embrace new gender concepts will understand – and serve – their customers better.

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Concepts of gender identity are changing rapidly – and driving changes in consumers’ expectations. For brand marketers, this brings opportunities to know customers better and serve their needs more accurately as well as challenges to align marketing efforts with new and shifting gender concepts. Including numerous examples of brands that incorporate these new concepts with authenticity, Dipanjan Chatterjee and Nick Monroe from Forrester Research outline the necessity and rewards of embracing an inclusive view of gender identity.


Attitudes about gender are changing.

Traditional binary definitions of gender are falling away as people around the world increasingly accept more inclusive, individualized and authentic concepts of gender.

A 2019 study suggested that 34% of Americans disagree with the notion that only two genders exist. Globally, the numbers of people moving away from traditional concepts of gender may reach even higher. Although members of generation Z appear to be leading the shift, openness to new ideas about gender extends across the spectrum of age.

To heed new gender concepts, adjust your products and other aspects of your marketing mix.

Bold new brands, such as wellness company Billie and cosmetics company Milk Makeup – along with some legacy brands, such as Mattel, Coca-...

About the Authors

Dipanjan Chatterjee is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he heads the brand strategy research practice. Nick Monroe is a researcher at Forrester and a doctoral candidate in sociology at Brandeis University.

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