SXSW 2020

They, Theirs, Them: Dismantling Gender In Branding


The great gender blur has sounded the death knell for the Marlboro man and the Betty Crocker woman. The male-female binary that pervaded brand marketing for decades now comes up short. A majority of consumers reject cultural constructs of gender – they believe, as the infamous Alfred Kinsey noted, "The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects." Sensing a significant inflection point, vanguard brands are on the move. Upstarts like Bille and Birchbox make undoing gender central to their essence. Old-timers like Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, and Target are tweaking their positioning and customer experience to reflect these attitudes. For most brands, however, this is unfamiliar terrain rife with blind corners. But navigate they must, and this session provides the roadmap.

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Other Resources / Information


  1. What consumers talk about when they talk gender and how brands are out of sync with this conversation (analyzing 33 million posts over eight years)
  2. How brands can remain culturally relevant by rethinking gender and its impact on consumer choice
  3. How to reboot the "whole brand" (product, positioning, messaging, experience, data, etc.) to align with consumer attitudes and company values


  • Dipanjan Chatterjee, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester


Dipanjan Chatterjee, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Advertising & Brand Experience
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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