Reflection Point: Assumptions and Failures

Bic “For Her”

The point of this post is to reflect on a product or business venture that failed in order to determine faulty assumptions, or the lack of ability to provide solutions for these assumptions. As indicated in the name, Bic For Her was Bic’s attempt to market pens towards females. I’m assuming that they assumed, that people would be accepting of this concept. Why would a female need a different type of pen than what was already being offered in the market?

The marketing team for Bic South Africa even came up with a great slogan: “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss.” In this ad they are assuming that women can’t think like women and still work like a boss. I believe that Bic maybe thought they were doing women a favor, like heres a pen just for you! Super sleek, dainty, and gentle, perfect for women’s hands! They also came in mainly “pretty pastel” colors, assuming that women only liked to use “pretty” colors when writing things down.

I wonder why they started creating this product, did someone come in the office and specifically ask for pens made for women? Were a lot of women complaining about the current pens? Its hard to imagine how or why this concept came to be, but it obviously failed very hard. They failed because they were operating under the very wrong assumption that women couldn’t or didn’t use the pens that were already in the market. They didn’t try to understand the user and this resulted in a product that was useless as well as sexist.