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EMAC 2023 Annual

Consumer responses to gender-neutral package design: The role of consumer gender, gender identification, and product category

Published: May 24, 2023


Kristina Nickel, Kiel University; Janneke Blijlevens, RMIT University


Marketers often design their products and packages to visually appeal to either female or male consumers. However, the traditional view of gender is increasingly changing, leading to a call for gender-neutral designs. By conducting two experiments, this research examines (1) the influence of visual gender neutrality in package design on consumer responses including (2) the moderating roles of consumer gender, gender identification, and product category (hedonic vs. utilitarian). The results show that neutrality in visual design has a positive influence on consumer response. Furthermore, gender and the degree of respondent’s identification with his or her gender play moderating roles, whereas the relationship between visual gender neutrality and consumer response does not depend on product category. This work delineates managerial implications for gendered marketing and avenues for future research.