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Monday, Sep. 8, 2008 at 11:48 am

No Pink Phones – A New Twist on Technology for Women

By Holly Buchanan
September 8th, 2008

Ying Cheng and I share one thing in common – we hate pink phones.

OK, actually, we share a few things in common.   But one of them is an interest in technology designed specifically for women.   Too often, we see big companies who want to reach out to the women’s market, so they simply take an existing product and make it pink.   We’re both members of the “no pink phones’ movement.  But the difference between Ying and I is, Ying actually took action and did something about it.

Ying Cheng started LA YIN a company devoted to fusing High-Tech with fashion and style.

Amen sister.

I recently bought a way cool red laptop zip cover to protect my MacBook while traveling.   And talk about giving new life to something as dull as a USB drive!   I now have a snazzy new red USB drive with cool swirly things on it.   (Sorry Ying, I know I don’t do justice to your beautiful designs with my bad American slang, but “snazzy” is the highest praise I can give).

I asked Ying what it is that women want from technology products.  Here is her answer:

We want products that make our life (which is not always the same as of our counter gender) easier and we want them to be easy to use, not too intimidating. We also want them to look good, in particular mobile phones, music players and other personal devices – as these are equivalent to personal accessories, they are an extension of our own personal expressions.

I think the key point here is, yes, many women look at technology products as a personal accessory or a personal expression.  I think guys feel that way as well, to some degree.  But a man’s idea of fashion and style may differ from a woman’s.   Which is why I’m so excited to see more women taking matters into their own manicured hands and designing what they want.

LA YIN is starting with a few products, but Ying has plans to expand in the future.  She has a board of over 100 women from around the world guiding and supporting her efforts.

I, for one, love my new LA YIN USB drive and laptop cover and am planning on giving them out as presents and thank you gifts to help spread the word.   Why should I be the only one who looks fabulous with my stylish high tech devices?

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Comments (24)

  1. Great post and great product, thanks.

    I, too, hate the ubiquitous pink-product thing.

    But before I instinctively recoil from the latest pink “women’s” gadget or product, I try to remember that many products are deliberately pink because they are in some way supporting breast cancer research and making a statement about it. And even if they’re not, chances may be good that seeing the pink color will trigger that association for consumers, even if only subconsciously. Pink has gone from being just a “girly” color to being a color with powerfully strong symbolism (“grrrrrly,” if you will).

    And that kind of awareness is never a bad thing. So even though I’m a woman who can’t bring herself to carry any of those pink things, I do appreciate what the color has done for us.

  2. I agree with Sarah above..it’s tough to sometimes decipher whether an object is pink due to the whole breast cancer research campaigns or just to appeal to women. Either way, as a male – I can see how women would be opposed to the whole pink technology movement.

  3. Please consider me a charter member of the “no pink phones” movement along with you way-cool ladies!

    ~ Karen

  4. Holly, I love your articles! The ridiculous “Everything-in-Pink” marketing tactic is exactly why I started my own business. I sell laptop bags for professional women. And, like the real women who carry them, my bags vary in style, color, and personality. And okay, I’ll admit, a few of them are actually pink. But, just a few!!

  5. I have the same issue with bike gear! For crying out loud, just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that I want a pink helmet or a pink jersey! (Or pink shoes, socks, sunglasses, gloves, etc.) The problem is when the selection on an item is so limited that you have no choice but to (a) support breast cancer research and (b) wear pink.

    And no offense, but just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that my main “cause” is breast cancer research. When it comes to disease, I’m more concerned about skin cancer, depression and Parkinson’s. I don’t want to be forced to “donate” because someone’s making an assumption based on my gender.

    As you can see, I get a little irritable when the bike gear catalogs hit my mailbox.

  6. Holly, I love the American slang ‘snazzy’ :) I read the other comments and I’m thrilled to meet other like-minded women.

  7. I have been so fortunate to come across Ying and her great stuff – snazzy is actually just the word for them! Technology, i love it, i can not imagine living without it. One of my main issues have always been to ‘force’ techies to make the stuff so I can understand it and have easy access. I’m not an engineer (and I shouldnt have to be). But way too often, usablity gets translated into… pink.

    Functionality with a lot of style! Ying, you go girl!!

  8. Great website and interesting to know how women are changing things for themselves and fellow women.

  9. Holly,

    Excellent article! I usually find myself choosing between 2 options: functional black, or girlie pink. I love pink, but not necessarily for my gadgets.

    Thanks for sharing Ying’s site with us! I’ll definitely be buying.

    Tanya Davis

  10. Being in the retail industry, I get a lot of request for Pink Things. Most of our products are not available in colors most women want, Maybe Ying can produce some camping gear in women friendly colors.

  11. [...] here to view the complete blog I have a lot of friends who likes pink, I think they will also like this [...]

  12. …of course I’d have to disagree with all of the above !!

  13. lol @ pink phones. Pink phones remind me of that one movie.. Clueless.

  14. pink phones are only for woman!!!

  15. I think that was the stupid thing to do i understand if you don’t like pink just get another cooler but to make no more pink phones is just stupid i personally like pink and want to find a cool phone in the cooler PINK if you really want to help the feminist movement help with young women trafficking or breast cancer or better yet battered women but don’t sit up and say don’t make any pink phones because that just your opinion don’t take that choose away from the rest of use

  16. Different colors meet the specific needs of women.And pink is one of the colors.Woman as I am,I do not prefer the pink telephone if there are black and white.

  17. I suspect that many of the commenter did not make any effort to actually look at La Yin’s Site. If they did they may have read her statement
    “It is not the color Pink that we are against. It is the genuine women high tech experiences that we strive towards. By genuine women high tech experiences, we mean every aspects of a high tech product and service, including look and feel, functions, communication, sales of a product among others. Should there be a pink phone, it should have a pink soul, not just a cover up.”
    My simple translation of that is – Products purporting to be produced for women should be exactly that, produced to supply the requirements of women. Not just any old product with a colour makeover. Don’t get bogged down with the colour thing or you will loose sight of the very thing La Ying, and others, are trying to achieve.

  18. this is so stupid! i want a pink phone so bad. and YOU make it impossible for me to get one. jeez thanks alot. :(

  19. I always laugh when I see a pink or fuzzy phone. Makes me think of purse chiuahauas.

  20. I don’t agree with the first 14 said, I am a man, I am equally pink cell phone.

  21. Pink really plays the role of a Romantic Mood Mobile. I don’t think that it’s time to leave that colour

  22. Pink cell phones…This would not match if the dress code is black or red…So black one will be better…

  23. That’s right!I also don’t like the pink cell phones or any devices of that color.I have seen some laptops of pink color recently in the market.That’s not much impressive in looks.

  24. no pink phones, well i guess so

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Holly Buchanan is a marketing to women consultant specializing in marketing to women online. You can read her blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com She is the co-author, along with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer - Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.

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