The results from questions posed at anglersurvey.com and huntersurvey.com about pink outdoor gear are in and when the dust settled, it appears that color alone may not woo women who are shopping for equipment.
In addition, there were not huge differences between men’s and women’s responses. However, there was a disparity in the numbers of men and women who took the survey. More than 2,500 men logged into anglersurvey.com with only 148 women participating. The hunter survey showed stronger numbers with about 190 women and 3,500 men taking part. I’m not surprised, though, because even in this day and age more men hunt and fish than women. Of the total number of anglers, 75 percent are men while 25 percent are women. The difference among hunters is even more striking with men comprising 91 percent of all hunters and women only 9 percent.
What I am surprised about is while there are 30 million anglers versus 12.5 million hunters, more people took the hunter survey than the angler survey. Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, attributes that difference to the hunting press doing a great job of getting the word out and hunters being more apt to see the need for collective action.
Taking a look at the angler survey first, it’s apparent when buying outdoor gear (such as rods and reels, firearms, binoculars, coolers and similar gear) men and women prefer black. Pink is way down on the list after camo, brown/tan, blue, gray and green. Interestingly, the same question revealed about a third of men and women don’t give a rat’s fanny what color their gear is. In a separate question, slightly less than half of men and women say color of outdoor products doesn’t matter when purchasing outdoor gear.
One difference I noted is what men think of pink versus what women think. Half the men said they believe women are more likely to purchase pink outdoor gear unrelated to breast cancer, while only 40 percent of the women responded that way. However, it’s important to note because far fewer women took the survey, it introduces variability into the results. Simply put, there may not be a big statistical difference in the results.
Half the women who took the survey believe offering pink outdoor gear is a condescending way to market to them, while only 46 percent of the men believe that. Again, statistically there may not be a big gap between how men responded versus women.
The majority of men and women agree pink outdoor gear that supports breast cancer awareness promotes sales and more than 80 of men and women concur pink gear offered to promote breast cancer awareness is viewed positively by women.
Hunter survey results were not that different than angler survey outcomes.
When it comes to color the majority of men and women said they prefer camo, then black. Green and brown/tan also were popular. However, approximately 20 percent of men and women said color doesn’t matter. And only about 15 percent of women preferred pink.
Similar to the results of the angler survey, half the men said women are more likely to purchase pink outdoor gear unrelated to breast cancer while only 40 percent of the women said they believe that. A bigger sample size of female respondents would have allowed us to draw conclusions with more confidence.
47 percent of the women taking the hunter survey said they believe offering pink outdoor gear unrelated to breast cancer is a condescending way to market to them, while 42 percent of the men believe that.
Three quarters of men and women who took the hunter survey believe pink outdoor gear that supports breast cancer awareness does promote sales and more than 80 percent of men and women indicated it’s viewed positively by women.
Overall, it appears pink is effective when used to help support finding a cure for breast cancer but may not be important otherwise. While we didn’t test this, my gut tells me women (and men) are more concerned about gear fit, performance and value and less interested in what color it is. However, if pink provides a welcoming entry point for women to try hunting, fishing or shooting, I can heartily embrace that. And I also can understand those who wouldn’t touch a pink firearm with a 10-foot pole. What we can all agree on is the debt we owe to the many strong women who paved the way for today’s female outdoor enthusiasts to be exactly who they want to be.
This has been an interesting project and I really hate to see it end. Please join me in thanking Rob Southwick and Donna Leonard of Southwick Associates for their help and willingness to share their knowledge.