Gender Neutral Merchandising for Boutiques: Advertising and Promotion

Once you've reorganized your store or boutique to reflect non-gendered organization and labeling, it's time to make sure your promotional materials reflect that. For a full document and Gender Neutral Merchandising, click here

Easy: Remove Gendered Language. This is partially covered in our "Gendered Language" section, but we'd like to touch on language specifically related to advertising and promotions. Any mailer that goes out or digital promotion should exclude references to "boys", "girls", and pronouns like "he" or "she". Instead, substitute "children," "kids," "tots," "infants," and "they", "them", "their", or "one". If you send mailers to new parents, don't congratulate anyone on the birth of a boy or girl, instead congratulate them on "the birth of their baby". 

Moderate: All inclusive imagery. This can be a bit more controversial for some parents and brands, but to create a truly inclusive space, kids need to be able to see other children like them wearing the clothes they love. This could appear as a window display with several children of all genders wearing a mix of all of your products. It could mean having a digital promotion showing real kids wearing your products in the way they choose, regardless of gender. Eventually, you may want to include product photos of each item on both a boy and a girl child (this is a particularly good method for web sales where you have multiple product photos for each item). 

Advanced: Direct promotion of a gender neutral space. Target had a lot of success with direct emails and press releases announcing their movement toward non-labeled children's clothing and toy sections. While a boutique is different than a big retailer like Target, the level of publicity the change generated for the retailer is undeniable. Once your space is optimized for non-gendered shopping, it's time to announce it to the world and promote your store as a safe, welcoming space for any child who prefers to dress outside the norm (or within it!).