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Does color matter when buying outdoor gear?

October 27, 2009 | 10:16 am
Remington Model 597 pink camo rifle
Does color -- specifically pink -- affect decisions on which equipment hunters and anglers of both genders  purchase?

A survey conducted by Southwick Associates on AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com shows that while color has some importance, quality is key.

Anglers of both sexes preferred black, with 52% of men and 38% of women selecting this color. Sixteen percent of women preferred pink, and 30% overall do not factor color into their purchasing decision. The lowest preferences were reflected in brighter colors such as orange and yellow.

Hunters and target shooters said that the most popular color scheme was camouflage, with 62% of males and 60% of females chiming in with this preference. Other popular colors included black, green and brown, with pink getting 15.4% of women's votes. Again, the lowest preference for both genders included brighter colors -- white, yellow and multicolored. Thirty percent overall did not factor in color when buying firearms and related equipment.

Asked if offering pink outdoor gear is a condescending way to market to women (outside of that offered to promote breast cancer awareness), half the women who took the angler survey believe it is, while 46% of men thought so. Of hunters, 47% of surveyed women find it condescending while 42% of men believe that.

Fifty-three percent of male hunters and 50% of anglers believe that pink, unrelated to breast cancer awareness, is likely to boost sales to women, while only 41% of female hunters and 40% of anglers agreed.

Lady Lite rod and reel spinning combo The majority of men and women agree that pink outdoor gear which supports breast cancer awareness does promote sales and that pink gear offered to promote such awareness is viewed positively by women.

Generally, marketing better-quality outdoors equipment is preferred by both men and women.

The ratio of men to women participating in each survey was more male-dominated, though more men than women fish and hunt.

According to Tammy Sapp of the Women's Outdoor Wire, 75% of anglers are male while 25% are female.  The difference among hunters is even higher, with men comprising 91% of hunters with only 9% women.

"Color alone may not woo women who are shopping for equipment," said Sapp. "However, if pink provides a welcoming entry point for women to try hunting, fishing or shooting, I can heartily embrace that."

Personally, I rather like the unique look of the Remington rifle pictured above. I'd always know which is my firearm and if the color keeps others from using it, all the better. (I once had some construction workers at my house who seemed to not think twice about using my neutral-colored hand- and power tools but never once borrowed my pink tool belt.)

--Kelly Burgess

Photos: Top image of Model 597 pink camo rifle courtesy of Remington Arms Co.; bottom image of Lady Lite rod and reel spinning combo courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

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