Hugh Pickens writes: "Finding the right approach for gender-specific marketing can be really tricky, said Andrea Learned, a marketing expert and author of "Don't Think Pink — What Really Makes Women Buy." So when Dell recently took the wraps off a new Web site geared toward women called Della, featuring tech "tips" that recommended calorie counting, finding recipes and watching cooking videos as ways for women to get the most from a laptop, a backlash erupted online, as both women and men described the Web site as "ridiculous" and "gimmicky." Della's heavy emphasis on colors, computer accessories, dieting tips and even the inclusion of a video about vintage shopping "seems condescending to women consumers," says Learned. Instead Dell should have emphasized function and figured out ways to sell the netbooks in a way that wasn't clichéd and reliant on gender stereotypes. "Some brands go too far with the girlie stuff," Learned says, "Della's marketing strategy sounds like it's advertising a purse. There's a level of consumer sophistication they're missing.""
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