Energy: How do we redesign a service environment?

A better gas station experience for women who pump their own gas!

Pumping gas is an everyday chore that most of us don’t think too much about. But when a global petrol company approached the Femme Den to redesign the nozzle on their gas station pumps, we suggested rethinking the entire gas station experience to make it more inviting to their female customers.

Filling gas can be a very masculine experience. The nozzle is big, heavy and unwieldy to maneuver. For women with less physical strength and smaller hands, it’s an awkward two-handed operation. Location and timing are also important considerations for women because buying gas is usually a planned purchase. We learned that she might plan to fill gas before she goes home to dress up for a party. She prefers not to go when the kids are with her, so they’re not left alone in the car. And she would never go late at night for safety reasons. Makes sense then that a woman’s “go-to” station is usually the one where she feels safest. It’s well-lit, open 24 hours and has a friendly person behind the counter if she needs to pick something up from the store.

The solution we presented to our client addressed the primary concerns of women drivers: that gas stations can be dirty and unfriendly. We designed a new concept that’s simply nicer: a familiar stop for the family to take a break during a road trip, and a reassuring go-to place for car problems. By bringing service back to the service station, we imagined a better gas station experience for everyone, both men and women.