It’s a Man’s World
By David Morse, President & CEO, New American Dimensions, LLC
Comedian Rita Rudner has a line, “When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always.” Rosanne Barr says, “Men can read maps better than women. Because only the male mind could conceive of one inch equaling a hundred miles.”
Let’s face it. We men have been getting bashed for years. But finally we are getting the respect we deserve. A just published study from Packaged Facts, The U.S Men’s Market, is all about men — as consumers.
To quote the executive summary, “Radical changes in the role of women in society over the past four decades inevitably have caused corresponding changes in the position of men in the workplace, their relationship with women, and their involvement in family life.” It goes on to say that as the blurring of traditional gender differences occurs, like more men helping to rear kids and do household chores, the way we market to men should evolve.
Some facts from the report:
- Men, particularly older men, shop only when they have to. Only a quarter of men, compared to half of women, enjoy shopping when they don’t have something to buy. Similarly, they are much less likely to browse or buy things on the spur of the moment.
- Men are more likely than women to enjoy shopping with the opposite sex; 27 percent of men compared to only 16 percent of women agreed with that one.
- Though only 20 percent of men consider themselves to be the primary shopper in their household, they are doing more of their own shopping. In 1985, women were responsible for 60 percent of men’s apparel purchases. In 2003, the number dropped to 30 percent.
- There were strong regional differences. Men in Los Angeles, for instance, were more likely to be frequent shoppers; along with men from New York and Chicago they were much more likely to care about fashion. Men living in the Southern and Central states were much more likely to express a preference for products made in the U.S.
- Compared to women, men are much more likely to stick with trusted brands, particularly older men. Conversely, men are less likely to wait until things go on sale, shop for bargains and travel to a factory outlet store.
- Men have little patience with television commercials, though younger men tend to find them more interesting. Older men tend to hit the mute button while younger men tend to change channels.
Moderator’s Comment: Have men gotten a raw deal at retail? Have retailers failed to recognize that men are changing? Are there retailers that are doing
a good job at reaching men?
When it comes to shopping, I think I am devolving. I hate it more than I ever did. But there is compelling evidence in the report that I am the anomaly.
It cites one study that found that 61 percent of men did grocery shopping in 2004 compared to only 41 percent in 2002. Another study cited found that men between the ages of 40
and 74 were less likely to have negative opinions about grocery shopping than women.
Still, there is room for improvement. For instance, the report concludes that though men are less likely than women to make impulse purchases, the opposite
was true in the realm of grocery stores. The report quoted a Christian Science Monitor article: “Supermarkets don’t think like men. If they did, they would put baskets
in the back of stores to accommodate the needs of men who end up with armloads of items bought on impulse.”
Now we’re talking. I’ve got the ice cream freezer burns on the back of my arm to prove it.
[The entire report, The U.S. Men’s Market, can be purchased directly from Packaged Facts or marketresearch.com.] –
David Morse – Moderator