Why marketing to your male clients is a whole different ball game.
According to a 2013 study carried out by neuroscientists at the University of California, men’s brains might be eight percent larger than women’s on average but they are less efficient and are outperformed by women’s brains when performing complex or multifaceted tasks that require big picture thinking and a higher level of ‘emotional intelligence’.
The female brain, though smaller, is both task and process focused, which means that female shoppers seek out an experience rich with sensorial pleasures and new discoveries on the way to purchasing what they need. On entering your salon, the female client is aware of the beautiful music playing, the scented candle burning, the jewel-toned, plush velvet sofa in the waiting area.
In contrast, the male brain is primarily task-focused, and thrives on logic, spatial awareness and coordination. When it comes to shopping, this gives them a ‘get in and get out’ mindset, which needs a plan and has a tangible task that can be achieved with ruthless efficiency. Think of the set-up of male-targeted shops such as Bunnings Warehouse; minimal attention paid to decoration and sensory indulgences such as smell, sound and texture, and an easy to follow grid-layout that gets them to their purchase with minimal interruption. Contrast that with the cosmetics hall of your local department store; a labyrinth of colour, texture, smell, new samples and temptation.
It is a waste to time to try and change the way your male clients shop; they don’t need educating or inspiring to slow down and enjoy the shopping process like females do, they need quick and simple solutions to complete their grooming tasks. So, what are those tasks?
Euromonitor reported in 2014 that New Zealand males are increasingly customed to purchasing products specific to their gender, such as hair care products, body wash, deodorants and skin care products. Successful grooming brands have targeted specific needs such as stronger formulations for stress, fatigued and tired bodies and skin, stronger products to combat body odour and perspiration. Anti-ageing skin care products in particular are gaining popularity as the baby-boomer male generation competes with younger males in the corporate work environment.
NPD group’s Karen Grant says, “Men have become increasingly conscious of the perks associated with looking good and they have a heightened awareness that looking good may provide them with an advantage in the workplace, as well as their personal lives.”
Research firm Affinova reported in 2014 that men are more likely to see the value in facial skin care products specifically targeted to anti-ageing. Interestingly, anti-ageing products were even more popular in the 25-34 year age group than the 35 year plus age group, suggesting that men are looking for preventative solutions. The other key findings of the Affinova study were the importance of masculine packaging and male-targeted products, and that men use skin care to ‘feel and be healthy’ above any other reason.
Global market researcher Canadean reported a steady increase in the sales of male toiletries, driven by the rise of the ‘Millennial’ generation who are 25 years and older. Men of this age group seek innovation in their products and are driven by an emerging aspiration for grooming and styling. They are also keen for higher quality products that give value for money. According to the report, time-pressed, working males want innovative products that provide multiple benefits and are happy to pay a premium to get them.
Deanna Utroske of Cosmetics-Design Europe believes that the underlying trend worldwide in men’s grooming and skin care is a desire for wellness. “Consumers are looking to achieve a clean, fresh look with simple, healthy and effective personal care products.”
Consider these pointers if setting up a men’s section of your retail area, or writing the male-targeted section of your treatment menu or creating a men’s promotion.
1. Identify a problem or task ie: stress, hair removal, anti-ageing.
2. Explain the solution in clear, efficient language.
3. Allow them to purchase the solution with minimal interruption or fuss.
Note: beautiful packaging, luxurious textures and gorgeous smells are bonuses, not selling points.