How to Talk and Sell to Men
By George Anderson
News flash (please hold your groans): Men are different than women.
Consider shopping. Many women enjoy doing it, seeing it as a form of entertainment or a social experience shared with like-minded, well, women. Men, on the other had, said Elizabeth Arden’s CEO Scott Beattie, “tend to not enjoy the same shopping experience as a woman.”
To get them to go shopping in the first place and then engage them in the experience, Mr. Beattie told attendees at the Reuters Retail Summit, “you have to be able to communicate more directly to them.”
Communicating with men has become more of a focus for consumer marketers and retailers, and the result, some say, has been that men’s product sales are on the upswing.
Mr. Beattie’s company is one of those that has increased its emphasis on male consumers. Elizabeth Arden, said Mr. Beattie, currently gets about 10 percent of its overall sales from products designed for and targeted at men. Product sales from brands such as the company’s Paul Sebastian and Geoffrey Beene fragrance lines are growing.
The company also recently signed a deal with International Speedway Corp. to develop a men’s Daytona 500 fragrance line. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon will serve as the spokesperson for the line that will be rolled out to department stores next spring.
Revlon is another company that is putting more emphasis on marketing to males. It recently launched an ad campaign for its Mitchum deodorant line that Revlon CEO Jack Stahl said is the biggest push it has put behind the brand in 15 years.
The Mitchum campaign with messages such as, “If you’ve never left a game early to beat traffic, you’re a Mitchum man,” and “If you didn’t have anything to do with planning your wedding, you’re a Mitchum man,” follows a common theme in modern advertising of using humor and wry observations to define “guy-ness” and connect personal behaviors with a brand’s identity.
Not all, however, share the enthusiasm about the “growing” market for male products. Nu Skin President Lori Bush, said, “I hear a lot about growth but it’s still a very, very small base. For the long run, guys will be guys, and we’ll let them be.”
Moderator’s Comment: Has the male consumer changed, opening up new opportunities to sell products in categories not usually associated with these shoppers?
How are men different than women and what must retailers do in the way of advertising and in-store merchandising to attract and keep them as shoppers? –
George Anderson – Moderator
For those interested in testing their manhood and getting a better sense of how men are being marketed to today, check out the “Man Test” on Mitchum.com.