The Way to a Man’s Wallet

Discussion
Dec 19, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Jim Suchy’s idea of a great night out shopping for Christmas presents involves sitting in a comfortable chair watching television while drinking beer and eating pizza. That’s why he decided to do his holiday shopping this year on men’s night at Borsheim’s jewelry store.


A number of high-end retailers are adjusting how they market themselves to Mr. Suchy and other male shoppers to make them feel more at home.


Jean-Pierre Dub, a marketing professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, told The Associated Press, “It’s painful to shop for feminine things. It’s embarrassing. Anything you can do to make it easier and more comfortable will increase the likelihood they’ll do more impulse buying.”


Borsheim’s also holds a women’s night where female customers can drink wine and eat pint-size pastries while making out a wish list of pieces they would like for the holidays.


One week after Mike Galaska’s wife attended the women’s night at Borsheim’s, he was back at the store for the men’s night.


After mentioning his wife’s name, the staff brought pieces Mrs. Galaska had picked out.


“Whatever she (the salesclerk) brings, I’m going to buy,” he said.


Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group, said retailers such as Borsheim’s are looking to make shopping fun again.


Simple changes such as adding a few more chairs or putting in a television with a football game can make all the difference. It is little touches like these that helps to create loyal customers, he said.


“That’s what they (high-end retailers) thrive on,” he said. “They thrive on turning a nonbeliever into a believer.”


Count Jim Suchy and Mike Galaska as believers in Borsheim’s.


Moderator’s Comment: What is the quickest way to a man’s wallet? What retailers (aside from DIY and sporting goods) do the best job of making men feel
at home shopping in their stores? How do they do it?

George Anderson – Moderator

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11 Comments on "The Way to a Man’s Wallet"


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M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 2 months ago

It occurs to me that strip club lap dances (with which I have no first-hand knowledge . . . honest!) are great at separating men from their money. It also occurs to me that Borsheim’s men’s night shares many features with lap dances. For example, both put women in charge. Both are well-scripted and managed, both meet specific consumer expectations, both are personal, both have specific rules, neither requires or allows male input, and both are expected to end in a sale. And therein lies a formula of sorts.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
15 years 2 months ago
When you consider the stereotypical roles men and women are born into, retailers could consider this in trying to attract men versus women in stores. I know so many men who tell me they hate to shop, but put them in a hardware shop or bookstore, and those same men can spend hours. It has been my experience that most men enjoy the role of hunters and solution finders, providing for their loved ones. If a retailer can demonstrate that buying this item will earn them respect for their cleverness, solving a family need, or acquiring something that is hard to find, of course our hero will bite. You know, in my experience, putting a TV on the sales floor is a waste of time, time that I have too little of. Give me unique gift suggestions, maybe a help list to remember what brands of products my wife likes or uses so that when I shop I don’t buy the wrong brand. The special night for men [should have] helpful salespeople, sympathetic to my… Read more »
Karen Ribler
Guest
Karen Ribler
15 years 2 months ago

A friend of mine owns a jewelry store specializing in diamonds. This year his gimmick is to have very lovely models wearing his jewelry in his store windows as well as sashaying throughout the store. His tactic has received media attention, both newspaper articles and live media, impulse walk-ins – the majority are male and a higher sales volume than last Christmas. He has always done the wish list and exclusive pre-holiday season cocktail and value sales, but this year he feels he has hit the mark. He feels the sizzle ultimately is the gems themselves, but it hasn’t hurt to create a stir and capture the imagination with a lovely model. Don is right…and my friend has the proof…sex sells.

Doug Fleener
Guest
15 years 2 months ago
I second Bob’s comments that, as a guy, I don’t care what I buy; I just want it to the be right thing. I always like to say there is a difference between selling men and selling guys. I’m a guy. What’s the difference? Every woman who is married to a guy knows the difference. Guys are men who don’t take the business of being a grown-up too seriously. There is still a lot of boy in us. We’re husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends, neighbors, bosses, and friends. We’re CEOs and tradesmen, plumbers and presidents. Guys know who other guys are, but men and women don’t always know who the guys are. We grow older, but rarely grow completely up. More retailers can maximize their sales and profits by thinking like a guy and creating these guy experiences like pizza and beer night. And not just during the holidays. Some of the biggest opportunities are for those who sell to the women in a guy’s life year around. Think about it. We guys are quite impatient… Read more »
J. Peter Deeb
Guest
15 years 2 months ago

We boomer men love the idea of somebody helping us figure out the shopping maze! We have a jeweler in our area who does the wish list and then contacts the “lucky” purchaser. Makes everybody happy!

More retailers need to figure out their customers and then “personalize” the buying experience. In my experience, it leads to more and profitable sales as well as satisfied customers.

Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
15 years 2 months ago
I’ll say it since no one has. The best way to a man’s wallet is sex. Sex sells to men like nothing else. Yes, we like convenience. Yes, if you make the experience include some of our interests and allow us to watch sports while we get the chore of shopping done….we’ll be grateful. But if you really want to separate male money from male wallets, market sex. Sorry for that drop into the gutter, but the point is in support of niched and target marketing, as well as understanding what actually drives various consumer segments. It’s almost impossible to be coherent and use the phrase “marketing to women.” There are such differences in lifestyle, thought patterns and shopping preferences across many segment variables that almost no one I respect tries to lump “women” into one basket. Are men so very simple that we as marketers think it’s appropriate to lump them all together? With regard to SEX, the answer would be yes. However, in almost all other regards, men are as disparate as women.… Read more »
Ron Margulis
Guest
15 years 2 months ago

The quickest way to a man’s wallet is convenience and the perception of exclusivity or a deal. Just the idea that a guy is getting something that others can’t get or for a price only a few people can get is attractive to men. Certain car dealers (Mercedes, Hummer, Porsche) can be pretty good at this, and so can upscale appliance and electronic firms. These retailers have created an allure of exclusivity that makes men feel like they are members of a small club, which they (we) like. On the deal side, Costco does a great job in attracting men, because they forget about the membership the second it’s paid and so think everything is on sale for them.

Bob Negen
Guest
Bob Negen
15 years 2 months ago

The way to most, not all, men’s wallets is convenience and service. We want to get it done quickly, but we also want to get the right gift – no, make that the perfect gift.

I think that Borsheim’s Men’s night is a great idea, but not nearly as powerful (or profitable) as the wish list. Creating the wish list gives the men both the convenience, since they can buy at any time, and the perfect gift, since the women chose the jewelry themselves.

On a side note, it’s not just Borsheim’s and other high end retailers that are working harder to make the experience more convenient and more personal. As independent retailers work harder to find new, innovative ways to build their sales, “wish lists” are becoming more and more popular.

There are several stores in our downtown of Grand Haven, Michigan using this strategy.

Kai Clarke
Guest
15 years 2 months ago

Product differentiation through target market segmentation is the key to success in retail. Attracting key segments (e.g. men) creates better customer loyalty, product branding and messaging. Watch any football game and you will see the plethora of beer and truck commercials (targeted at men) to know this all-time truth. Savvy high-end retailers have known this for years, since they cater to their customers on a “personal service” level which takes this to the next level. All of the key retailers are recognizing this and are creating concept stores which change the shopping experience from a one-stop shopping extravaganza to a segment-tailored one. As competition heats up, we will continue to see retailers reaching for new and different ways to segment their audience to better deliver products and services which fill their needs.

Mark Hunter
Guest
Mark Hunter
15 years 2 months ago

Borsheim’s is truly one of the very special retailers that truly understand the value of the employee and this is the reason they are able to execute the men’s night out type of events so well. From the CEO of Borsheim’s to the person working in the backroom and even the security guards, there is a level of personal attention rarely exhibited by other retailers. Not that other retailers can’t copy what Borsheim’s does; it is simply that they do it better due to the unwavering passion to serve that each one of their employees demonstrates daily.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 2 months ago

The store actively engaged both sexes. They realized that they didn’t have to actively engage them at the same time. That’s one of their keys to success. The highest grossing movies attract as many segments of the population as possible. Stores that can figure out how to engage both genders have the highest sales potential. If the store had simply attracted men, the wish lists wouldn’t have been available.

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