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What Makes Male Shoppers Tick?

Earlier today, Simon Goodall, a director at Saatchi & Saatchi X, London, released a very enlightening article on Advertising Age’s Web site entitled “How to Connect With the Heart and Mind of the Male Shopper” (see link below).

I was immediately drawn to the article because, as a male shopper myself, I was curious how someone could write an article on male shopping patterns without gross generalizations, lumping together the buying habits of different men across different generations.  As I read on, however, I found myself agreeing with most of the ideas Goodall puts forth.

Goodall explains that, while men are increasingly shopping for themselves, 40% of them feel unwelcome in retail stores.  This is something that I can connect with personally.  The last time I went  into the mall to look for clothes,  I felt out of place, bombarded with female-centered in-store advertisements and surrounded by mostly, well, women.

So, the question for advertisers is:  how can we make men feel more comfortable in a shopping setting?  The answer, he attests, is not by creating more male stereotypes.  On the contrary, advertisers should stay away from such strategies and instead focus on the “emotional drivers” of why men shop.

Goodall goes on to list and explain the five key drivers which influence male shopping, which are as follows:  men need to demonstrate their mastery of shopping; a product’s performance provides an “emotional functionality” for men;  men don’t browse, they “carry out reconnaissance”; men want products which reflect their progress and status; finally, men want sanctuaries where they can be men.

Despite the outward appearance of generalized assumptions,  each one of these statements rings true for me in thinking about my shopping habits and those of my peers.  The two drivers which I agree with particularly are that men “carry out reconnaissance” and that men want products which reflect their progress and status.  The latter of the two makes sense according to Goodall’s findings:  according to him, 68% of millennial men (that’s me) prefer brands that show good taste and exhibit a sort of exclusivity.

Goodall’s article has many valid points which ring true, at least for a millennial male shopper like myself.  It will be interesting to see if advertisers will begin targeting male consumers using these “emotional drivers” to their advantage.

Sources:

http://bit.ly/e3nSpp

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