As you ponder business ideas and markets to target, be sure to factor men into your equation. While women continue to be the driving force of purchase decisions in most households, men are behind many of today’s hottest trends, yet marketers tend to forget about targeting this emerging demographic. For example, young men are waiting longer to get married which gives them more disposable income to spend on themselves.
Here are some trends, business ideas and opportunities to know about when marketing to men.
In 2015, men's grooming products accounted for $5.5 billion in sales, almost double the amount in 2012. Some 25 percent of men buy products intended for women, but men are craving “male-specific toiletries” that go beyond the traditional shaving products (although beard grooming is one profitable niche). Skincare, anti-aging and hair-care products targeted to man are becoming more popular. Men want fast, effective problem-solving products that don’t require spending a lot of time grooming. You can sell men’s grooming products through retail stores, online, at salons or spas, sporting good stores, barbershops, gyms and clothing stores.
Spas and Salons
Speaking of spas and salons, men—especially younger ones – have become a profitable market for spa treatments and grooming services. Nearly 40 percent of men aged 18 to 35 have had a facial or body treatment, reports SpaFinder Wellness Trend Report, which says, "It's not just culturally acceptable for men to spend on looking good, it's becoming perceived as a necessity." Once they start getting treatments, men don’t stop: 39 percent of men who've had a facial get one every week, compared to just 6 percent of women.
Men’s Fashion Accessories
As clothing becomes more casual, men are spending more to stand out via fashion accessories, such as ties, belts, watches and wallets. Between 2009 and 2014, sales of men's luxury footwear, watches and small leather goods all rose significantly. Millennial men’s passion for personalization and self-expression is a huge driver of this trend, but men aged 35 to 54 are spending on accessories, too. Whether you make, import or sell these products, here’s plenty of room for growth.
TV cooking shows starring male chefs have made cooking "macho," but it's not all about steaks on the grill. Men aged 35 to 55, whether married or single, cook an average of eight meals a week, The Wall Street Journal reports. Not only are they cooking, men are also shopping for food. Some 43 percent of men are primary grocery shoppers for their households. Men make 15 food-shopping visits per month and account for most online food/grocery shopping. Why are they so desirable a market? They shop more frequently than women, make more impulse buys and are less price-conscious.
If you’re starting a home remodeling business, know this: The Wall Street Journal has dubbed the kitchen “the new man cave.” Men have strong opinions about what they want in a kitchen, including a more streamlined, masculine aesthetic; darker colors; and indoor-outdoor kitchens. When men get involved, the cost of a remodel rises by an average of 30 percent.
Understanding the Male Consumer
To attract men to your startup, you need to know how they like to shop.
- Speed: Men, on average, have higher average incomes than women, so they’re less concerned about discounts and more concerned about convenience. Women tend to browse, while men make highly targeted “missions,” so enabling them to get in and out of a store fast is key.
- Mobility: Smartphones offer the convenience men crave. Create a mobile-friendly website for your business and (if you’re selling online), make it easy for men to buy on their phones. Use mobile marketing to reach out to men with targeted offers. Men may not seek out discounts, but if you text them a deal (i.e., make it easy for them), they’ll be motivated.
- Details: Men may rush in and out of stores, but they linger when shopping online. According to Interactions marketing, men are more likely than women to read all available product information before making a purchase, more likely to download a business’s mobile app and more likely to sign up for digital loyalty programs.