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The Differences Between Men and Women--Part III: The Profit in Understanding What Makes Men Tick

Guy Lewis, PhD March 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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The business community is quite aware of the growing trend in male consumerism that currently is taking place in the spa and wellness industries. Historically, spa owners have built their environment, staff and product lines with the female clients’ interests in mind. A consumer shift has taken place in this arena, and now the old business concept must shift to accommodate these changes and stay current with market demands.

The male grooming market for 2006 was close to $2 billion. It is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2008 and $7.2 billion by 2010.1 The International SPA Association (ISPA) reports that in 2005, 31% of spa visitors were men. Of this number, 12% visited male-only spas. There was a 3% increase in men visiting spas in just one year, and the demand for gender-specific, especially male-only products, was and continues to be very strong.2 As was noted earlier in this series, there is a perceptual and kinesthetic—as well as emotional—difference in the manner in which men and women approach the world around them. Early neurobiological blueprints for male and female visual, emotional and kinesthetic interaction is further fortified with sociological stereotyping that takes place through the teenage years, resulting in a set pattern of reactions to people, places and things.

Look at the differences found between men and women in action in a recent study by the University of Alberta as published in Science Daily (2005): A group of male and female volunteers agreed to negotiate a large maze that contained specific landmarks, then find their way back to the starting point. The results from the study showed that on average, men made it back to the home starting point more than three times faster than women did. After completion of the maze, the participants were asked to describe the route through the maze. It was cited that women could recall various landmarks in detail that were located throughout the maze. For men, on the other hand, the entire trip was a blur as they reported that their task was to get to the end. Men focused only on the single task. Women had structured their way through the maze by utilizing whole brain functioning. This finding suggests that there are explainable reasons as to why men have different sensations than women.

Shift in paradigm

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