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

By: Guy Lewis, PhD
Posted: July 22, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Trend analysis of the shifting roles of males and females is helpful in order to better understand the dynamics of the new spa and relaxation seekers. These trends have been thoroughly researched and validated by market research driven by the potential growth in profit from existing brands such as spas, techniques or products. The shifts in role definitions are important to keep in mind when reviewing the following for strategic positioning of your product.

Personal care

Male attitudes toward appearance suggest a greater willingness to adopt personal care regimens. This is noticed as men are spending more on personal care products and spending per occasion—anytime outside the household—at category levels that are surprisingly close to that of women’s spending. Market research reports that skin care and maintenance is one of the fastest-growing categories, but male grooming behaviors and needs do not follow a straightforward age-related pattern. It is not a consistent finding that all levels are harmonious in their outcome.

Younger men tend to be less skeptical about spas’ beauty regimens and enhanced treatments. This group of young men represents those who are open-minded to visiting a spa because they have been exposed to male grooming and the need for taking care of themselves by relatives, peers and the media. They are considered to be smart, savvy, Internet-educated shoppers and consumers, open to new ideas and educated about their options.

The older generation of men, in particular the baby boomers, still value the service and number of services engaged in as the primary rationale for having the service. They are more practical and thrifty, and often are more hesitant to try additional services without the proper education and guidance. As consumers, older men are the biggest personal care spenders, but occasions for spending vary far less than for those who are younger. This means although an older man will pay more per visit, he will tend to visit less than younger men who spend less, but visit more.

One particular finding that validates the information offered in this series is that men of all ages are interested in the functionality of the products and remain skeptical of claims largely through lack of their own knowledge. Men remain a steady target audience for appearance-related supplements, and beauty nutrition is outgrowing its traditional target audience in general. Of most importance with this trend is that beauty benefits can be tailored to suit male needs.

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