August 29, 2011

Marketing Men’s Products

Sometimes Dudes Just Need Products for Guys

Coonskin cap B & W

Take an expedition with us into a kingdom populated by men. These aren’t just any men or all men. They are men now somewhere between their mid-forties and mid-sixties. They are Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964. They became the nexus of modern marketing as they passed from childhood into puberty and then young adulthood. They were active spectators during the advent of broadcast television as the preeminent mass marketing medium. They listened to radio transform from AM to FM and then XM.

They read a proliferation of edgy new magazines, full of swagger and seduction, targeting just them. They enjoyed exceptional privileges as consumers – so many product choices, so accessible, so easy to buy and replace. They collected consciousness around cliquey fads.

And they demonstrated noteworthy differences from their careful and dutiful fathers who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They were more open to experimentation, more willing to let go of austere Victorian-era strictures about pursuing personal-gratification, more capable of adaptation to change as technology exploded into one product innovation after another.

This realm is vigorous with idealism, even now so many years after their youthful days of high purposes and protests. They can be ideological, as is true for their entire generation, but they can also be flexible, adapting to present circumstances with malleable points of view. This fatherland has a culture that can be sober, circumspect and reserved. And yet the ambiance can be hopeful, even buoyant: the best days are yet to be.

Many products appeal to men, first and foremost. Product categories most amenable to male marketing strategies, for example, include suits and upscale shoes, such as those purveyed by Cole Hahn; male magazines targeting Boomers, such as BestLife and Esquire; pharmaceuticals for male performance, such as Viagra; certain brands of performance cars, such as the new Lincoln MKX; selected categories of sports and outdoors equipment, such as a sizeable male segment served by the boating and fishing industry under the cross-promotional rubric called Take Me Fishing; and the exploding industry of male grooming and personal care products now being addressed by traditionally women-focused companies, including Calvin Klein, L’Oreal, Lancôme, and Clinique, as well as male stalwarts such as Gillette. It’s all about bringing balance to life. As Henri Matisse realized in his own life: “What I dream of is an art of balance.”

This is a man’s land. They are ready to take a look at what you’ve got. And you’ll get their attention when you create messages that tap into their shared generational experiences, coupled with their essential maleness.

Brent Green & Associates has honed this art by producing control-busting campaigns for male focused marketers such as Rodale’s Men’s Health and Weider’s Men’s Fitness. We get it. And we’d like to help you get it … or get them: Boomer males ready to buy.

Stay abreast of this dynamic market. Visit Brent Green’s BOOMERS BLOG.

Order your copy of Brent Green’s MARKETING TO LEADING-EDGE BABY BOOMERS for an eye-opening immersion into generational marketing. Order your copy of GENERATION REINVENTION to learn how Boomers are changing the future, including a special section on marketing to Baby Boomer men.