August 29, 2011

Metrosexual Men and Marketing

Redefining Traditional Shopping and Domestic Paradigms

A new sociological male segment, identified in recent years by British writer Mark Simpson, is not dominated by homosexuals, but, quite counter-intuitively, they’ve embraced the softer, more feminine sides of life while holding onto traditional male identity. As Simpson has observed: “Metrosexuality actually gives men a certain amount of independence from women: after all, they can actually choose their own clothes, operate a washing machine, and maybe even cook for themselves. Whereas the retrosexual depended on women to mother him, the metrosexual mothers himself.”

And they shop. He may go to Home Depot to buy a new power tool and then stop by Macy’s to shop for an aftershave balm. He has a significant impact on the grocery store shopping list and often undertakes the shopping while his spouse works late at the office.

The definitive representative of this segment is David Beckham, the famous Los Angeles Galaxy soccer star. And many celebrity Boomer men also fall into this category, including actor Tony Danza and chef Emeril Lagasse.

Reaching this high-spending segment requires special insights into how to balance masculine with feminine messages. Boomer metrosexual men grew up in a culture with narrowly acceptable margins for male behavior; yet they unabashedly defy stereotypes; they shop, cook, pay attention to the finer points of grooming and embrace feminine home decorating touches. Marketers are most successful when they transform femininity into masculinity, and then connect today’s masculinity with powerful meta-values such as self-acceptance, self-reliance, personal growth, self-actualization, ongoing relevance and legacies. Ralph Waldo Emerson understood what a man must become, especially when he steps outside of society’s confining limits for masculine roles: “There comes a time when a man must take himself, for better or worse, as his portion.” Help men do this, and they will embrace your company with their loyalty.

Brent Green & Associates has produced powerful and creative campaigns to reach the metrosexual Boomer male for product categories such as resorts, fitness companies and home builders. Get in touch when you’re ready to “Kick it up a notch!”

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