The “Secret Life” of Male Skin Care Shoppers Exposed – Part 2 of a Special 2 Part ExposéThis article is a continuation of the exposé titled: Why the Beauty Industry Hates Men Part IIIA – The ‘Secret Life’ of Male Skin Care Shoppers Exposed – Part 1 of a Special 2 Part Exposé.The COOKIE CUTTER Approach – Men are ALL the SAMEThere are many in the Beauty Industry who would disagree with this article series. In fact, they would shrug and say: “We don’t understand what the fuss is all about. We’re easy to do business with – you don’t like our retail locations, you can go on-line. You don’t use the pretty make-up bag of free lipsticks and mascara, then find a woman to give them to. Of course our products aren’t artsy fartsy – they’re not all pink and pretty and we’ve gone out of our way to make them ‘man friendly’. What’s wrong with recruiting women to do our bidding? What’s wrong with marketing campaigns that seek to feminize men? It’s working isn’t it? The new age, metro-sexual man is in and masculine men are now oh so passé…”As tempting as it is to shred that viewpoint and reveal its caustic, ethical bankruptcy with an even more in-depth treatment than we’ve already given in this article series, we’ll save it for another day and just take a quick look at one aspect – the Beauty Industry’s cookie cutter approach to creating what it considers to be ‘male friendly’ men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products.If we were to gather every brand of men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products currently on the market and place them side by side, you’ll notice a couple of things right away. First, the primary (background) colors – the overwhelming majority are likely variations of black, blue, gray, and earth-tones – colors that the Beauty Industry considers to be ‘manly’ and applicable to ALL men, while the rest take a ‘medicinal’ (bare-bone white) approach.Now zoom in on the label and you’ll see the feminine influence from which most, if not all of these so called men’s skin care products were conceived. Among other feminine characteristics in disguise, notice how the over-whelming majority still rely upon the beauty terminology of their very female counterparts, e.g. serum, moisturizer, cream, etc.These traditional female beauty terms are emasculating for men who identify with the masculine ideal and strive to keep up their male image. And there has been very little effort made by the Beauty Industry to address men’s general preference for simplicity and functionality by harmonizing the terminology of essential men’s skin care products. In fact, the Beauty Industry is known for taking the opposite approach.While a moisturizer is essentially still a moisturizer by any other name, the Beauty Industry is notoriously creative when it comes to inventing new descriptions as a means of setting a brand apart from the competition, never-mind the confusion this creates for the consumer. For example, what is commonly known as a ‘moisturizer’ could be marketed under ‘lotion’, ‘complex’, ‘balm’, ‘therapy’, ‘cream’, ‘replenisher’, ‘hydrator’, ‘renewer’, ‘nourishment’, ‘essence’, ‘lift’ and so on. Even descriptions that have some masculine resonance, such as ‘rebuilder’ and ‘defense’, are still more confusing than practical.It would be irresponsible to categorically dismiss the Beauty Industry’s efforts in creating products that appeal to men. True, masculine men aren’t their primary customers and you don’t have enough purchasing power for the Beauty Industry to invest in a complete and costly overhaul of their current practices toward the marketing of men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products.It isn’t so much the lack of effort, nor resources – it’s that the modern Beauty Industry as a whole, is so neck deep in the mold of feminine beauty traditions and influences which have defined and confined the Beauty Industry for nearly 200 years that it can’t break loose and find solutions that must be sought outside of the box. As a result, it’s approach towards the creation and marketing of men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products are systematically cookie cutter and shallow.The ‘Easy’ Solution: Products and Positioning that Fit a Man’s Nature – Masculine Face CareRocket Scientists will say that what they do is simple – once you know what to do. And in the same light, solving the Beauty Industry’s Billion-Dollar Man Problem is easy… once you (the Beauty Industry) know what to do.And what is that knowledge? It’s simply the awareness that, to engage masculine men and enable them to spend billions of dollars boosting the Beauty Industry’s revenues and profits, it’s time to put aside old models and practices, and reach out to men on their terms, in their world, and in a manner that is aligned with their masculine nature. This is what it’s about:· Respect men as men – have the courage to look your customer in the eye. Take the message directly to men, rather than expecting women to do the Beauty Industry’s heavy lifting.· Create products and packaging that masculine men are proud to own and talk to their ‘buddies’ about, instead of hide in the bottom of the bathroom cabinet in fear and shame.· Design marketing campaigns that cater to masculine men, rather than neglect and humiliate them.· Educate men, in language that is familiar and acceptable to them, on the advantages of proper Masculine Face Care, so they make smart, informed decisions and enjoy the results and benefits they expect.· Accept that masculine men have buying preferences that are categorically different from women, and creating an experience that fits those preferences – Men tend to ‘buy’, while women ‘shop’.· Liberate the legions of “secret male skin care shoppers” from department stores, speciality beauty stores and drugstores, empowering them to hold their head up high, and delivering to them the Ultra Masculine Face Care solutions they want, need and deserve.Masculine Men – as qualified paying customers, wouldn’t you rather take your business where you know that your masculinity is respected and appreciated?That’s the challenge the Beauty Industry faces – not next year, not next quarter, but RIGHT NOW.Visionaries who rise to this challenge and create ways to be ‘easy for men to do business with’ will reap immense rewards and competitive advantages that carry them through the 21st century.On the other hand, Beauty Industry ‘ostriches’ who stay buried in the sand and who fail to act will find themselves – ironically – much like the men they’ve ignored for so many years: on the outside, looking in.
The “Secret Life” of Male Skin Care Shoppers Exposed – Part 1 of a Special 2 Part ExposéA fundamental strength of any successful business is its ability to answer a clear, confident and consistent YES to the following question at all times: Are you easy to do business with?At first glance (and each subsequent one, too), the question seems either redundant, or absurd. “Of course,” most business leaders would automatically reply to that strange inquiry, “we’re incredibly easy to do business with. How can you ask such a silly question?”Well, the reason we can ask such a ‘silly question’ is because a staggering number of businesses in the Beauty Industry aren’t easy to do business with. Not if you’re among the millions of men who are in search of Masculine Face Care™ (or what the effeminate beauty industry refers to as men’s skin care) and a buying experience that is aligned with a man’s basic, masculine nature.For millions of masculine men across the US and the rest of the word – ‘doing business’ with the Beauty Industry is anything but easy. In fact, the spectrum ranges from humiliating to hellish.Go Directly to Female-Centric Department Store Beauty Counters: Do Not Pass GOJust as unlucky Monopoly® players are told to “Go directly to Jail, do not pass GO,” millions of men stuck playing the Beauty Industry’s strange game are given the same ruthless ultimatum: “If you want to take care of your face, minimize or prevent the visible signs of aging, or just keep your skin healthy, clean and safe from the environment, and you want high quality products to do it – then go directly to department store beauty counters designed exclusively for the shopping pleasure of members of the ‘opposite gender’.And while most men would refuse to subject themselves to a buying experience that is totally against their nature and preference, there are some who secretly obey this order, because they have no other choice. They need to take care of their appearance, not out of vanity, but to gain an extra edge in an ultra-competitive environment – where first impressions based on how he looks could make or break the deal of a lifetime, or hinder his chances of advancing romantically with she who is the one, before she equates a less than perfect first impression with having no chemistry…These men understand the need to keep the visible signs of aging at bay, to protect their skin from the daily shave, heat, cold, sun, and other environmental hazards, but they want to do it right and so they are selective about what they put on their face. After all – while that first impression may take mere seconds, it could be months, or years before he gets a second chance (if at all), to overcome the initial rejection. Conventional wisdom says that the opportunities that are truly once-in-a-lifetime, that shape the trajectory of our life path rarely come around twice.Masculine men who want to gain every advantage deserve to have equal access (as their female counterparts) to the latest and best innovations in Masculine Face Care™ and anti-aging technologies. Having no other options, secretly and shamefully, men slink into department store beauty sections and awkwardly purchase men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products as quickly as possible – and then leave just as quickly, before they’re spotted by the wife of an acquaintance, or worse, before they’re caught in the tractor beam of ever hovering beauty consultants.Another example of the blatant disregard for the preference of masculine consumers is the beauty industry’s Free Gift with Purchase incentives that are promoted year-round at department and specialty beauty stores. Let’s not even pretend that the beauty industry invested much effort into incentives that are tailored to men. In fact, except for a few major holidays where some brands might offer men a tee shirt, duffle, or something equally unimaginative, the rest of the year, men who buy the same skin care brands as his female counterpart can either choose the oh-so-pretty make-up bag packed with lipsticks, eye shadows and mascara, or nothing at all.How is this possible? The answer is simple. The Beauty Industry is well aware that their retail environment is uninviting to masculine men. Men aren’t their bread-n-butter and they don’t have to cater to you, even if you are the intended end-user of their men’s skin care products. Statistically, 70% of all men’s skin care products are purchased by women, so the objective of these incentives are to entice women to buy for you, rather than to build a relationship with you – directly. Think of these female-centric incentives as the Beauty Industry’s way of bribing (or recruiting) the women around you to spend mega bucks on men’s skin care products that they want her to convince (or nag) you into accepting.Frankly, there are a lot of choice phrases to describe what the Beauty Industry puts masculine men through – ‘easy buying experience’isn’t one of them.The Drugstore Experience – Where the Entire Men’s Skin Care Section Fits into a Shoe Box. Of course, some might argue: Well, what about drugstores? Men can go there and easily get the men’s skin care products they need. No, they can’t. Drugstores are no more ‘men friendly’ than department stores, but for very different reasons. You see, the Beauty Industry is all about ‘image’ and there is a very definite ‘hierarchy’ between department store and drugstore brands. Department store brands are considered ‘high-end’ (or prestige) products – usually with price tags that match, but not necessarily the substance that gives them merit.Skin care and anti-aging products sold at drug and mass merchandise stores are typically known in the beauty industry as ‘low-end’ products. While some brands lure the budget shopper with the perception of ‘value’, others are in line with the old adage – ‘sometimes you get what you pay for’. Brands aside, the undeniable reality is that while there are aisles and seemingly endless rows (or shelves) of female centric beauty products in a typical store, the entire men’s skin care section (if one exists at all) could usually fit in a shoe box. Unless of course, you don’t mind using women’s beauty creams, shopping in the women’s beauty section, nor paying good money for skin care products where the needs of masculine users played no part in their inception.The On-Line Shopping Experience – and the Erosion of the Golden Rule of Retail Marketing: Put the Product in the Customer’s Hands. There are also those in the Beauty Industry who believe that on-line shopping is the answer to the Beauty Industry’s Billion Dollar ‘Man Problem’. If masculine men have a problem with department store beauty sections and offers to powder their nose at the beauty counters (where there’s never any obligation to buy – just pressure), then they need not come out at all!Beauty industry advocates believe that men can simply shop for men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products in the comfort of his home. There’s plenty of privacy (even more so if the package is delivered in a plain brown package), plenty of selection – try an on-line search for men’s skin care and be delighted with literally millions of web results and thousands of brands to sort through – some more prominent than others, and many of which have their own set of hyperbolic claims – something to the effect x number of users noticed x % of improvement in x number of days or weeks, plus the fine print, usually some blurb about a control group and how results may vary.And then there are the volumes of contradictory reviews – User A loves it, User B hates it, User C can careless and so on. By the way, have you noticed how many of these men’s skin care product reviews are written by the women who bought them for their men? Where are the actual users – the men behind some of these reviews? Oh I forget, they’d probably rather people not know about the beauty regiment their women put them on.Regardless of the quality and claims of some of the men’s skin care products available on-line and the credibility of the manufacturers, deciding on the right Masculine Face Care ™ product is a personal decision. Like kicking the tires before buying a truck, the masculine buyer has every right to inspect the product in his hands, decide for himself whether the brand message resonates with his sense of masculinity and would enhance his competitive edge before he invests in the product.On-line shopping is time consuming, confusing and fraught with unsubstantiated claims and unknown suppliers.