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Opportunity: Marketing to Today’s New Breed of Men

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Savvy shopping center Marketing Directors are always on the lookout for more shoppers.  With the majority of malls continuing to focus their advertising on women, you may be missing out on a demo with big spending potential—today’s new breed of men.

A recent Global Research report released by HSBC in March 2014 stated that the future of retail could be in young, urban males—or “Yummies.” A Yummy is a young urban male professional who cares about his appearance, cares about luxury items, is marrying later in life and thus has the disposable income to spend on brands.

According to the NPD Group, a global information company, men’s fashion sales in the US increased at a faster rate than women’s.  Men’s accessories alone, such as shoes and belts, grew 13% in 2013, compared to a 3% growth in women’s.  “Innovation and men’s perception of fashion contributed to an increase in spending in 2013,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NDP Group.

In a report published in 2012 by Interpublic’s media group, BPN, the rise of the “mansumer” was documented.  A product of the recession, particularly in the US, this group is a growing breed of male shoppers that is supplanting their better halves as the “chief buying officers” of their households.  “With the rise of the mansumer comes a whole new set of potential changes in advertising, purchase patterns and common marketing practices,” says BPN North American CEO, Liz Ross.  

Women are still a dominant and very significant market, but there is growing evidence that there is also a big opportunity in marketing to men.  How can shopping centre marketers tap into this group more effectively?  Consider the following:

Simplify the Shopping Experience

Men are generally mission-focused, regardless of age.  Men are not usually browsers.  In fact, a 2013 DDB Worldwide survey revealed that 40% of male millennial respondents would buy everything online, versus 33% of female respondents.  There’s even an Instagram account called Miserable Men That Went Shopping.   If you want men to shop more often at your mall, make it easier for them.  Can you improve your parking?  Is your directional signage clear enough?  Is there a Fast Pass line for gift card purchases during the holidays?

Curate

A trend that is growing in popularity among men, particularly Millennials, is the concept of a curated assortment.  This relates the point above as well as a blog article we wrote back in June 2012 titled, The Next Big Job In Shopping Centre Marketing.  Product curation can be challenging for a shopping centre because of the massive selection available, but it can be done effectively with a little thought.  Pop Up displays, capsule collections, print and online magazines, and Lookbooks are all possible channels.

Review Your Store Mix

Work with your leasing team to determine how to attract new stores that will meet the increasing demand for men’s fashion and services.  Take a deeper look at emerging men’s retail success stories, like the ‘hybrid’ stores that are springing up and bridge the gap between service and retail (think coffee shop mixed with a clothing store), and ‘modern’ barber shops offering upscale services like hot towel shaves, facial treatments, and big screen TVs. 

With an increased marketing focus on today’s new breed of men, there may even come a time when we see an Instagram account called “Happy Men at the Mall.”

 

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