You’ve heard of metrosexuals -- urban-dwelling young males with lots of disposable income spent mostly on pampering themselves.
Now, in a new report, Interpublic’s media shop BPN has documented the rise of the “mansumer.” A product of the recession, this group is a growing breed of male shoppers that is supplanting their better halves as the “chief buying officers” of their households.
“While the job market for men has recently improved, the lasting effects of the recession have altered the traditional ‘provider’ paradigm,” BPN states. “With that, the new chief buyer in the American household is the man of the house. With the rise of the mansumer comes a whole new set of potential seed changes in advertising, purchase patterns and common marketing practices.”
The agency cites a batch of statistics to support its case. Forty percent of men are now the primary grocery shopper in the household, while 44% say they share equally in the task of housecleaning. And a whopping 86% agree that the male role in the household has been redefined and requires partaking in tasks that are “necessary to keep the household running,” including childcare, shopping and various other activities like buying the holiday gifts.
But, while men shop more than ever, they shop differently and with less emotion and more focus on achieving certain goals.
“Men don’t just shop; they buy,” stated BPN North American CEO Liz Ross. “Through our research and analysis, we are seeing that, whether by choice or obligation, men are doing more shopping than they have in the past,” said Ross. “These men are no longer disenfranchised; rather, they are empowered by technology and a growing recognition of the contributions they make.”
The agency recommends that retailers create recognition programs in line with the mansumer's "need for praise." Also, retailers should consider increasing the number of price match opportunities they present to shoppers. A re-evaluation of gift card strategies might also help boost sales, BPN asserts. “Needs may be different this year because the mansumer is aware of exactly what his family wants this holiday season. He’s no longer unsure what to buy.”