The end of the year brings both reflection and the need to look ahead. After writing for, and religiously following the other Engage:Men posts throughout this year, I decided to use this post to think about the gestalt of the year's conversations. Short and sweet.
What's the best way for retailers to engage men? We hear this question often and the answer is always the same-it depends on your goal.
You're goofing off at work, minding your own business, watching baby ducks master a treadmill or whatever the time-waster video of the moment is. Suddenly, in bursts a breathless email from an acquaintance with something he's shamelessly shilling. "Please like and retweet and share this to your networks! Digg it and favorite it to your friends and followers, and vote it up and pin it and +1 it and comment!"
Most men grind it out five days a week in their office cranking out TPS Reports but apparently, they spend a ton of time doing other things, too -- like shopping.
As the holiday shopping season is in full gear, men around the country are stressing about what and how to buy gifts for their loved ones. For many guys, the holiday shopping season is filled with excitement and anxiety as well as some new tricks to ease the process.
I never had any desire to grow out my moustache. Sure, like most every Gen X guy, I've had a couple rounds of goatees through the years (thank you, Spike Lee), sported some long sideburns (thank you, Brandon and Dylan on "90210"), and even attempted the short beard (I have only myself to blame). But moustaches have always seemed a relic that was better left to the sepia-toned trash heap of men's history, like snuff or the things dudes were doing on the sides of Grecian urns. It always seemed like a good idea to just let moustaches fade away.
If the recent election proved anything, it's that you don't win when you appeal to only one part of your audience. Admittedly, I am speaking in generalities, but there's no arguing whom the Republicans won (older white males with traditional values) and whom they lost.
With Mobile Internet usage ramping up substantially faster than desktop Internet usage did over the past 3 years, we will see mobile data traffic increase by almost 4,000% by 2014, for a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100%. And we are now beginning to see hard evidence of this trend with Facebook. Average time spent accessing Facebook via smartphone in the United States was 441 minutes in March, compared with 391 minutes via desktop, according to comScore. And, this trend in time spent on mobile will surely continue as new iPhone 5's, iPad Mini's, Galaxy Tablets, Microsoft's Surface ...
I consider myself a "guy's guy." I watch sports almost exclusively, play poker once a week (when my wife lets me), eat as many chicken wings as I can in a sitting and wear shorts and a t-shirt whenever possible. But something in me changed these past few years and I've noticed it's a trend amongst men; I'm caring more about how I look and what I wear. And I don't just mean during the week. I'm talking about all the time.
If you believe what you read, you surely think men are facing a "crisis in masculinity," and that, in 50 years, we really will "all be chicks." I don't buy it. Instead, the definition of masculinity in contemporary American society is simply evolving (and, rest assured, will stay tied to more traditionally masculine norms than in many parts of the world).