What Ticks for Indian Consumers/ Men – Pranesh Misra and Anisha Motwani

25 Sep,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Pranesh Misra and Anisha Motwani

 

 

‘Metrosexual male is here to stay’

 

By Pranesh Misra

 

Traditionally, men were “hunters” who would hunt to feed their families. With this physical acumen men became the natural “warriors” during the Middle Ages until the last millennium. The need for physicality still prevailed during the 20th century – the industrial age – when men occupied a dominant share of the blue collar jobs. With the emergence of Information Age, physicality was no longer a key requirement to “hunt” in the new urban jungle.

 

Women, armed with quality education and knowledge, were happy to stake their claim in this space and succeeded. This led to a blurring of gender lines, with women thinking, feeling and behaving more like men. So, how is this affecting the male role-model? Men have to adapt more “feminine” traits to survive in the new world.

 

The new world is not looking for warriors but feeling, caring, thinking leaders. So, men have to start thinking, feeling and behaving more like women. This change in men is already visible when we look at them as consumers. Twenty years back, men surreptitiously started to use look-good products like skin creams and perfumes from their wives’ closets.

 

But then, with the launch of brands like Fair & Handsome, they came out of the closet. Most personal product brands began to spout special ranges “For Men”. Twenty years back, the Primary Grocery Shopper would mean the housewife. Not anymore. More men each year are becoming the primary grocery shoppers of their households.

 

 

 

‘Marketers are looking at men as the hot new potential segment

 

By Anisha Motwani

 

If you look at India with all its disparities and regional differences, it’s very difficult to make a sweeping generalization that men have evolved. Rape, dowry, honour killing and preference for a male child – we have enough and more evidence to suggest that men haven’t moved an inch as far in the past many decades. But when you look at urban cities in parts, both small towns and metros, you see a different picture.

 

Evolution by definition means, a better way to survive and adapt to the changing environment. When this changing environment involves more women working, financially independent, aspiring for all kinds of careers, I’d say that certain men have adapted faster to this than others. And those who have, are better; the rest, just bitter. Today more and more fathers are as thrilled to have a daughter, as they would be, with a son.

 

There is no difference in treatment, when it comes to giving the girl child the best education, securing her future or providing her all the material comforts. The fact that many companies have begun allowing men to take paternity leaves is a telling sign of men’s involvement in the household. While a stay-at-home dad is not a reality yet, men have evolved from being only an economic provider to also an emotional one.

 

They have begun to be more sensitive to the needs of their spouses and families, more so in nuclear families. While every man hasn’t turned a proud cook yet, it is heartening to see rising male interest in cooking being promoted through shows like ‘MasterChef India’. Even with the latest ‘Junior MasterChef ’ season, to see young boys actively engaged and bragging about foods and kitchen tools, is a sign of an evolving society.

 

If the trends in the West are any indication, this role transition will accelerate in the future. And this could have a phenomenal impact in the way we market grocery products in future. Should we be talking only to women anymore? Metrosexual male is here to stay. He will spend money on himself for looking good and feeling great.

 

No wonder the lifestyle products are all gearing up to this opportunity, as is evident in the emergence of exclusive designs for men in garments and fashion accessories. Perhaps, if David Ogilvy was writing his piece today, he would start with the catchy headline: “The consumer is not a moron; he is your husband!”

 

 

 

Today, if you were to visit any hypermarket/ supermarket on a weekend, you’d discover a lot of men accompanying their spouses, kids for household shopping. So for categories like personal care or packaged food, they obviously are worth looking at. On a different note, men have made notable strides on the personal grooming front. Marketers are looking at men as the hot new potential segment to go after. Emami, which claims to have a 58 per cent share of men’s fairness cream market, is gunning for a 30 per cent increase in sales of its Fair & Handsome brand.

 

Most personal care brands targeting men are innovating and spicing up products with extra features like sweat control, sun prevention, oil control and dark spot reduction. Even five years ago, who would have thought that men cared for these features? One fitness brand alone, Talwalkars, is present in 70 cities, with over 1,32,000 members. Madura Fashion and Lifestyle depends primarily on men to keep its apparel brands going.

 

Marketers are looking at men as the hot new potential segment to go after. Given that men are more on the move, are as social as women, and are digitally connected, there are enough opportunities to reach and engage them – that marketers are leveraging

 

 

Tomorrow: Friday, September 26: Women – Anita Nayyar and Vikkas Nowal

 

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