Brand Strategy

3 WAYS BRANDS FAIL MEN…
AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM 

Sadaf Ferdowsi
Junior Strategist & Copywriter

January 29, 2020

FAIL 1
STOP BORING HIM
The male grooming category is awash in a sea of sameness. Overtly phallic form language, trite color schemes, and hyper-aggressive design are meant to attract men at shelf, but instead, come across as boring and patronizing. Men recognize these products are intended for them, but what is less clear is the distinct benefit of one product
over another.

SOLUTION
TEACH HIM SOMETHING
There is an absence of education at shelf. Leverage this opportunity by describing and proving your product’s benefits on pack. Particularly for men, numbers and statistics are the best methods to persuade. Alternatively, adopt a compelling storytelling format so the male consumer can develop (and share) his own conclusions. From an early age, boys learn to construct narratives by collecting a wide range of facts, figures and statistics through baseball cards or Pokémon coins. Incorporating this familiar and initial mode of storytelling into a brand or marketing strategy is just as successful when these consumers are all grown up. For example, the single-malt whiskey category excels with the “birth certificate”—a small, compact label that houses key information such as batch number, authenticity signature, barrel number and distillery location. These birth certificates promote a sense of belonging by providing a “badge” on pack while also delivering opportunities to collect and exchange interesting facts and figures with friends and colleagues.

FAIL 2
AN OVERRELIANCE ON “HUNTING COLORS”
According to color theory, colors such as yellow, black, orange, electric green, and red signal danger in the natural world as evidenced by wasps, tigers, venomous snakes and poisonous frogs. Adopted into other contexts, these colors continue to suggest danger and we see them reflected within construction sites, power tools, and remarkably in male grooming products. However, they have become so commonplace that they communicate nothing while crowding the category.

SOLUTION
EMPLOY “HUNTING COLORS” AS ACCENTS
Disrupt the category by introducing a new color palette (or even texture) and incorporate hunting colors as accents. Remember that men “hunt” at shelf, so they will still pick up on these cues consciously or unconsciously, but let the focus be more on the product’s benefit as opposed to relying on a clichéd color scheme to attract and engage male consumers.

FAIL 3
DON’T FAKE IT
Male consumers understand that spraying on a certain deodorant will not make women flock all over them or drinking one beverage over another makes them astronomically manlier. Yet the grooming industry continues to overwhelmingly push these gimmicks. However, these outdated marketing gimmicks tend to backfire because they rely on infantilizing and patronizing men with wide-sweeping claims that are totally devoid of facts. Moreover, exaggerating statistics or making false claims on pack is a huge no-no as men love their ability to accurately—and at the drop of a hat—recount facts and figures as a form of social ritual and acceptance.

SOLUTION
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Ensure that any data on pack (or about your brand) is accurate, supportable and comprehensible. Provide the correct amount of information, in the correct order, and with the correct vernacular to your consumer. One rule of thumb: The more specific you are, the more persuasive you are. Focus on 1-4 benefits per product and do not exceed 4 products per brand line. For example, the start-up company Amenity introduced a 5-step moisturizing system in glass jars, which men found too cumbersome. After relaunching as a 3-step moisturizing system with easily portable tubes, Amenity began to experience great success.



DON'T MISS OUT!

Join our mailing list and never miss another update!
Get recent news and articles from our team right to your inbox.

Thanks for Subscribing!