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Buying Like a Woman? Really?

August 22, 2008

One of my favorite marketing blogs has a new post up that has me absolutely scratching my head:

For example, recent studies show that more men than ever are making dinner, doing housework and managing the kids. That sure sounds a lot like my neighborhood. Still, you’d never know it from what brands reflect in their ad campaigns.

As Jack Essig, publisher of Rodale’s Men’s Health magazine put it in the AdWeek piece: he “believes there’s a gender-based blind spot in home brands today that is the inverse of one by car companies a couple decades ago.

‘Ten or 15 years ago, car companies were speaking primarily to men and assuming men were making the majority of car-purchasing decisions, only for research to show that women were really weighing in,’ Essig says. ‘I think the same is true for a lot of home decor and other home brands when it comes to speaking to men. They want their home to reflect their personality as well.

It is entirely understandable, according to my wife, that I scratch my head here, since, according to her, I entirely lack even a single feminine trait. I happen to disagree with her, since I can talk fashion and design with just about any woman, dig on opera, and have in fact been called a ‘metrosexual’ more than once.

At the same time, I really don’t get the highlighted sentence. I know my input in the home buying and home decorating process was limited more or less to, “How much is it?” and “Where should I put this couch you’ve bought, hon?” I sorta preferred it that way.

But if anyone can speak with authority on whether more men are “buying like a woman” (to quote the author of that post) when it comes to matters of the home, I figure it would be real estate agents. I’d like to hear from readers — are you seeing men more involved with the home purchase decision in ways one might consider ‘traditionally feminine’?

Have you shifted how you market to men as a result?

-rsh

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