Author of the book Branding the Man: Why Men are the Next Frontier in Fashion Retail (in which he examines the evolution of the American consumer, with a strategic branding approach to men’s retailing), Bertrand Pellegrin says that too many stores in America are designed just for women.
He quotes his personal friend, retailer Wilkes Bashford, as saying:
To be a successful men’s store you must have a vision of who you want to appeal to. If you establish your vision and direct your efforts towards that, then you can build a meaningful customer relationship. The mistakes most people make is that they’re not consistent.
Men are purchasing insists Pellegrin: they’re buying more clothes, more shoes, more health and beauty products, and more personal care services than ever before. It’s the accepted retail approach to male customers that needs to change — men’s retailers need to make men WANT go shopping.
The concepts that Pellegrin works through in his book aren’t revolutionary. In fact, much of this is Marketing 101, really — people buy stuff when they think the products will benefit them, make their lives better, make them feel better, etc.
What’s important here is the shift from the laser focus on female customers to concentrating on the male shopper, and how to accomplish an environment which caters to men and encourages them to buy.
People like me who run retail outlets with a natural heavy emphasis on the male customer have pretty much learned how to market to men. However, marketing strategy, which includes a product line (men’s hats in my case) that is continually innovating and exciting plus an satisfying and interactive online shopping experience, is a constantly evolving process.
The bottom line is, as Bertrand Pellegrin says in his blog post Marketing 2010: What’s It Worth To You?, that:
Marketing and brand strategy isn’t so much about the numbers as it is about the alliance of great product, great people, and a vision for how to make the consumer a key part of the equation in building the brand’s ultimate deliverable: satisfaction and allegiance.
What say you, male shoppers? Happy with your hat and cap shopping experiences at HartfordYork?
Thanks for reading,
CEO Hartford York
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