Man and His Mobile: New Consumer Segments of Today's Male Shopper
While the demographic traits of metrosexual and retrosexual man have not changed, their consumer behavior has, and a combination of in-store real-time surveys and passive monitoring reveals discrepancies in these long-held stereotypes.
Having uncovered variants within the 'Millennial Male' segments, psychographic questions were used to investigate their purchasing behaviors. While the metrosexual man is still influenced by brand and product performance when buying luxury items, toothpaste is seen as a staple product and therefore something on which to economize. The retrosexual man—more likely to be married, believe in God and fret about bills—is likely to buy a familiar brand to avoid conflict with his spouse, regardless of any money worries. Such subtle nuances can dramatically alter buyer behavior.
The new third segment in the 'Millennial Man' study is the patriarch—or family man. Sitting between the metrosexual and retrosexual camps, the patriarch is commonly married with a single child. He is as happy at home as he is at a party, is likely to live in the suburbs and own a video game console, and is generally content with life.
When it comes to buying toothpaste, a patriarch's behavior has distinct differences to both the metrosexual and retrosexual man. Where possible, he relies heavily on other people to buy his toothpaste but—when left to make the purchase himself—will buy products that are discounted. For a patriarch, being clean is a major objective, so smelling good ranks highly and he believes white teeth equal cleanliness. As a result, brands that promote health and hygiene are favored.
Interestingly, all three segments in the study used mobiles whilst shopping (anywhere between one and three times during a trip)—although there were marked differences in the way each used their device. Metrosexual men were the heaviest users, interacting with financial, social media and holiday destination apps, while retrosexual men showed a preference for voice calls as they shopped. Patriarchs were light users, with apps tending to be based around lists, daily chores, expenses and travel. This is a strong indicator of the role in-store survey results could play in digital advertising planning, allowing brand messages and special offers to reach consumers—including the men with their mobiles—at crucial points during the consumer journey.