By: Quentin Lapointe
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|Monday, 18-Apr-2011 19:43
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Skin Care and Anti-Aging For Men - Make No Compromises
Masculine Mens Anti-Aging Face Skin Care Products Series - Dilemma of Shopping for High Quality Men's Skin Care Products
A fundamental question can be asked to tell whether or not a business has the necessary force to survive on the challenging market today: Are you easy to do business with?
Surely, it may seem absurd to ask such a silly question, at first, because every businessman will answer in a second: “Sure we are”. The question actually offends them.
Well, the reason we can ask such a 'silly question' is because a staggering number of businesses in the Beauty Industry aren't easy to do business with. Not if you're among the millions of men who are in search of high quality masculine men's anti-aging face care products (or commonly known as men's skin care and face care products for men by the beauty industry) and a buying experience that is aligned with a man's basic, masculine nature.
For millions of masculine men across the US and the rest of the word - 'doing business' with the Beauty Industry is anything but easy. In fact, the spectrum ranges from humiliating to hellish.
Go Directly to Female-Centric Department Store Beauty Counters: Do Not Pass GO
The advice given by these beauty industry leaders is meant to comfort men looking to take care of their skin and it goes like this:” If you want a perfect skin, free from all impurities, if you are interested in preventing the signs of premature aging and keeping your face healthy and clean for all the environmental influences, then you can easily use lady’s products, that are also meant to do all that”.
Many of them refuse to let their masculinity go on the drain, while others do it as a compromise and go shopping for feminine products. They do it out of the desire to look good and to feel OK with themselves, not out of vanity, but out of necessity, as we all know how important is appearance nowadays and how people base their judgments and first impressions on the physical aspect of a person. Men need to impress their date partners, but they also need to feel good and comfortable about themselves.
Most men understand the capital importance of preventing the signs of premature aging, of creating a protection shield against environmental factors such as dust, heat, sun, wind or to reestablish their skin’s natural balance after the daily shaving routine. It is extremely important to create a good first impression, because while it takes seconds to make judgments about a person, it takes years to change that first opinion. Great opportunities don’t come around too often and it’s better to seize them when they come.
Men deserve to get the chance to enjoy all the benefits of technology and progress their female counterparts enjoy and they need to find reliable anti-aging solutions specially created for men. Having no other alternative, men are forced to march into the feminine beauty stands and pick something that doesn’t smell like roses that much. They are forced to hide this practice from their girlfriends and wives, out of shame and embarrassment. Sadly, this is a very common situation and it’s done by millions of men who have no other alternative but to put women’s products on their stubbles.
Another example of how much consideration are men offered by the beauty industry producers is the Free Gift with Purchase incentives, promoted all year long in beauty departments. Now, let’s not even pretend that these offers are meant for the male clients that purchase same brands of skin care products as their female counterparts. No, lipsticks and make-up bags are not men gifts and this is another evident proof that this industry is not easy to do business with, when referring to the male point of view.
How is this possible? The answer is simple. The Beauty Industry is well aware that their retail environment is uninviting to masculine men. Men aren't their bread-n-butter and they don't have to cater to you, even if you are the intended end-user of their men's skin care products. Statistically, up to 70 % of all face and skin care products for men are purchased by women, so the objective of these incentives are to entice women to buy for you, rather than to build a relationship with you - directly.
Think of these female-centric incentives as the Beauty Industry's way of bribing (or recruiting) the women around you to spend mega bucks on men's anti-aging, face and skin care products that they want her to convince (or nag) you into accepting.
Frankly, there are a lot of choice phrases to describe what the Beauty Industry puts masculine men through - 'easy buying experience' isn't one of them.
The Drugstore Experience - Where the Entire Men's Skin Care Section Can Practically Fit
Of course, some might argue: Well, what about drugstores? Masculine Men can go there and easily get the men's anti-aging, face and skin care products they need.
But can they really? Well, drugstores are pretty much like department stores when it comes to attending to men’s problems. Whereas the beauty industry is all about image and prestige, there is a well-defined hierarchy between products found in department stores and those sold in drugstores. The brands you can purchase in department stores are considered high-quality, prestigious brands, with prices that match their labels, of course, but not necessarily direct proportionally with the quality.
Products that fight the signs of premature aging, cleansers and other cosmetic face care products sold at the drugstores are typically considered to be of lower quality. While some customers are enticed by the word ‘quality’ found on their label, others are well-aware that they get their money’s worth and no more. Putting the brands aside, the truth is that, if women have an endless and generous offer to choose from, men’s products can easily fit in a shoe box. Unless you don’t mind shopping for girl stuff and smelling of roses. Men couldn’t acquire the products they need even if they are willing to pay big bucks for them- there is no offer for this public.
Shopping Online Experience –Give the Customer What He Needs
The COOKIE CUTTER Approach - Men are ALL the SAME
Many beauty industry leaders believe that online shopping can easily replace the department store experience, in the sense that men who find it troublesome to search for skin care products are embarrassed by looking through feminine cosmetics can easily go home, sit in their armchair, and carry out the shopping from there. They can access a very generous offer online and can purchase the products they need with little effort.
hyperbolic claims - something to the effect x number of users noticed x % of improvement in x number of days or weeks, plus the fine print, usually some blurb about a control group and how results may vary.
And then there are the volumes of contradictory reviews - User A loves it, User B hates it, User C can careless and so on. By the way, have you noticed how many of these men's skin care product reviews are written by the women who bought them for their men? Where are the actual users - the men behind some of these reviews? Oh I forget, they'd probably rather people not know about the beauty regiment their women put them on.
Regardless of the quality and claims of some of the men's anti-aging, face care or skin care products available on-line and the credibility of the manufacturers, deciding on the right masculine anti-aging face or skin care products for men is a personal decision. Like kicking the tires before buying a truck, the masculine buyer has every right to inspect the product in his hands, decide for himself whether the brand message resonates with his sense of masculinity and would enhance his competitive edge before he invests in the product.
Actually, online shopping takes a lot of our time and energy, while websites are filled with unknown providers with no credentials or credibility.
Actually, online shopping is not a reliable option, considering that is so time consuming and the products advertised by unknown suppliers with no background and credibility have no guarantee.
Let’s not stress upon the beauty industry’s unethical methods, at least not more than we already done in this article series, and let’s take a look at the cookie cutter approach of the beauty industry to create what they consider to be men friendly anti-aging skin care products designed especially for men.
If there were some chance to gather all men’s anti-aging skin care products available in the present on the market and if we were to place them together, we would be stricken by some visible similarities. First of all, you can’t help but notice the colors used for the label’s background – only earth-colors, variations of grey, black, blue and brown. These are colors considered by the beauty industry to define the portrait of the universal man. They actually think all men are alike.
If we were to zoom in on the label, there are many feminine influences you can spot right away and you can see how these men’s anti-aging face care products were actually conceived. Mentioning other feminine characteristics of the male addressing products, you can identify the terminology used by both branches in defining the content of the package- serum, moisturizer, etc.
This traditional terminology and conditions which were describing so far feminine products cannot render the same results when applied to men’s quality anti-aging face care products. The beauty industry leaders should have taken into consideration men’s general preference for simplicity and functionality, not for colored and strong-smelling products. However, we can clearly see that the direction taken by the beauty industry leaders is completely opposite to the men’s standpoint.
While a moisturizer will still be a moisturizer, irrespectively of the term given by the creatives of the beauty industry, advertisers are especially creative when it comes to invent names and come up with definitions for their newly-launched products, in order to set them aside from the competition’s brands. For example, a moisturizer comes to be known as replenisher, renewer, lotion, balm, cream and so on. Instead of giving so many names for basically the same products and create confusion among customers who have no idea what they could do to their skin, the cosmetic suppliers could’ve come up with straightforward and clear definitions for their masculine line of cosmetics. This isn’t the case, because even the names invented for the masculine public, such as rebuilder or defense, are much more confusing than functional.
We cannot, however, completely dismiss all efforts of beauty industry leaders to create strong products that are specially addressing the male public. It is, in fact, true that their main target is not the man and investing big money in rebranding or rethinking market strategies so that their products can appeal to men is not, financially speaking, a wise move.
This situation is not caused because they don’t strive enough or because they don’t have sufficient resources- it’s mainly because the beauty industry strategies have been focused for such a long time on the feminine public, that now is too hard and too costly to change that general opinion that cosmetic products are meant for women only. The problem is the difficulty of breaking loose from the general perceptions and finding a way to satisfy the male’s preferences also. As a consequence, the approach towards marketing strategies and launching quality men’s anti-aging face care products is shallow and inefficient.
Easy Solutions: Introducing New-Generation Men’s Anti-Aging Face and Skin Care Products
A reliable solution to any problem can be found once you’ve identified the problem. In this sense, beauty industry leaders can come up with solutions once they find out what the problem actually is.
And what is that knowledge? It's simply the awareness that, to engage masculine men and enable them to spend billions of dollars boosting the Beauty Industry's revenues and profits, it's time to put aside old models and practices, and reach out to masculine men on their terms, in their world, and in a manner that is aligned with their masculine nature. This is how it should be done:
* Think of men as masculine men and respect them for that- reach out to your customer’s actual needs. Speak your messages directly to men, rather than convincing women to buy cosmetic products for their husbands and boyfriends.
* Create products and packaging that masculine men are proud to own and talk to their 'buddies' about (not in fear or shame), instead of hiding in the bottom of the bathroom cabinet where there is no sunshine at all.
* Design marketing campaigns that cater to masculine men, rather than neglect and humiliate them.
* Speak to men in their own language, telling them about the advantages and benefits they can enjoy by using quality men’s anti-aging skin care products for their particular situations. Give them all the information they need and let them decide what’s best.
* Accept the fact that men are not like women and their buying preferences are very much distinct from that of women’s. Respect that and come up with viable solutions.
* Liberate the legions of "underground male skin care shoppers" from department stores, speciality beauty stores and drugstores, empowering them to hold their head up high, and delivering to them the ultra masculine men's face care solutions they want, need and deserve.
Masculine Men - as qualified paying customers, wouldn't you rather take your business where you know that your masculinity is respected and appreciated?
This is the challenge that beauty industry must acknowledge right now, not tomorrow, not next year.
Those who understand the present market’s needs and figure out ways to make their products appealing for men will succeed, no doubt about that.
On the other hand, Beauty Industry 'ostriches' who stay buried in the sand and who fail to act will find themselves - ironically - much like the masculine men they've ignored for so many years: on the outside, looking in.