Miruna Codeanu

Yum men, yum interesting times!

In cappuccino on March 27, 2014 at 7:22 am

A new species of consumer is born: The Yum, Business Week writes, based on a report by the investment bank HSBC. The yum is a twentysomething a urban male highly conscious by his appearance and social status, willing to pay to show his social position. No, those willing to pay for their looks are no longer women, they are men. Yes, men grooming sector has been constantly rising. Let’s take a look at a supermarket brand everybody knows: Nivea. Nivea for Men has been constantly enlarging its shelf display and product range. That was a sign for the development of men-care. However, it doesn’t stop here. Yum, I love interesting times.

The new men species is a revival of the dapper. Yes, we’ve seen it coming. All those blogs telling you how to tie your tie, how to match your shoes and suit, how to wear a shirt we’re predicting it. The report says men marry latter, so they have more to spend on themselves. Disagree. Women marry later too. Statistically speaking, there are more women out there, out to get lucky (to be read as married), than men, and remember my post about commitment on its way to becoming cool? Sex became cheap, sex is no longer a weapon or a trade coin for marriage. It is seem only reasonable that women should be investing more in their looks to be more appealing on the market, and that their market segment should be growing. Surprise! On the contrary, the market for men is expanding.

Remember what I was telling you about objectification of men? I’ll just repost two of the commercials doing it, transforming men into objects of sexual desire;

Let’s look behind a bit. Some women were angry because they were regarded as sex objects. Women were regarded as “must-haves” for men, like an A. Lange & Sohne watch, a social status indicator. Women were angry, and women started to be more than objects, women became subjects, making sometimes as much money as man, being in management positions. Let’s look at women top managers. They are the source of income. They wear Gucci, Lanvin and Louboutin and along with that  they will be wearing a dapper man. Because women started to make money, the market started offering them products to buy. So, men have to put themselves on the market. Louboutins don’t necessarily make a woman look better, nor a Chanel bag, nor a $ 2.000 cashmere sweater with a fox on it will make a man more appealing. However, men will be keeping up with the ladies. To have the same social status you should use the same status indicators, that is brands. To have access to a she top manager most of the times you will have to act like belonging to the same social class. The report gives the impression that the term “yum” is associated with luxury. However, I believe there is a broader meaning to the “yum” trend. “Yum” is the a broad social phenomenon to be manifested in lower, middle and upper class. Men are the new women and women won’t like it.

Well, ladies, yum men, yum interesting times. And to us, marketers, may we happily sell to this new and promising market segment. What is changing in marketing? Until now, products for men were sold via women, women doing most of shopping, even for their men. Now, products for men will be sold directly to men, yum.

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