Why The Beauty Industry Hates Men (Part IIIA)

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Beauty Industry Hates Men

The “Secret Life” of Male Skin Care Shoppers Exposed – Part 1 of a Special 2 Part Expos?

A fundamental strength of any successful business is its ability to answer a clear, confident and consistent YES to the following question at all times: Are you easy to do business with?

At first glance (and each subsequent one, too), the question seems either redundant, or absurd. “Of course,” most business leaders would automatically reply to that strange inquiry, “we’re incredibly easy to do business with. How can you ask such a silly question?”

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 Masculine Face Care trade; (or what the effeminate beauty industry refers to as men’s skin care) 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

Just as unlucky Monopoly players are told to “Go directly to Jail, do not pass GO,” millions of men stuck playing the Beauty Industry’s strange game are given the same ruthless ultimatum: “If you want to take care of your face, minimize or prevent the visible signs of aging, or just keep your skin healthy, clean and safe from the environment, and you want high quality products to do it – then go directly to department store beauty counters designed exclusively for the shopping pleasure of members of the ‘opposite gender’.

And while most men would refuse to subject themselves to a buying experience that is totally against their nature and preference, there are some who secretly obey this order, because they have no other choice. They need to take care of their appearance, not out of vanity, but to gain an extra edge in an ultra-competitive environment – where first impressions based on how he looks could make or break the deal of a lifetime, or hinder his chances of advancing romantically with she who is the one, before she equates a less than perfect first impression with having no chemistry…

These men understand the need to keep the visible signs of aging at bay, to protect their skin from the daily shave, heat, cold, sun, and other environmental hazards, but they want to do it right and so they are selective about what they put on their face. After all – while that first impression may take mere seconds, it could be months, or years before he gets a second chance (if at all), to overcome the initial rejection. Conventional wisdom says that the opportunities that are truly once-in-a-lifetime, that shape the trajectory of our life path rarely come around twice.

Masculine men who want to gain every advantage deserve to have equal access (as their female counterparts) to the latest and best innovations in Masculine Face Care trade; and anti-aging technologies. Having no other options, secretly and shamefully, men slink into department store beauty sections and awkwardly purchase men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products as quickly as possible – and then leave just as quickly, before they’re spotted by the wife of an acquaintance, or worse, before they’re caught in the tractor beam of ever hovering beauty consultants.

Another example of the blatant disregard for the preference of masculine consumers is the beauty industry’s Free Gift with Purchase incentives that are promoted year-round at department and specialty beauty stores. Let’s not even pretend that the beauty industry invested much effort into incentives that are tailored to men. In fact, except for a few major holidays where some brands might offer men a tee shirt, duffle, or something equally unimaginative, the rest of the year, men who buy the same skin care brands as his female counterpart can either choose the oh-so-pretty make-up bag packed with lipsticks, eye shadows and mascara, or nothing at all.

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, 70% of all men’s skin care products 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 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 Fits into a Shoe Box.

Of course, some might argue: Well, what about drugstores? Men can go there and easily get the men’s skin care products they need.

No, they can’t. Drugstores are no more ‘men friendly’ than department stores, but for very different reasons. You see, the Beauty Industry is all about ‘image’ and there is a very definite ‘hierarchy’ between department store and drugstore brands. Department store brands are considered ‘high-end’ (or prestige) products – usually with price tags that match, but not necessarily the substance that gives them merit.

Skin care and anti-aging products sold at drug and mass merchandise stores are typically known in the beauty industry as ‘low-end’ products. While some brands lure the budget shopper with the perception of ‘value’, others are in line with the old adage – ‘sometimes you get what you pay for’. Brands aside, the undeniable reality is that while there are aisles and seemingly endless rows (or shelves) of female centric beauty products in a typical store, the entire men’s skin care section (if one exists at all) could usually fit in a shoe box. Unless of course, you don’t mind using women’s beauty creams, shopping in the women’s beauty section, nor paying good money for skin care products where the needs of masculine users played no part in their inception.

The On-Line Shopping Experience – and the Erosion of the Golden Rule of Retail Marketing: Put the Product in the Customer’s Hands.

There are also those in the Beauty Industry who believe that on-line shopping is the answer to the Beauty Industry’s Billion Dollar ‘Man Problem’. If masculine men have a problem with department store beauty sections and offers to powder their nose at the beauty counters (where there’s never any obligation to buy – just pressure), then they need not come out at all!

Beauty industry advocates believe that men can simply shop for men’s skin care and men’s anti-aging products in the comfort of his home. There’s plenty of privacy (even more so if the package is delivered in a plain brown package), plenty of selection – try an on-line search for men’s skin care and be delighted with literally millions of web results and thousands of brands to sort through – some more prominent than others, and many of which have their own set of 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 skin care products available on-line and the credibility of the manufacturers, deciding on the right Masculine Face Care ™ product 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.

On-line shopping is time consuming, confusing and fraught with unsubstantiated claims and unknown suppliers.

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