After having worked in the liquor industry for over 8 years I can tell you that the most difficult demographic to appeal to is men. You might think that’s hard to believe but by comparison men are much more difficult to engage than women when it comes to introducing a new spirits brand. Men tend to lock in with a particular brand of liquor or beer (usually what’s cheap) and resist anything new, while women are much more experimentative with choice of intoxicants.
When introducing a spirit such as a bourbon or whiskey, one that is traditionally a male taste, the field is incredibly broad. There are literally thousands of craft brands all vying for the same male demographic, however, only a dozen of these brands are ever commercially successful. Not so with flavored vodkas or rums, which appeal to the much wider female drinking demo. The common mistake is to think men wont drink “froo froo” drinks with umbrellas in them for fear of seeming unmanly. This is the feminized marketing perspective; in actuality the female drinking demographic has much more depth and much more purchasing influence.
That may seem odd considering the aggressiveness with which the better known alcohol brands market to a male, drinking age demographic, but that aggressiveness is necessary to maintain brand awareness with men due to one simple fact: women are the primary consumers in westernized societies.
Alcohol is an easy illustration, not just because I’m intimately involved in the industry, but because it’s one of the few markets that actively tries to engage a male demographic. Most advertising since the rise of social feminization has simply written off male consumer involvement. Men don’t buy shit, women do. Even uniquely male necessities are purchased more often by women (wives or LTR women) than men today, so rather than make attempts at inroads to male brand loyalty advertising and marketing directs its effort to the demographic that is doing the actual purchasing – women.
Feminist love to paint this patronization as some triumph of women becoming more economically equatable with men. The fem-logic being that women have more purchasing influence because they have more money from being more economically successful (only to bemoan the tired 77¢ on the male dollar trope 10 minutes later). Some of that may be true, but the greater influence is men’s general apathy about who’s making purchases in their names.
Men’s innate rationality is a tough obstacle for most marketers. The fact that most advertising is controlled by a female influence further exacerbates the difficulty of reaching men’s purchasing influence. And really, why bother? It’s much easier to induce women’s purchasing decisions with appeals to their predominantly emotional natures. Women buy from feeling good about buying something, while men buy from pragmatism – even when that pragmatism may only benefit themselves.
Means of Production
I was recently reading a forum thread I got a link back from and the topic was the timeless classic, “what make a man a man?” The predictable responses were all present: Confidence, Responsibility, Integrity, and all of the other subjectively definable esoteric attributes you’d expect. I thought about this question in terms of the difference in consumer influence of both men and women. I’m not an economist, but I am an ideas guy, and it occurred to me that the nuts and bolts of being a man is to produce more than you consume.
To maintain a wife, children, even a dog, a man must produce more than his consumption. Once you’ve lost that capacity (or never developed it) you are less of a man – you are a burden. You must be provided either by charity or guile, but you’re not producing.
On a limbic level, women’s hypergamy filters for this. You see, while women have the societal option to provide for themselves, there is no onus on her to produce anything more than she herself consumes. For all the fem-centric male professions of how rewarding being a stay-at-home Dad is, what eats away at them is the hindbrain awareness that he is not producing more than he consumes. This is the same awareness etching into a woman’s psyche when she’s the one doing the provisioning.
Every complaint about men not Manning Up, every article bemoaning the End of Men or the dearth of datable / marriageable men of “equatable” socio-economic, educational levels as the women seeking them, finds the root of its discontent in the very simple formula that men must produce more than they consume. Women’s displeasure isn’t that a man might be less intellectual than they are so much as he can provide for himself, and her, and a child, and a dog, and a relative, etc.