Macho males are back

Men account for 48.6 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and number about 110 million. Despite the fact that women continue to gain ground on campuses and in the workplace, men still generate 62 percent of total personal income, and will earn an additional 19 percent of the aggregate adult income by 2012, reaching $6 trillion, according to The U.S. Men's Market, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. Although women remain in charge of many aspects of household spending, many men-especially those under the age of 35-are serious shoppers. Men between ages 18 and 34, are more likely to be the first in their peer group to try new styles, new electronic equipment, and new health food. They also are more likely to enjoy shopping even when they don't purchase something, and they watch for special offers and shop for bargains. Although young men generally are more avid shoppers, the pattern shifts when men take on responsibilities for home and family. Men between the ages of 35 and 59 are more likely than their younger and older counterparts to go to strip malls, and they are much more likely to shop at home furnishings and home improvement stores. "Married men, especially married men with children, form the dominant segment in the men's market,” notes Publisher Tatjana Meerman. “However, as a result of the declining educational achievement of men and the long-term loss of stable, high-paying jobs for men without a college degree, the focal position of the family man in the men's market will continue to erode. "It is likely that single men, including those who have never married as well as those who are divorced and separated, will become a more prominent aspect of the men's market." Marketers are making significant efforts to understand what drives men’s buying decisions. However, uncertainty remains about how to most effectively segment and reach out to the male consumer. A few years ago some advertisers and marketers focused on the shopping behavior and buying decisions of “metrosexual” male consumers, who were seen as interested in pursuing the feminine side of their male identity. Now, however, some analysts conclude that this male image needs to give way to a more traditional “machosexual” version of men. Packaged Facts