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Modern men a mystery to brands and retailers finds research

Many brands are failing to recognise and reflect modern male values in their marketing, according to a new survey.

Specialist men’s marketing agency New Macho, a division of BBD Perfect Storm, carried out the research among 2,000 UK adults. It found men nearly twice as likely as women to think about what a brand name says about them, and asked to what extent key brands and retailers reflect the attitudes and values of men today.

Men felt some brands reflected their values, with Samsung (74 per cent), Nivea for Men (67 per cent) and Mars (62 per cent) performing well.

But Absolut Vodka (43 per cent), Johnnie Walker (48 per cent) and Gordon’s Gin (54 per cent) left something to be desired.

The study also found that old-fashioned values are still a force to be reckoned with. It says that one in six men (15 per cent) think women should do the larger share of cooking and cleaning in a relationship, a figure that rises to 19 per cent among millennials aged 22-37, and to 22 per cent in London. More than a quarter of men (27 per cent) believe they should be the main financial providers for their families; that figure rises to 43 per cent in London. Showing vulnerability represents a sign of weakness for 17 per cent of respondents.

“The groups that are most likely to hold these stereotyped views of masculinity – Londoners, millennials and high earners – are also the most likely to feel depressed or sad. More than half of these groups most often feel that way, so these beliefs may be having a very real and negative impact on men’s mental health,” says New Macho managing director Fernando Desouches.

“The ad industry has to accept some of the blame for this, as many retailers and the brands they stock are still portraying men either as aloof and hyper-competitive, or as dorks and figures of fun. It’s all just gender stereotyping, which the Advertising Standards Authority is rightly working to eradicate.”

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