Segmenting Husbands

There is an important segment of husbands who help a great deal around the house. This group is only one of the categories of married men, however. For instance, one study divides husbands into the following five segments:

1) New breed Husbands, representing 32 percent of all married men, willingly share with their wives household chores such as cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping. They are usually under age 40 and are mostly white collar workers and well educated. Their wives work full time and they probably have young children.
2) Classics, representing 25 percent believe women shouldn’t work unless it’s an economic necessity. They’ll share responsibilities but insist on having the final word.
3) Retired 16 percent of the total. Typically over age 40, they are less involved in decision making and are remote from their families.
4) Bachelor Husband 15 percent of all married men, are usually under age 30 and a bachelor at heart. He normally doesn’t make decisions with his wife or ask for her advice and he is less inclined to feel that the family comes first.
5) Strugglers, 12 percent of total think of themselves as ship captains. They demand that their wives keep the house clean, and they want the final say. Strugglers are usually in lower income brackets and are middle aged.

Although the modern role segment represents only one of the married male markets the size of this group combined with those who appear to be moving in that direction offers some interesting possibilities for the marketer.

Marketing Implications:

There are a number of implications that flow from the finding that a significant group of married men are much less traditional in their roles. First, increased male use of once traditionally female household products will mean that male users products need will have to be increasingly considered, more product testing among men will have to occur, and package will have to project an image compatible with men’s use. Second, advertising for household products will portray men more often in domestic activities, with the potential for interesting and memorable situations. In fact, people are much more likely to remember commercials that show new roles for men and women than those that perpetuate stereotypes. However, exaggerated and unreal presentations of men or women, whether traditional or progressive in style cause significant consumer irritation. Advertising of household products to men in a way that does not alienate them may be done by portraying the house working husband as a no nonsense person knocking off a job because it has to be done – to pleasure coming from the accomplishment or completion not the esthetic fulfillment. Also, advertisers should be careful not to portray husbands as just helping out their wives. Such an approach might alienate women who expect the sharing of household tasks s a right and obligation, not as a favor on the part of their mates.

Product advantages significant to men will also become part of the advertising message for household products. Thus, ads must reassure men that the product meets their criteria of advantages and carries the appropriate band image, while simultaneously supporting female selection of the brand. In addition, nontraditional advertising media for household products will be more widely used.

Growth of the singles market:

The singles market in the US is a sizable one and it is having an increasingly important impact on the marketing landscape. Approximately 37 percent of those over 18, or 66 million people are single. Over the past twenty years the singles segment has risen by about 75 percent. Three fundamental reasons exist for this growth (1) young adults postponing marriage; (2) young and middle aged adults getting divorced; and (3) elderly adults becoming single because of the death of their spouses. Most singles are young adults, and most (90 percent) of them will marry, but at a later age. Compared to 1970, when the average woman first married at 21, it is up to almost 24; and for men it is 26.