February 25, 2019 / Industry

Men & Experiential Retail

Brands are forever facing the challenge of gaining the attention of retail consumers. In an attempt to engage, companies are taking inventive measures to stand out and communicate their message.

In department stores, it is evident that women are targeted to receive a higher level of engagement and interaction. Brands use tech, specialised sale tactics, make-up artists and personalisation to give great experience. We explored how or even if this is being duplicated in the male sector.

To launch new streetwear department, Selfridges installed a skate bowl amongst the merchandise – a literal embodiment of how streetwear is now entangled in the fashion community. Amongst brands like Supreme, it dramatically changes the consumers shopping experience; not only does it encourage consumers to indulge in the brand, but also offers a location where like-minded people are able to connect in their own environment.

American department store, Nordstrom, has opened its first men’s only store. This significantly elevated its consumer experience; with a ‘Reserve online and try in store’ feature as well as beverage delivery to the fitting rooms, Nordstrom have created a new purchasing method utilising advanced technology.

Retailers should be aiming to convert the male consumers shopping motives.

Often described as utilitarian, men tend to regard shopping as a task rather than a hedonic motive – shopping for pleasure. Nordstrom is an example of a company that has adapted to this change, and has provided men with a shopping experience tailored to their habits and interests.

Hointer, the US apparel retailer, has created an application whereby QR codes deliver your hand-picked items directly to the changing rooms, eliminating the need to queue and revitalising the purchasing process. With purchase options available in the fitting rooms, the need for personal selling is purely to assist you tailor your style.

It essential that brands understand this type of male behaviour and focus on connecting with the consumers through common interests. Nordstrom and Hointer both embraced the male purchasing patterns and allowed their consumers to engage with them in an alternative way.

Key Insights

  • Men will engage more with brands who notice their desires and who understand their consumer needs, as they are able to connect through a common ground and build strong relationships with their consumers
  • Effective engagement will allow the brand to convey a strong message, and create a brand image that consumers will trust.
  • Almost untapped in the experiential market, brands should look to build engagement and create a unique experience for men that drives them to experience a brand in new dimensions.

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