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Male consumer attitudes toward cosmetic products.

Consumer develops much kind of attitudes towards a new products or brands. These attitudes are influenced strongly by cultural, social, personal, and psychological characteristics. In case of cosmetic products for men, marketers cannot control such factors but must take them into consideration when developing their products.

First of all, the cultural factors make a deep influence on consumer attitude. Culture factor can be further divided to culture, subculture and social class. Culture is the basic cause of person s wants and attitude (Kotler, 2010). It s a perception and behaviour learned by a member of society from family and other important institutions. Subculture on the other hand is made up of smaller groups of culture, consists of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations (Kotler, 2010). Social class are society s relative permanent and ordered divisions whose members share similar values, interest, and behaviours (Kotler, 2010). People from same social class tend to show similar buying behaviour.

Male consumer attitudes towards cosmetic products might either positive or negative. Positive attitude of male towards cosmetic products can give firms producing male cosmetic products a competitive advantage in the cosmetics industry. New products like Nivea for Men might have difficulties in getting support from the new target market that have not using cosmetics product before in their life, like Malaysian people live in village for example, they haven t use any facial wash or facial scrub to clean their face from everyday dirt. They just wash their face with clean water to remove the dirt or when they feel that their face is oily. For them, washing their face with clean water was enough. On the other hand, people staying in urban areas might use facial wash since they are more knowledgeable than village folks. People who belong in middle class in social class might also develop positive attitudes towards cosmetics since they are more inform about the benefits that cosmetic products brings. Difference in culture also plays role in influencing the perception of males towards cosmetic products. Men with dark pigmented skin will get cosmetic products that can lighten their dark skin, or the one that can maintain their skin healthiness. On the other hand, men with light pigmented skin tends to seek products that free them from oily conditions or to maintain their skin fairness.

Social factor consists of consumer s small groups, family, and social roles and status. Group is when two or more people who interact to accomplish individual or mutual goals. There are two types of groups; membership groups and reference groups. Membership groups have direct influence to a person while reference groups serve as comparison with membership groups (Kotler, 2010). Groups of people using cosmetic products, say, Malaysian famous male actors such as Aaron Aziz, Ashraf Sinclair and etc., will attract interest of groups that just know about cosmetic products. This group will then compare with their idol groups (reference group) and monitor their results using the cosmetic products. Positive result from their idol will influence attitude of non user

about their perception of the products. In this case, opinion leader works as the same and has power to influence others as he or she is equipped with special skills, knowledge, personality, or other characteristics. A survey founded that nearly 78 percent of respondents trusted recommendations from consumers, 15 percentage points higher than the second most-credible source, newspapers (Kotler, 2010). Marketers use opinion leaders for grabbing the interest of male cosmetic products. Opinion leader serve as brand ambassadors who spread the word about their products. For instance, Garnier for Men hire Aaron Aziz and L oreal for Men chose Gerard Butler as their brand ambassador. Brand ambassador are effective in influencing the attitudes of consumer towards new product, in this case, male consumers towards cosmetic products.

An online social network is the online social communities - blogs, social networking Web sites, or even virtual worlds- where people socialize or exchange information and opinions (Kotler, 2010). Network technologies such as MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, Youtube, Digg, and Wikipedia are powerful tools in influencing attitude of people towards something. People who want to know about male cosmetic products can get opinion from their social networking friends who might have use or are using the products. Much more information and reviews can be obtained from the internet nowadays. In terms of roles and status, since cosmetic products are products that help maintaining the appearance of the users, high status groups will have high tendency to use the cosmetic products.

Family members can also have strong influence on consumer attitude. The family is the most important consumer buying organization in society, and it has been research extensively (Kotler, 2010). Purchases of different and new products are influenced by husband, wife and children. Husband-wife involvement in consuming cosmetic products for men varies by product category. For instance, a young married couple might suggest her partner to use skin care that protects his skin from oily condition. While an older married couple may suggest his partner to get skin care products that can help slow the aging process. Children may also have strong influence on consumer attitude. Son whom is using facial moisturizer may influence his father to also use moisturizer, as recommended by the son.

A person belongs to many groups such as family, clubs, and organizations and his or her position in each group can be defined in terms of roles and status (Kotler, 2010). For men who have position in the group, they need to be good in their appearance in order to get good first impression from the members in the groups. This is the time when they need to get cosmetic products on themselves.

Personal factor include buyer s age and life cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, and personality and self-concept. People taste in products change with their age. In their youth, they want oil-free, whitening cosmetic products. Later they grown up, they need cosmetic products that can help slow their aging process. Different occupation reacts differently to cosmetic

products. Brand models need to apply more cosmetics on them to maintain their good looks while moisturizer was just enough for office workers. Expensive cosmetic products will have high class buyers while affordable cosmetic products will have lower class of buyers. RVive s Intensit Volumizing Serum, will have rich groups of buyer since it is the premium cosmetic brand. Lower income men might get Nivea for Men due to its lower price tag. In terms of lifestyle, people may have the same culture and occupation, but at the same time have different lifestyle. Lifestyle is a person s pattern of living as expressed in his or her psychographics (Kotler, 2010). Consumer don t just buy the products, they buy the values and lifestyles those products represents (Kotler, 2010). Garnier for Men catch phrases take care , and L oreal for Men because you re worth it attracts men to get the products. Person personality refers to the unique psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and lasting responses to one s own environment (Kotler, 2010). Personality can affect consumer attitude towards purchasing products. Normally, consumer will get products that match their personality. Men who are keen in their looks will get skin care products to maintain and enhance their looks in line with their personality thus immerse in their self-concept.

In psychological factors, motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes are all affecting person s buying behavior. Motivation is a need that is sufficiently pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction (Kotler, 2010). A person has many needs at any given time. It include biological such as hunger and thirst, and also psychological such as recognition and belonging. In the case of cosmetic products to men, men who are looking to maintain their face young after they are in their 40 for instance will be motivated to look for the products. Some went to specialist to get their nose done. High level of motivation leads to action that are either desirable or not.

Perception on the other hand is the process by which people select, organize, and interpret information to form a meaningful picture of the world (Kotler, 2010). A person might get information from the same source, but they will interpret it in an individual way. People can form different perceptions of the same stimulus because of three perceptual processes: selective attention, selective distortion, and selective retention (Kotler, 2010). Selective attention is the tendency for people to screen out most of the information to which they are exposed (Kotler, 2010). Selective distortion describes the tendency of people to interpret information in a way that will support what they already believe (Kotler, 2010). Selective retention is when only the information that supports their attitudes and beliefs will retain (Kotler, 2010). Men who are informed about the benefits of cosmetic products will seek more information from time to time about the products so that they are well update about the brand that offers them the best. Those who built belief on particular brand will interpret information that they seek in line with what they already believing. For instance, Garnier for Men user will keep the brand as the fundamental in their attitude in choosing skin care products. They will use the products that have similar attributes or better in brand they normally chose. When new, better product developed, they will re-evaluate their perception towards the brand that they familiar with. Only information that supports their belief will stay and that will be their guidelines in purchasing the cosmetic brand. Belief is a

descriptive thought that a person holds about something (Kotler, 2010). It may be based on real knowledge, opinion, or faith and may or may not carry an emotional charge (Kotler, 2010).

Excellent marketers must be able to identify all the factors that influence the attitude of men towards cosmetic products. Only then they are able to create excellent strategy to tackle men market at large. They must expose as many information as possible regarding the advantages of cosmetic products to men. Effective and efficient marketing will attract men into buying the products.