PART 2: Move over Mom; Dad is the New Gatekeeper

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In my last posting I reported about the Yahoo survey that found 51% of men now control the shopping cart.  This shift from female to male edge in making buying decisions may demand a revised marketing plan.

According to the Advertising Age article, “Time to Rethink Your Message:  Now the Cart Belongs to Daddy,” that “research finds men are more brand-loyal and less focused on promotions than women shoppers… In advertising, they do more product research in packaged-goods categories than women… because they're often newer to the categories, prefer ads with more information.”

So what does this mean for the toy industry?  We need to ask ourselves some important questions about how fathers go about making toy purchasing decisions:

Are men more or less gender sensitive than women when it comes to making toy purchases?  My gut is that they are but I would like to see some data on this.  If they are, it means that it is going to get more complicated to get gender cross-over on products.

Are fathers as aware as mothers of their children’s toy, brand and licensing preferences?  If they are less aware, and again my gut tells me they are, it means that toy companies are going to have to figure out how to get toy and media messages to them in a language they speak and through the formats which they prefer.  A Super Bowl toy commercial, h-m-m-m-m-m-m-m, maybe so.

Are fathers more or less price sensitive?  Again, I think men are less price sensitive and do less comparative shopping.  If that is the case, it may mean that the toy industry can move higher priced products.

Where do men shop?  Are they more or less likely to shop on line?  Do they favor the sporting goods department to the toy department?  Do they like to get everything in one place (think mass merchandiser) or do they like to shop at different locations (think the toy store).

If men are more brand loyal, how do companies that do not have the brand recognition of a Hasbro or Mattel break through at an affordable price?  It seems like the Internet may provide a powerful answer as to modern shelf talker technologies.

If you have access to data or have the questions I should have asked write in and let us know.  We need as much knowledge as possible.


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