Why The Beauty Industry Hates Men Part 5B - Writing On The Wall

Mar 9


Candace Chen

Candace Chen

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The Three Ingredients Of A Missed Business Opportunity. Misjudging the marketplace. Not seeing the warning signs. Not partnering with the right solutions provider. And, the Future List Of Top 10 Stupidest Beauty Company Blunders.


The Future List Of Top 10 Stupidest Beauty Company Blunders: Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

While every one of the eye popping monstrous missed opportunities in Part 1 of this writing have varied details and present different scenarios,Why The Beauty Industry Hates Men Part 5B - Writing On The Wall  Articles it's insightful to look beyond the surface to what they had in common - because in doing so, it becomes evident that there are some key, common ingredients to every missed business opportunity. These include:

Misjudging the marketplace. Each of these tragic stories wraps itself around a core mistake, which is that the marketplace was woefully misjudged. Either markets that truly did exist were assumed to be nothing (or, at best, not worthy of consideration), or basic fundamentals of what consumers wanted was ignored in favour of what businesses wanted and figured were in their best interest, rather than the consumers'.

Not seeing the warning signs. While hindsight is 20/20, it's fair to conclude that the writing was already on the walls for these folks - and for some of them, it had been there for years if they would only pay attention. But instead of reading the signs, accepting reality and making adjustments, they either pretended that everything was fine, or did an ostrich dive and insulated themselves against what was really going on. The irony here, of course, is that the people who were charged with seeing reality - the leaders - were the ones who were dead-set on seeing anything but what was really happening. In the end, their failure was much bigger than them - it crushed entire companies to the ground.

Not partnering with the right solutions provider. All of these businesses can be faulted for failing to look outside of their organization. If they had, they would have no doubt connected with the right solutions provider and obtained invaluable access to knowledge, products, services, channels and systems - any or all of which could have saved them from economic catastrophe and a spot on this terrible list. In other words, they couldn't solve the problem on their own (presuming they saw it in the first place) and failed to work with partners to solve it smartly and successfully.

The Writing is on the Wall for the Beauty Industry

We've seen how the three core mistakes identified above - misjudging the marketplace; not seeing the warning signs; not partnering with the right solutions provider - have led to untold billions in losses for IT leaders who would do anything to go back in time and undo the damage (and not be the laughing stock of future generations). And chillingly, we can also see how these blunders are making their way into the Beauty Industry - especially, in how the Beauty Industry works with men.

Frankly, the Beauty Industry, for all of its combined intelligence and experience, is woefully neglecting men in its product development, its marketing, its advertising and especially its retailing. Why? Well, if you ask the Beauty Industry, you won't get anything out of them - because the majority of industry insiders don't think there's anything wrong! The very few who do, their visions are so shortsighted they can't even see their way to a genuine solution. Frankly, the traditional Beauty Industry would have wanted you to believe that guys in general, are well on their way to be 'feminized'.

It would be unfair to say that the Beauty Industry made no effort toward creating products and marketing campaigns that "appeal to men". But the little that they did, is so far off the track that pulling the train back would be akin to getting it to stop on a dime. That's no surprise at all because real and meaningful change from the ground up takes money - lots of it. Yet because masculine men don't have nearly enough purchasing power to alert the Beauty Industry, the Beauty Industry thinks that you aren't worth their time, nor enough for them to invest in a total and expensive overhaul of their current modes toward the marketing of men's skin care and men's anti-aging products.

In additions, the modern Beauty Industry as a whole, like some of their counterparts in the IT sector that made the Noe Infamos List, are still so confined by traditions and influences of their feminine roots that have defined and guided the Beauty Industry for nearly 200 years, one doubts that they'd see the solution even if it were right before their very eyes.

But that is an ENORMUS mistake, and writing is obviously on the wall.

It's an unquestionable fact that men's skin care and anti-aging is the fastest growing segment of the Beauty Industry today. But note that this growth isn't the result of the Beauty Industry's efforts to respond to the needs of masculine men, it's actually the opposite. Earlier issues of this article series talk about this extensively, as well as the Beauty Industry's practice of recruiting and bribing of women to do their heavy lifting - that's why up to 70% of men's skincare products are bought by women.

There is no surprised that everything from the packaging to the marketing to the ultra-feminine department store "beauty jungle" experience is entirely designed for the ladies. Even the most frequent promotions are geared towards women - who else would be expected to make use of a "pretty" make-up bag full of lip stick, eye shadow and mascara!

Does this sound familiar? Kind of look very much like many of the titanic miscalculations that the past IT leaders on the list above made back when they had a opportunity to get ahead of a trend - instead of lie awake in bed at night (or on their therapist's couch in the day) dreadfully regretting about it.

So that one must ask the questions;

Who will be the Beauty Industry's Yahoo! and dreadfully mis-calculate the potential value of Facebook?

Who will be the Beauty Industry's Xerox, and assume that simply because it doesn't have a distribution channel to a marketplace, then that marketplace must not exist?

Who will be the Beauty Industry's Open Text, who was well within grasp of being, well, THE Google of the tech industry today, but figured back then that it wasn't worth their time to listen to what the marketplace was really saying. Enough said.

Who will be the Beauty Industry's Real Networks and Philips who, regardless of their previous success in other fields, will never get over the financial debacle of having held the future iPod in its hands, yet tossed it out as a thing "that will never catch on"?

The list could go on, but the point is undeniable: this is the Beauty Industry's alarm call. Masculine men are a real - and really big - piece of the global marketplace pie, and they're ready, willing and able to spend billions of dollars on men's skin care and anti-aging products that are designed and delivered to them on their terms - not their wives', not their girlfriends', not their sisters'. They want Masculine Men's Face Care and Anti-Aging products that are designed from the ground up for masculine men - products and messages that meet the needs and befitting the lifestyle and self-image of the modern masculine man - The Man's Man.

Beauty Industry visionaries who see this writing on the wall, accept the new reality, and take smart steps to engage masculine men will not only position themselves to profit and thrive. They'll do something just as gratifying:

They won't end up the "The Top 10 Stupidest Beauty Industry Company Blunders" list when it's time to write that one up.

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But of all of the "if I only knew then what I know now" ponderings, the ones that keep us up at night, lamenting not just what might have been, but what should have been - are the opportunities that we let slip right through our very own fingers. Those are the opportunities that sting the longest and cut the deepest, because in hindsight we see, with tragic clarity, that they were actually designed for us. Those opportunities came knocking at our door, and all we really needed to do was turn the doorknob, let them in, and reap the life-changing rewards. But for a variety of reasons we missed it. And so the knocking stopped, the door remained closed, and the opportunity went elsewhere.