Monthly Archives

February 2014

The Acumen Report: Brand New Man

By | Acumen Insights | 12 Comments

A new breed of male consumer is emerging according to Defy Media’s 2nd annual Acumen Report: Brand New Man. More than 2,000 men ages 18-49 voiced opinions on how they research new brands and make purchasing decisions for groceries and household supplies. The study reveals an empowered male consumer who is making thoughtful decisions when it comes to the brands he brings home.

Defy’s prior research found men are undeterred by gender stereotypes with 68 percent willing to sacrifice career advancement for more time with family and 91 percent expressing that part of being a man is taking care of family and those around you. “Men have earned their place as decision makers in the household. In this year’s report, we uncovered the process that men embark on to discover, connect with, and purchase new brands and products,” said Andy Tu, EVP of Marketing for Defy Media. “We found that men are not only purchasing in greater numbers, but in many cases they are the ones actually making the brand decisions.”

To learn more, download The Acumen Report: Brand New Man.

Generation Rebel

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

Coming of age in the digital era, Millennial males are steeped in mass media culture—even though they rebel against it.


A new study from Complex Media reported in AdvertisingAge paints a picture of 18- to 34-year-old men seeking to make their mark on the world in unique and individual ways.


“Our survey contradicts many assumptions about Millennial males,” says Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex Media. “They aren’t disinterested but rather quite interested in what they choose to care about. There’s a big difference.”


On the one hand, younger men want to be the first to know everything, and they happily dip into the stream of social media to get their info. One-third of those surveyed say they’re on Facebook “all day long,” and half say they use social media as a primary source of news.


But if something gets huge, it immediately looses credibility. Half of the same group report that they’re “over Facebook,” while two-thirds think mass media kills cool trends. And TV is so last decade—10 percent say they never watch live TV anymore.


“Millennial males are rebelling against the mass culture they grew up in to create their own identities, and they’re highly skilled at using new media to seek out what’s important to them,” Antoniello says.


Though you’ll likely find them buried in their smartphone, young men aren’t slackers, but rather self-starters. They had to be—many of them scraped to find their first jobs during the recession, and 2 out of 3 say they’d like to start their own business someday.

Teens Ride the Rise of Instagram

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Click!—that’s the sound of droves of young smartphone users snapping the photo they’re about to upload to Instagram.


Teen use of Instagram has more than tripled since 2012, according to Hart Research Associates. In the 2013 survey, 42 percent of teens said they posted a photo or comment to the photo-sharing app, as compared to just 12 percent a year earlier.


The trend is stealing traffic from other social sites. On Facebook, nearly 9 in 10 teens were monthly users in 2012. A year later, that’s down to 81 percent. Twitter is posting similar losses among teens, with 35 percent saying they’ve tweeted in the past month, down from 42 percent.


Another rising star is Snapchat—1 in 3 teens say they used the social app in the previous month (a trend so new that there’s no past data).


With all the social messaging, fewer than half (45 percent) of teens now send an email daily, down from 53 percent in 2012.


The increases correspond to teens’ access to smartphones which leapt 20 points in the past year, from 43 to 64 percent. Perhaps even more impressive, 67 percent of teens now have access to a tablet, whether borrowed or their own.

The End of Men? Not Quite

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The “end of men” theory—that women are poised for complete dominance in the modern workplace—has a strong new ­­­­­critic.


Males retain power in most industries across the country, and especially the most lucrative ones, according to a study from U.C. San Diego and reported in Science Daily. The report outlines persistent inequalities in the American workplace and calls out a fatal flaw in the “end of men” theory held by writers like Slate’s Hanna Rosin and the New York Times’ David Brooks; not all jobs are created equal.


While women may dominate retail and hospitality industries, men still occupy the lion’s share of the most prestigious career tracks. For example, women make up only 21 percent of today’s scientists and engineers. The authors also examined the fields of law and medicine and found that women were grossly underrepresented.


There’s a pay gap, too. Women earn $8 for every $10 men earn according to the study, even when equal experience and work time are factored in.


And while women are outpacing men going to college, not enough women are earning the advanced degrees required for high-level jobs in medicine, engineering or law. In fact, the number of women earning advanced degrees has declined slightly since the mid-2000s.


The ongoing inequalities are bad not just for women, but for society as a whole, according to the study’s lead author, Mary Blair-Loy. “We need to make legal and organizational changes,” Blair-Loy says, “from better access to childcare and greater acceptance of flexible work schedules to more transparent hiring, evaluation and promotion procedures.”


The complete study, The Persistence of Male Power and Prestige in the Professions, is available from the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions at the University of California, San Diego.