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The Hapless Househusband Pays Tribute To Steve Jobs
Marketing To The Man Of The House...
As I sit here working on one of the many devices that Steve Jobs help bring to the world, I’m hoping that one week on from his passing no one will take offence as I shamelessly riff from his playbook. It is meant as a sincere tribute…
Anyway, my point here is that with the paradigm shift that has placed many men in the domestic setting, the marketing of home goods needs to be revisited and seriously revised. As an experienced househusband, I now make fewer mistakes than in my early days. Which means that I get jobs done a little quicker. Which results in my being able to watch a little of what’s going on in TV land.
Fortunately I am not in dire need of pay-as-you-go car insurance, help with fighting for medicare, a personal injury lawyer, facial cleansers that are guaranteed to zap those zits, medications for my cat, or for my elderly parents. I can ignore those advertisements with impunity. My hair does not need 30% more luster, though I fully admit to not knowing what luster is, exactly. And, be reassured that I have no issues with regularity or gas, there will beano further comments on that.
No, what I’m interested in are the tools, and the technology toys promising satisfaction. I’m still a guy after all, occupation notwithstanding. For many years there has been a direct link from HGTV to my brain. If I see a new tool being used to cut, shape, rip, drill, screw or measure something, it is an imperative, I simply have to have it. I have a garage that looks like a minor branch of Sears. I am not alone. It is one of the male constants. (If there is a game on, we have to watch it. If there is a conversation going on, we have to top it. If there is alcohol available, we have to drink it. If there is an impressive female chest in the area, we have to admire it. If there is a tool available or a random app, we have to have it…)
The world of washing machines, dryers, ovens, grills and vacuum cleaners, seems to have noticed that men are now in the picture. Stainless steel appliances? Come on, you know that’s not really a woman thing (one word – fingerprints…) They are chunky and tough and rugged, and, well, more masculine than ever before.
One device is missing from the list, Well, two, if you count dusting which seems to be devoid of any credible masculine overtones. What is missing truly needs to be marketed to househusbands.
Imagine if you will…
After a busy day of checking out the latest gadgets at the Annual Home Products Convention (a househusband Mecca if ever there was one), exhausted from trying the multitude of tools for the home, you make your way through the crush of eager salesmen to the main auditorium, to listen to the keynote speaker. After a multi-media show that rattles your eardrums and come close to bringing on a seizure, the massive room is hushed.
On the stage, stands a man. The guru of our time, apparently lost in the vast expanse of dark space, up there. He wears his ubiquitous dark turtleneck and pants combo. The light shines of his white-fringed pate as he adjusts his rimless glasses, and slowly turns to the expectant audience.
The hushed masses, eager to see what life-changing product this man has brought forth from the fruity laboratories, stand on their tip-toes to see what he has in his hand.
The stage lighting discretely masks the yet to be revealed object, as the man speaks with, his now familiar, clarity and tone.
“We made it lighter.
We made it thinner.
We made it faster.
No home will be complete without one.
I present to you the latest technological wonder…
As the sleek metallic beauty is revealed for all to gaze upon (one hundred times magnified on the massive screens), the crowd draws in a collective breath. There is a beat, then, thunderous applause fills the room.
Flattening clothes will never be the same. Creases will be crisper, wrinkles will only be found on Shar Pei dogs.
A couple of guys standing next to me whisper excitedly about a water reservoir app they could build and market.
You could almost hear the whirring of gears as the gaggle of geeks let their minds ponder the possibilities, such as; could the iRon be combined with the Roomba in some way? Self-ironing nirvana beckoned.
Once again the room turned to the tall man on the stage. Torn between looking at the man’s hands or the screens magnifying his dexterous handling of the new toy, I end up staring at the man himself. In smooth movements I watched and learned how to maximize battery life, how to keep the sleek aluminum base deposit free and how the recharging cradle was designed to allow you hands free use of your iPhone.
The key post-market apps were then unveiled; the iRoning board, and a wide range of iRoning board skins (which could be customized by a whole range of graphics downloadable from iTunes), and a slew of audio and video linking devices.
The water de-ionizing unit was designed to match the rest of the iRon range, with brushed aluminum and discrete LED’s masking the utilitarian device. All in all, beautiful to look at, wonderful to hold, and, as always, an absolute must-have.
With the excitement at fever pitch, the speaker then interjected the only negative into the whole equation. Production was about three weeks behind schedule, but the entire system would be available for purchase in Fruit stores, and on-line, before the end of the month. The cost, considering it’s design aesthetic and superior performance, was a reasonable $499.
Not a single man in the room batted an eyelid.
And that, my friends is how you successfully market to men…
Dear Hub Reader
If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,
Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,
A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.
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