Men and Women Crave Variety

Yes, it probably IS overstating things to say that "men DON'T crave variety". I think it's an established fact that all humans crave variety in all things, but it's also true that variety costs money. It seems like "the system" is less willing to foot the bill for men to have variety in terms of choice in clothing and personal care products than it is for women. There seems to be a lot of dissenting opinion in that area. I suggest we all actually *count* what we see and try to avoid "the grass is greener" personal perspective bias and confirmation bias and see if this is really true when we're at the shops and looking at other data-rich sources.

One theory is that men are just mean, selfish jerks who like to abuse women and rip them off whenever they can get away with it, and we call that "the Patriarchy" or something. Problems with that explanation are that it might not accurately represent things the way they really are (for one, in implies that "men" are somehow all conspiring together, which if true, I have personally been left out of the loop for one...!), and it certainly does not point to a way toward fixing things or at least making them better.

Another theory (perhaps equally wrong, but probably more easily PROVEN wrong) is that there is some kind of economic benefit to women (and men) in there being more variety among these products for women, and that variety naturally undermines economies of scale resulting in higher prices and lower quality, and these same economic "benefits" do not apply to products directed at men.

Another theory might be formulated by looking at Japan. I had the impression that products marketed to women there were at least of as high quality, if not higher, as those marketed to men, but all Japanese consumer products tend to be of universally high quality (and high cost...!) that it might be difficult to make such distinctions. But maybe not. A mantra of Japanese manufacturing to which is attributed the high quality of Japanese products is that there is no more discriminating or demanding consumer than the Japanese woman. If you can satisfy a Japanese woman with your product, then you can more than satisfy *anybody*. I think that is very true, for what it's worth.  This may have little relevance to our discussion as it directly concerns the American market, however.

No comments:

Post a Comment