The other day, my female friend Khatun had a male friend mock her when she lent him one of her generic moisturizers -- instead of a high-end brand.
"I can't put THIS on my face!" he declared. "It has mineral oil in it!"
I found this not only a funny story -- but an important business trend story.
For a long while now women have been requesting equality with men. It seems we've finally accomplished this in one area. We're now absolute equals in our "extreme-self-awareness-of-appearance."
Due to this trend in gender-shared looks-consiousness, there's been incoming research of a growing rise in "guys-just-wanna-look-hot" products.
For example, Tiffany & Co., the high-end jeweler famed for indulging women with all that glitters, recently announced they're marketing baubles to men -- creating a new line of rings, watches and cuff links by designers including Frank Gehry and Paloma Picasso.
And according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, from 2000 to 2005, there was a huge 44 percent increase in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures among men -- with Botox treatments increasing among men by 233 percent!
Shockingly even in macho Latin America, men are also yearning for flawless beauty. Male high-end cosmetics are now on the bigtime rise -- becoming a $3 billion industry! This is doubly surprising, because research shows these male luxury purchases are not being bought by women for their men -- but by the men themselves.
With these trends in mind, the creators of the famed expensive Bugaboo stroller purposely marketed their glam stroller towards dads -- consciously designing a black-and-chrome-hot-rod-buggy -- with a "mean" set of tires -- and including the "male focused" theme of "engineering" and "wheel design" in their ads.
Marshal Cohen, NPD chief industry analyst, also notes that not only are more men spending much more for apparel -- but the rate of growth of men's clothing purchases is far outpacing women's.
In New York, Duncan Quinn is helping to satisfy this growing trend for men wanting to make purchases which will make the guy feel like a rock star.
Quinn is an incredibly popular and brilliant men's clothing designer, who creates specially tailored one-of-a-kind two-piece suits -- many of which are priced in the $15,000 range -- and bought by actual famous rock stars themselves!
"All my clothes are hand made for days of glory and nights of excess," says Duncan Quinn, with a rakish smile.
Quinn even offers a suit made of "guanashina" -- an Andes blend of baby kid pashmina, alpaca, cashmere and guanaco. Priceless to the touch. Cost: $25,000.
With present high-end male-shopping-fever trends in mind, it's no surprise Duncan Quinn is witnessing booming success for his luxury suits -- and thereby now opening up more stores around the world.
The business lesson to be learned from all this: It doesn't matter what market you're in -- real estate, underwear, health clubs, golf clubs, beverages, business leverages -- today consider how you might cash in on helping men to feel more glam!
For more career, love, happiness and fulfilment stories and tips, visit my daily-ish blog, www.notsalmon.com.