Today magazine and Monitoring and Research Systems (MaRS) together conducted the Indian Male Survey 2007 which was an extensive survey on mens habits and attitudes towards several aspects of life, such as living, buying and consuming. The survey, which was commissioned in June 2007, was conducted across 35 cities and its sample size was 11,370 men.
The survey found that 56.2 per cent males are highly experimental, 24 per cent moderately so, and 19.8 per cent not too keen to explore new ideas or products. New Delhi leads in terms of having the maximum explorers - 70 per cent; Pune and Chennai are close behind with 66 per cent, and Kolkata, with 63 per cent. Some 53 per cent of Bangalore men say they like to experiment, as do 52 per cent of Mumbai men and 51 per cent of Hyderabad men. In Ahmedabad, only 26 per cent men say they like to try out new things. Young, unmarried men, aged 21 to 30 years, are happiest exploring; men aged 55 years and more also record a high score (50 per cent) in this category.
Around 49.3 per cent men are highly conscious of the price of a product, and won't purchase anything without checking out its price; 30.3 per cent are moderately price conscious, and 20.4 per cent are not very price conscious.
Again, Delhi has the highest number of price conscious men (63 per cent), Pune has 57 per cent, Kolkata, 54 per cent, Hyderabad, 43 per cent, Mumbai, 42 per cent, Bangalore, 40 per cent, Chennai, 37 per cent, and Ahmedabad, 36 per cent. Unmarried men, in the age range of 21-30 years, are more price conscious. Amongst married men, 51.9 per cent are price conscious and this number comes from the 25-35 years' age range.
Some 41.8 per cent men are extremely brand conscious, 30 per cent are moderately conscious, 9.3 don't care too much about brands, and 19 per cent are not brand aware. Chennai has the most brand conscious men - 71 per cent. Behind Chennai come Delhi with 52 per cent, Hyderabad, with 41 per cent, Pune, with 39 per cent, Bangalore, with 38 per cent, Kolkata, with 37 per cent, Ahmedabad, with 33 per cent, and finally Mumbai, with 32 per cent.
'I take the decisions'
Different personal care product categories exhibit different usage characteristics. Men are regular and heavy users of some products, and they use other products regularly, but not heavily. Hair oil (89 per cent), shampoo (82 per cent) and talcum powder (79 per cent) are the personal care products most used by men. Aftershave accounts for 55 per cent, skin cream for 51 per cent, and deodorant for 37 per cent. Around 16 per cent men use hair gel and 13 per cent use perfume.
A high 60 per cent men use the same talcum powder as their wives, 51 per cent use the same toothpaste, 46 per cent use the same toilet soaps, 41 per cent use the same hair oil, 39 per cent use the same shampoo, 33 per cent use the same deodorant, and 29 per cent use the same skin cream.
But hold on, while men may use the same talcum powder as their wives, they are the ones who decide which talcum powder they both will use - a whopping 87 per cent men take such decisions. More on that front: 73 per cent men decide which toilet soap will be used in the house; 67 per cent decide which hair oil will be used; 66 per cent decide which shampoo will be used; 58 per cent decide which deodorant will be used; 57 per cent decide which skin cream will be used; and 51 per cent decide which toothpaste will be used. Product sharing obviously doesn't translate into decision sharing.
In terms of switching brands within a year, men don't experiment with hair oil (27 per cent), talcum powder (28 per cent) and shaving cream (36 per cent). But they experiment heavily with toilet soap (43 per cent), and shampoo and deodorant (42 per cent each). Around 39 per cent men experiment with skin cream, and 38 per cent men experiment with toothpaste, aftershave and shaving cartridges and blades.
Indian men aren't just buying more, but more often, indicating increased use. While predictably, things such as sunglasses and shoes have low repeat purchases (sunglasses: 2 per cent, shoes: 18 per cent), shirts and trousers are bought more often in a year (shirts: 57 per cent, trousers: 48 per cent).
Men are buying both branded and unbranded products, although the average shares of branded products in trousers and shirts appear to be the lowest (trousers: 51 per cent, shirts: 61 per cent). Branded watches top the list at 92 per cent, followed by underpants (81 per cent), casual shoes (79 per cent), jeans (75 per cent) and sunglasses (69 per cent).
Feeding the inner beast
Only 8 per cent men eat chocolate once a day or more, 16 per cent eat it several times a week, and 30 per cent eat it two-three times a month; 46 per cent men eat chocolate fewer times than that. Some 10 per cent men eat chewing gum once a day or more, 16 per cent eat it several times a week, and 15 per cent eat it two-three times a month; 59 per cent men eat chewing gum fewer times than that.
Cola consumption is also quite infrequent among men: Only 9 per cent consumes it once a day or more, 20 per cent, several times a week, 42 per cent, twice or thrice a month, and 29 per cent, less than that. Also, 9 per cent men eat chips once a day or more; 23 per cent eat chips several times a week; 36 per cent men eat chips twice or thrice a month; 32 per cent eat chips less often than that.