Don’t read this post if you’re easily offended! However if you enjoy a laugh and don’t take things too seriously you’ll probably get a giggle out of it.

There’s a bench seat in Leura in the Blue mountains of NSW.  It’s uniquely and deliberately placed outside a clothing business and attached to the seat is a sign which reads “Seat For Bored Husbands”.  Taking care of the non-shopper in the family (men) is wise council.  After all, as a male myself, my idea of fun is certainly not shopping.

I still don’t understand how women can leave home in the morning and return home five hours later with nothing or just one or two things.  I think the seat’s got my name on it.  They’ve really got into the psyche of us men.

All this reminds me of a battery operated foot-high (300mm) figure of a man I once bought my wife.  His name was “Mr Wonderful” and when you pressed his hand he said things like:

“Honey, I’d love to go shopping with you.  Can I carry your bags?”
“Sweetheart, you don’t look fat in that.  You never look fat in anything”
“You take the remote. As long as I’m with you, I don’t care what we watch.”
“You’ve been on my mind all day. That’s why I bought you these flowers.”
“Why don’t we go to the mall. Didn’t you want some shoes?”
“You know, honey, why don’t you just relax and let me make dinner tonight.”
“The ball game is not that important. I’d rather spend time with you.”
“You know, I think it’s really important that we talk about our relationship.”

Frankly ladies, if you’ve met such a man I’d question his gender and who knows – you might get your hands on a do-it-yourself hermaphrodite home test kit. “Mr Wonderful” is the reason guys like me get a bad reputation.  Anyway I’m easily replaced by another battery operated toy.

Now stay with me…  I promise you there’s a marketing message here.  It’s just being single for the first time in about 30 years, I’m easily distracted!

Here’s the lesson…

If you want to get people to shop with you, you need to treat them as an AUDIENCE. Entertain and involve them.  This is particularly true where men are concerned.  You see there’s a Bass Outdoor Store in Nashville, Tennessee.  It’s a massive outdoor joint, predomoninantly caters to the male member of society.  You can try out a boat, use a fishing rod and catch a fish, paddle a canoe, fire a bow and arrow, play with guns.  Even have a wilderness moment under a tent.  This place has men who don’t shop shopping like a woman and spending like one as well.

After all, my wife often reminded me of how much she had saved me after she’d been shopping and how lucky I was.  Still haven’t figured that one out.  Gave up trying…  That’s a particlar accounting package men aren’t equipped with.

There’s a craze that’s sweeping the USA at the moment – “American Girl” dolls.  Now you don’t just buy these dolls for your little girl to play with at home.  The girls take their dolls to one of 7 American Girl 4-storey “experiential retail stores” around the USA where your little girl and her doll can experience:

- “Dining – Reserve your place at the formal, yet fun setting of the American Girl Cafe, or enjoy the excitement and energy of the American Girl Bistro.        Dolls can join the fun with their very own Treat Seats.”
- “Photos – Remember your day with an American Girl-themed portrait or a cover shot of Americal Girl magazine”
- “Special Styling at the Doll Hair Salon, our trained stylists can do it all – from ponytails to pampering to pierced ears”
- “Perfect parties – Celebrate a special day or any day with parties and packages that feature everything girls love”

Every little girls dream but from a business perspective, check out these statistics that’s on their website!

- 52 million: visits per year to the American Girl Web site, americangirl.com
- 28 million: visits to American Girl experiential retail stores, each featuring boutiques, dining, and unique entertainment
- 16 million: the number of American Girl dolls that have been sold since 1986 through our retail stores, Web site, and catalogue, which ranks among the      top 25 consumer catalogues in the country

So to put it lightly, you’ve got to figure out real quick how soon you can entertain and involve your prospects and clients and treat them like an AUDIENCE because if you’ve been to the States lately you’ll know that this involvement thing is big and headed our way.

All this makes the bench seat in Leura look like a lame duck but at least they’ve made an effort and cracked a mention here.

Does Mr wonderful really exist?  Maybe… Maybe not… I haven’t come across a guy that fits the MO of Mr Wonderful yet.  If you have good luck to you.  If so, why don’t you give him a treat – take him to the Bass Outdoor Store in Nashville, Tennessee then he can tell you how much money he saved you.

Until next time I remain faithfully yours, Mr Un-Wonderful.

All the best,
Mal Emery

Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society
Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism

P.S. If you’ve missed any of my previous Rants, I have them all available for you to see on my website.
Simply go to www.rebelliousrant.com and enjoy!

Posted on October 30, 2009 - 08:34 PM

- Updated on October 30, 2009 - 08:34 PM


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Alison

Alison

  Dear Mr Un-wonderful :)
A small part of me wants to be girly and pout and say 'oh Mal, that's sexist'....but most of me is laughing out loud!! I spent 2 nights this week on an old motorbike mustering cold, wet sheep in the rain, (to put them in a shed to prevent them from dying) COMPLETELY under-impressed with my NOT-at-home partner, for being a BLOKE (ie farmer type) and NOT a Mr Wonderful. Although NOT to the point of considering trading him for battery operated toys.

But guess what? I think I'd shove 'Mr Wonderful', for being completely UN-entertaining. And as for the Doll Craze above - what the????
(Now don't get me wrong, I can shop with the best of 'em. I just do it quicker and cleaner ... probably more like a bloke. Or a smash n grab thief!)
But I certainly understand the 'entertain the crowd' side of the doll thing for our businesses. Its added a great dimension (and a few more hours' work and planning to my day) to the marketing plan I'm working on for a client. Thanks for sharing your research and knowledge. I'd bet there are plenty of takers for your Mr Un-wonderful qualities! :)
Oct. 30, 2009, 8:55 AM · 

Mal Emery

Mal Emery

  Thanks for your comments Alison.
I got just as many belly laughs from you as you hopefully got from me. Thank you for believing there's still hope for me!
Oct. 30, 2009, 9:51 AM · 

Glenn Twiddle

Glenn Twiddle

  Hey Mal, Now I'm not as funny as you pair, but a story lately. We were buying a bed recently and took my two boys aged 5 and 2 along with us. We were in Snooze and the boys were (understandably) bored within 5 minutes so were playing up and jumping on beds, and were sick of being told to stop, so we left without making a purchase.

We go into another bed store, similar if not the same beds, and they an old arcade machine with all our old favs on it, galaga, pacman etc, and we could barely drag the boys out of there (and if I wasn't forced to be interested in taking part in the bed decision process, 'she who must be obeyed' would have had a hard time dragging me out of there too.
A $500-$1000 arcade machine and I'm sure my $2500 bed covered much of the cost of that machine.
Maybe we should think more like that bed shop. That's a tamed down version of what the bass store is doing. In this case though,
entertaining the kids, so the sale can be made unencumbered.
Not completely unrelated to your post here, so I thought worth mentioning.

The other thing I wanted to quickly mentioncongratulate you on was this months rant. I ask the readers, how could you resist clicking on the email that directed you here? Mal very, very skilfully FORCED you to come to his website by telling you enough of the story to get you curious, then said
'...for the rest of the rant click here...' or something, and here we are.

Mal you're a genious and I'm honoured to be a student.

Glenn
Oct. 30, 2009, 10:23 PM · 

nancy shelton

nancy shelton

  hey mal,

interestingly, the American Girl stores also have a hospital where girls can bring their dolls to be nursed back to health (repaired or refurbished).

the numbers tell you that American Girl stores are doing something right, huh? their dolls all have names and biographies, personalizing them to the girls. the dolls also reflect all races and apparent class statuses, which appeal to well, pretty much every girl out there who likes dolls.

once they buy the dolls, there are the outfits and accessories to buy, the visits to the bistro (which has excellent adult food as well, i can tell you firsthand!) etc. they also sell books and stories about each doll.

one other thing American Girl does right is they heavily invest in charitable grants and donations to relevant girl related organizations like the one i helped form 10 years ago while living in Chicago (Girls on the Run Chicago --www.gotrchicago.org -- a runningself esteem program for girls 8-12 years old). Our non-profit group is part of a network that puts on running races in multiple sites in almost every state in the US where the runners are mainly......8-12 year old girls! So American Girl is well known and prominantly displayed in front of its ideal customer with its ideal message (Girl Power!).

we know from experience that the American Girl company carefully cultivates its image and who they do business with, since it all reflects back on their success.

thanks for a reminder of my days in Chicago!
kindly,
nancy

ps do you know where i can get a 6-foot tall version of Mr. Wonderful? i'm thinking he would sell great on eBay!
Oct. 31, 2009, 2:25 AM · 

topgunn

topgunn

  I have one of those dolls and I belly laugh every time I hear it

Great work Mal
Nov. 12, 2009, 6:45 AM · 
 
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