Man Expo catches tricky marketing demographic

Just the name, Man Expo, identifies the targeted demographic.

"It's not bad to have a niche. It's just like right here, we're watching the paint ball," said Jim Dunbar, a KTRE account executive. The station sponsored the event with Brookshire Brothers.

The sound of gunfire filled the air, followed by a look of achievement from the shooters.

"If you say women's expo, the men will find a way to stay home or go work in the garage or do something like that," said Dunbar. "The women usually follow."

The paint ball team, the Aztecs goes after its kill, than they grab their bags and shop. "I been spending a lot of money on this because I love playing paint ball," said Francisco Rosales. One booth had plenty of high powered and high priced guns to buy.

As it turns out, men no matter their generation, shop a lot like they play paint ball. According to the marketing blog, 'Branding Strategy' men don't really browse. They hone in.

"They won't shop. They won't think about it, said KTRE account executive Stephen Bergman. "They won't research it. It looks nice. It looks powerful," Bergman said, followed by three manly grunts. "I'll buy it," is the attitude Bergman says men shoppers take.

Especially when it comes to electronics, the essential element for any man cave.

"And I want to come check this out. I heard Game Stop was here," said Andrew Minyerd, a 15 year old situated in a dark 'man cave'.

Retailers going after men could lose women buyers, but it's not likely. At least that's what Dr. Pepper, with its new manly drink, Dr Pepper 10 reports.

"Well, I think the risk is obvious that you may alienate a certain portion of the population," said Jim Watkins, Lufkin Coca-Cola general manager, a distributor of Dr. Pepper. "But the young ladies that I've spoken with, I think it's just made them want to taste it more. Don't tell a young lady that she can't do something."

That attitude got Susan Huffman to Man Expo. She dragged her husband here to see the spruced up cars. "Women will come cause they're the boss," said Huffman.

Marketing is tricky, but even at the Man Expo, give a man a comfortable recliner and he's there for as long as any person wants to shop.

Nielson research reports women continue to dominate shopping trips, but men are closing in on all categories, except for drug stores.

There's still another hour left in the man expo, in case you're in the Lufkin area. It's at the Angelina County Expo Center. Gates close at 7p.m.

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