On a recent shopping trip to the mall, the very happily-married JoAnne and Nick did what they always do; they separated and independently explored their individual passions. JoAnne set her sights on the latest and greatest in apparel while Nick looked to test the newest high-tech gadget.
"JoAnne makes fun of me for how much time I spend researching the latest plasma television or cell phone, but she spends just as much time and effort finding the right pair of jeans," shares Nick. "It just comes down to finding what you really want."
What women and men really want, as exemplified by our aforementioned happy couple, is clothing and electronics, respectively. According to the Cotton Incorporated's Lifestyle Monitor™, when asked their favorite item to shop for, 50% of female respondents stated clothing and 44% of male respondents chose home electronics. While the two sectors may have little in common at first glance, the shopping processes are remarkably similar.
"In searching for their respective passions, both men and women want products that will ultimately make them look good," observes Jade Riggin, a spokesperson for Renegade Marketing, a consultantcy based in New York. "When women use clothes as a physical expression of their style, jeans become an essential indication of their personalities and they want denim that flatters them in the best possible way. Men use consumer electronics in a similar way; what brands and types of electronic accessories they choose indicate their own personal style."
"I almost think of this scenario as a question on the SAT where one could say men are to electronics as women are to jeans," hypothesizes Stefani Greenfield, a co-owner of Scoop NYC, a line of super-chic boutiques. "Our objects of desire run parallel."
"In general, men are picky about the gadgets they buy and women want the best look for the best price," concurs Juanita Fields, Fashion Director for Sears, a destination for those in search of both clothing and consumer electronics.
There are many similarities to the ways women and men search for their objects of desire. "If you correlate precise fit to cutting edge technology, you can definitely see the parallel in shopping experiences. A woman will try on dozens of pairs of jeans to find that great fit; while a man will experiment with many different versions of an electronic good until he finds the one that is exactly tricked out to his needs," tells Claire Dupuis, a senior trend forecaster with Cotton Incorporated.
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