Years ago, I was conducting research on the personal grooming habits of the American consumer. The research highlighted one segment of the target audience as a group of males who spent an extraordinary amount of time on hair care each day.

This group was referred to as the “peacocks.” Animal euphemisms aside, the research identified what has become known in current marketing-speak as the metrosexual.

The metrosexual is the prototypical 21st century male, with refined sensibilities and priorities. A recent article in the New York Times deemed them “straight, hip and moisturized men—every marketer's dream.” These are not wimps or girly-men. More accurately, members of this market segment are into taking care of themselves inside and outside.

According to a recent study sponsored by advertising giant Euro RSCG Worldwide and conducted by Market Probe International, masculinity has been in a state of transition in recent decades.

The male of the new century is more comfortable in describing his feelings, is more emotionally invested, and is honed in on daily grooming and prepping to make a good impression. A whopping 89% of men surveyed said good grooming was essential to success in the business world. Nearly half of the men admitted that there was nothing wrong with getting a manicure or facial.

I recall my grandfather as a figure larger than life in many ways: a bomber pilot in WWII and a hard-drinking man who loved to fish, golf and swear, in no particular order.

As a kid, I recall him joking that all he needed for a shampoo was his handkerchief as he pulled it out of his pocket and wiped it across his bald head. Metrosexual? I think not.

Admittedly, I have inherited some of his machismo traits, having eaten rattlesnake and survived a skydiving accident, and I'm a fan of single-malt scotch.

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Mitch McCasland ( is director of insight and brand strategy at Moroch Partners ( and a leading advocate of using customer insights and competitive intelligence as a basis for brand strategy, advertising, and new product design.