Father’s Day at the spa – manly marketing to manly men

Have you given much thought to how your spa will be celebrating dads this year?

Father’s Day, coming soon, isn’t the same industry revenue driver as Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential.

Lots of men go to spas. According to ISPA’s 2013 Consumer Snapshot Volume IV: Male consumer insights, nearly half – 47% – of the American spa-going population is male and 28% of American men were spa-goers. The 2016 Consumer Snapshot Volume VI report, meanwhile, found that 40% of British men are spa-goers and, in Australia, while percentage is lower, it’s equal to that of female spa-goers at 38%.

We know that the average male spa-goer is aged 25-44, middle to high income, and that he gets a massage and buys moisturizer. And – this is important – we know that he wants his pampering delivered in manly packaging.

While some properties give no special consideration to male clients, or make special mention of men on their menus, others have given The Man much consideration. The Four Seasons Riyadh is a single sex men’s spa, while the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, and the Meadowood Spa in Napa Valley — both Forbes Five-Star spas — offer treatment menus specifically designed for men.

Men’s treatments at the Mandarin include the “High Roller Treatment” which includes a “tension-relieving scalp shoulder and arm massage;” and the “Tao of Man,” which focuses on “releasing tense muscles experienced by active men.” And among the Meadowood’s offerings is the “Awaken Massage … designed to invigorate, relax tight muscles and increase range of motion.”

“Men are not looking for all the fluffy words,” says Mandarin’s Spa Director Jennifer Lynn of the difference in the male and female-oriented menus. “The language is very results oriented.”

A man might regard spoiling himself as an unmanly pastime, but easing his sore, tense muscles as a necessity. This fits with ISPA’s findings that male spa-goers regard their visits as “necessities” rather than “indulgences.”

Michael Conte, Spa Director at Meadowood, says, “Men like the pampering experience but they also want it to be therapeutic. A man wants to feel invigorated while he’s relaxing, and he wants to feel that he’s had something productive done.

“I think that’s shifting a little bit, and that the younger generation appreciates the pampering aspect. But they’re not quite in the luxury market yet, and we’re still catering to men in their 40s and 50s who are still looking for that treatment that has some efficacy to it.”

Conte also notes that most men who come to Meadowood come with their significant other, and that “women, in our case, drive the spa visits.” (Obviously this applies mostly to heterosexual men.)

This isn’t necessarily the case at the Mandarin, thanks to Vegas’ designation as a travel destination for male groups and business, so Lynn does see more groups of men going to spa together. But, if you’re not located in a place where an Alice Cooper impersonator is readily available to officiate your wedding, consider marketing to men through their female significant others.

Gift card sales are obviously what spas should be optimizing for Father’s Day. It’s also a good time for retail opportunities. Mandarin Oriental will have some specifically targeted retail in the boutique, introducing different scents and skincare products.

Further on marketing, Conte says, “I think you have to make it feel like a masculine gift. For a Father’s Day package, I would highlight the idea that it’s an invigorating, therapeutic experience. You have to cater to what a man might enjoy as part of a relaxing afternoon.”

A man wants what a man wants, right?

It’s Father’s Day. We might as well give it to him.

A few ways spas are celebrating Father’s Day this year:

The Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland, recently launched a treatment menu specifically tailored to sportsmen. Just in time for Father’s Day, the new menu includes The Golfer’s Recover Massage, Golfer’s Foot Renewal, and Vichy shower experiences, and foot care treatments. All treatments will be complimented by long soaks in Kohler Waters Spa advanced hydrotherapy pools to ease sore muscles and aching joints.

La Prairie Spa at the Ritz Carlton, Central Park, New York is offering five treatments specifically designed for men. For the ultra-busy dad in need of pampering, the Gentlemen’s Retreat includes a 60-minute La Prairie Signature Gentlemen’s Facial and a La Prairie Gentlemen’s Manicure and Pedicure. For the athletic dad who needs to unwind, the Gentlemen’s Deep Tissue Massage features special techniques to tackle painful knots, restoring him back to top performance.

Chuan Spa at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena, is offering three special services: Deep Tissue Massage, Chuan Spa Maintenance Facial, and a Bourbon Pedicure. The latter is describe as a ‘Soak in a warm foot bath infused with essential oils followed by a mineral salt buff with a matte finished on clean, groomed nails while sipping on bourbon.”

Have you got something special planned fo Father’s Day?

Spa Executive magazine is published by Book4Time, the world’s most innovative spa, salon, wellness, and activity management software. Learn more at Book4Time.com

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