A few summers ago the New York Mets’ Mike Piazza emerged from the dugout one day with brilliant blond hair. With one bottle of dye, the normally dark haired Piazza created an opportunity to double the size of the hair color business. And what a business that is. I understand a coloring job can cost anywhere from $35-$140. Before tips (and I don’t mean gratuities.)
Had a smart hair products company, e.g., Clairol, L’Oreal, Garnier, recognized that changing men’s hair color was more about style than vanity, and had they targeted kids and twenty somethings – an age from which most trends emerge – I would probably sporting some serious blond hair right now rather than this grey along the equator “do.”
Because Mike Piazza had the huevos and style sense to do it (he really did look cool), it gave the rest of us permission to do it. (That’s product placement, celebrity endorsement, and image marketing all rolled into one.)
Changing a culture’s accepted behavior is not easy, but it can be. Changing markets is not easy, but it can be. Good account planners and good marketers keep their eyes and ears open.