New man about town- 'Traditional masculinity is dead', says new research

Brands and marketers should abandon the concept of ‘traditional masculinity’ if they are looking to successfully reach the modern day man, according to a new report on the evolution of the modern male.

A new study from health and fitness focused magazine COACH and conducted by research agency, Join the Dots, has found that in 2016 the majority of men ascribe to a new kind of identity which has been coined: The alta-male.

The Modern Manifesto research quizzed over 1,000 Britains (744 men and 254 women) aged between 22-54 about their habits and aspirations and found that the majority of them have come to overwhelmingly reject imitating role models or taciturn fathers of the past. Instead they appear to favour building their own identity which largely prioritises family before work, improvement through health and exercise and happiness over the more traditional signs of success.

Figures from the research which support the findings include 82 per cent of men saying that they “would rather have new experiences than new material things” and 71 per cent of men claiming to have tried to improve their diet in the last few years. Only one in four men from the study said they wanted to be thought of as “masculine” in terms of traits such as strength and toughness.

Ed Needham, editor of COACH, said: “When we launched COACH just under 12 months ago, we did so to respond to a growing demand for content for men who want to improve themselves, one step at a time. Our goal was to help our readers be fitter, healthier and happier, without preaching to them about the latest gym trend they must try and an image they must aspire to. It felt like we had moved away from the Alpha-Male, obsessed with preening and being number one, to a growing trend where men want a more balanced, well-rounded life.

Other key takeaways from the research found that 79 per cent of men say they would be open to changing their career if it meant being able to spend more time with their kids and 90 per cent agreeing that they are comfortable defining success for themselves, rather than what others think it.

The study suggests that the alta-male is more resolute in defining their identity rather than having it defined for them through their career or material possessions. It also points to a more health conscious modern day man who is actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

The findings could help shape how brands formulate their marketing campaign when targeting males in age demographic, particularly given the underrepresentation of the area.