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DIY becomes a new personal care target

05-Sep-2005

Recently there has been a spate of male personal care products embracing feminine values, now the other end of the spectrum is receiving more attention, with companies targeting products specifically focused on the traditionally male domain of DIY.

The latest launches on Datamonitor's Productscan database cast a light on sticking plasters that cater to the specific needs of this increasingly popular past-time.

Alongside the continued growth of the DIY industry, both in the US and Europe, there has also been a continued expansion of product lines, with the traditional selection of tools and materials being expanding into increasingly diverse lines.

That diversity has spilled over into the first specifically-designed personal care items, with Datamonitor recording two products likely to appear in DIY shopping aisles in the coming months.

The first product is from a company called Nexcare , which has created plasters disguised as duct tape, so a handyman won't be embarrassed using them; while the other is an addition to Johnson & Johnson's Compeed line - a product designed to prevent the all-too-common friction blisters that often plague the softer hands of those new to the DIY game.

Many plasters are either covered in cartoon characters to appeal to children, or are pink in color - hardly a traditionally 'masculine' shade, Datamonitor says. However, Nexcare 3M Duct Tape Bandages, launched in the US, are gray in colour and feature a man's hand on the packaging, holding a DIY tool.

The plasters are designed to look like duct tape, presumably so that the wearer doesn't feel embarrassed about wearing them. They also come in longer lengths for larger fingers, while the packaging is designed to fit easily in a toolbox.

The Johnson & Johnson product, released in Finland, should also appeal to those fond of home improvement. Compeed Rakonestopuikko, marketed under the Compeed brand name, has been developed to prevent friction blisters, consisting of a stick that forms an invisible seal on the skin.

As opposed to many blister products, this one can be used anywhere on the body, not just the feet, so would be ideal for home improvers, who have struggled the whole weekend to assemble flat-pack furniture and are showing the battle scars to prove it.

Although there has been much talk about the metrosexualisation of men's cosmetics, launches such as these highlight the fact that the men's personal care market remains diverse, and, although males are becoming increasingly experimental in their personal care routines, there will always be the needs for products that cater to the more traditional male consumer and the exertive activities.

In a polarized market that is be growing in diversity, a product portfolio that matches the development of this market is best suited to larger companies, whereas smaller companies would do well to concentrate on a niche that feeds a specific men's personal care need - whether it be macho sticking plasters or self-tanning lotion.

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