Evonik’s VP of personal care in North America explains how the ingredients player is planning to capitalize on the growing opportunities in the region’s men’s grooming market by developing a deeper understanding of what male consumers are looking for.
Men’s grooming has been ‘showing promise’ for more than ten years now, but the statistics have continued to show less than spectacular growth in the region as the vast majority of American males continue to keep their personal care routines simple.
However, VP Paul Washlock believes that now the time has finally come, as years of concerted marketing campaigns targeting the men’s grooming market and changing consumer patterns are finally starting to make the difference.
“As we move in on this market, we have taken the time to understand the strategies that the major manufacturers have undertaken to try and target the men’s grooming market,” said Washlock in an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design.
“Although the majority of males continue to stick with their traditional grooming routines, many are starting to show a distinct interest in developing these routines, making them more sophisticated, which is translating into the purchase of more varied products.”
Evonik market research study
In order to help understand the market better, Evonik North America decided to conduct a comprehensive survey to try and determine the grooming habits of males in the region. And the results were very interesting.
One of the principle take-homes of the study was to determine what men are now gravitating towards in their grooming routines and to determine what this means for the type of personal care products that want to buy.
“Men have been growing in understanding the needs for the specific products in their personal care routine. They are buying these products themselves, or else turning to their significant others to help them make these choices,” Washlock said.
However, alongside this trend towards men opening up their personal care routine to new possibilities, Washlock also points out that still the majority of men just want to keep their routine to a minimum, and take no longer than ten minutes in the bathroom every morning.
“This means that men’s grooming products now have to target an increased range of functions, while maintaining the all-important quick application to make the routine minimum fuss,” said Washlock.
“From this study and our continued research, we have realized the importance of ensuring that we meet the demands of the male grooming sector in the US by producing ingredients that are effective, while also maintaining ease and speed of use – ultimately that they are simple to apply.”
It's all about convenience, multi-functionality and performance
Convenience, multi-functionality and performance are key, and must also translate into a good texture, efficacious, and easy absorption. Likewise, there are differences in age groups, particularly with respect to skin care needs, so this also leads to tailor-made, age-related products.
Evonik wants to maintain a key dialogue with its customers in order to give them what the consumers want and to speed up the launch of those targeted ingredient and the recent study into men's grooming habits aims to help the company to achieve that goal.
This segmented approach to men's grooming is leading to an increasingly diverse range of men's care products, particularly in the skin care category, which in turn is also leading to a demand for increasingly diverse ingredients solutions.
“The gap analysis is how to convert the need into a consumer product that meets that need and leads to a repeat purchase. We have discovered that men want something deeper, that often goes beyond the normal marketing claims," said Washlock.
"Because of this we now see the need to showcase what we are doing, which is ingredients that will give manufacturers the chassis or base to meet those male consumer demands. A prime example of this might be an application for wrinkles under the eyes that is specifically targeted at men."
Difference between the European and US markets
Although Evonik is a European-based business, Washlock also points out that there are some subtle but distinct differences between European and North American consumers which also form a part of the solutions equations.
"Although men and women are interested in greener products in both regions, we have seen that in the US there is more of an emphasis on efficacy. The average American consumer is not so willing to make sacrifices in terms of efficacy for green technology, which basically means that the product end use is key," said Washlock
"Because many of Evonik's ingredients solutions are developed in Europe with this emphasis on greener formulation, in the North America region we are to match or even improve our technologies according to this demand for an effective end use, allowing us to bring both efficacy and greener formulations to the equation."