Tapping into men’s grooming means encouraging product switching, research claims

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care products Hygiene Marketing

With men increasingly using a wide range of personal care products, latest research shows that a marketing strategy that encourages existing users  to switch products may be most effective as a means of encouraging greater use.

According to market researcher Canadean, this strategy can often prove more effective, as opposed to simply trying to attract new consumers to the men’s grooming category.

The market research study looked at men’s grooming patterns in ten of the world’s biggest markets, including the US, China, Russia, India, the UK and Brazil, and found that men now account for approximately 47 percent of the volume of health and beauty product purchases.

This is the equivalent of over 3,000 million liters of product every year, and reflects the fact that men are getting closer to matching their female counterparts, who have traditionally been perceived as by far the bigger beauty users.

Encouraging them to switch to male-dedicated products

“This means marketer’s primary challenge is not to attract men to their category, but to encourage them to switch from unisex and or female brand,”​ the Canadean report states.

“For example, this was the basis of Old Spice’s ‘Smell like a man, man’ campaign in the US in 2010, which encouraged men to swap ‘lady-scented’ body wash for a more masculine product.”

The Canadean research showed that, after surveying a cross-section of men about their male grooming habits, many have similar consumer patterns to females, particularly for hair care, oral hygiene and fragrances.

Likewise, the research also revealed that in the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) the volume of personal care use was still significant, even if the product choice was different to more developed markets.

Focusing in on age-related issues

The research points out, that in order to successfully encourage men to switch products, it is crucial for marketers to have a good knowledge of age-related needs as a means of determining grooming routines and determining what type of product to target different age groups with.

Younger adults in the 16 to 24 category are more likely to look for products that match their lifestyle, while older consumers, particularly in 55 + age category, are likely to go for quality and effectiveness, which means that claims about functionality are likely to be more effective.

Likewise, value for money also continues to be a key factor for males, particularly for categories such as oral care and personal hygiene, where optimal product efficacy is deemed important, but with in a price competitive context.

Older male consumers more budget conscious

With regards to budget conscious ways, the research points out that older consumers are more likely to go for products deemed to give value for money, combined with functionality, while younger males are more likely to go for products that are ‘on trend’ and not necessarily designed specifically with gender in mind.

With respect to this gender driven on trend appeal for younger consumer, the research points to the UK brand Bulldog Natural Cosmetics, which exemplifies the trend for natural cosmetics, combined with a bold branding.

This leaves Canadean researchers to conclude that younger men are the driving force behind the trend towards men’s grooming products that are designed to meet a specific range of needs, rather than being concerned about overtly masculine branding.

in short, the research suggests that younger men are losing inhibitions about pampering themselves and making purchases of products that previously would have been associated with personal care products marketed chiefly at females.

Related topics Market Trends

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