Special Newsletter - Men's Grooming

Time for men’s grooming to stand out by going novel

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Time for men’s grooming to stand out by going novel

Related tags: Brand, Brand management

The importance of packaging in creating identity for men’s grooming means there is set standards for brands to conform to; but opportunities lie in standing out from the traditional offerings and communicating innovation.

The men’s grooming market is dominated by a handful of big players, so getting a slice of the action can be very difficult, but Mintel’s Senior Global Packaging analyst Benjamin Punchard says that offering something a bit different these days may just do it.

“One thing that we've seen at Mintel is the growing importance of niche - offering something that stands outside of the normal big brand offerings,”​ he tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com. 

“I think now is a great time to try out the novel. I believe there are opportunities for packaging to do truly new things.”

The issue surrounding innovation in the men’s grooming sector is because packaging often appears to be a second thought, says Punchard, as much of the innovation in the category is brand extension and new variants, such as new scents or product functionality.

“Packaging needs to be given equal important to product before we see real step change in the market,”​ he says.

And the importance of packaging in branding and communication should not be underestimated, as in a category dominated by products aimed at women, the first important touch point for men's grooming packaging is to identify that it is for men, which is why a very restricted colour pallet used. 

Simplicity is key

Benjamin Punchard

“I think now is a great time to try out the novel. I believe there are opportunities for packaging to do truly new things.”

Benjamin Punchard Mintel

Punchard also says that practicality plays a role as male groomers have a large need for simple functionality that provides clear convenience benefits; thus the packaging needs to clearly show that the product can be simply and easily accessed - aesthetics come lower down in the need list.

Even high end skin creams with anti-ageing or other functionality won't work in the men's grooming space if the packaging suggests that a complicated application or regime is required (compare that to very high end skin care for women were complexity is used as a signifier of efficacy).

“So the most important thing is that the pack looks straight forward to use - an aspect of general pack design which is mostly separate from graphic design/aesthetics/on pack instructions, “ ​Benjamin continues.

“In fact whilst on-pack instructions regarding the product are fine - on pack instructions about how to use the pack are bad - if the pack needs explaining how to use then it is too complicated and won't win at the point of sale.”

In Benjamin’s opinion, few brands have really done what it takes to really stand out – so there is definitely an opportunity to do this.

“Some like 100 Active who have gone into a simple pouch with flip-top lid have shown that offering something striking but in a pack that just says functional can go down very well,”​ he adds.

“The Unilever compressed aerosol is also a great innovation that aims to reduce material use but has the great consumer benefit of being light, compact and transportable.”

 

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