Should male grooming brands adjust their customer journey approach?

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Should male grooming brands adjust their customer journey approach?
Strategy and Research unit, Inkling London, uses OpenSource to explore how male grooming brands can optimise their offering and customer experience.

OpenSource is a progressive new customer journey tool developed with content from messaging specialists, Peek.

As male grooming moves from a niche beauty concept to a mainstream sector on the rise, OpenSource replaces the traditional linear path-to-purchase analysis approach with one that explores male grooming from the consumer’s perspective. 

Market research

Both new startups and established powerhouse brands are all appearing on the male grooming scene. The big question facing both entrepreneurial newbies and well-known heavyweights is how do they encourage consumers to pick their products off the physical shelves and place their goods in their digital online baskets? And when it comes to consumer preferences, do they favour multinationals or startups?

OpenSource gathers consumer data from a quantitative study of 300 individuals, along with influencer interviews from store staff, bloggers and friends. These are coupled with an individual’s video narrative to offer a first-hand customer view of the marketing messages, storytelling approach and experiences that impact customer decision-making.

Dubbed the rebooted customer journey, OpenSource claims that “the linear purchase journey is dead, a new journey needs new tools”​, it announced in a recent press release.

Various research indicates the importance of consumer choice, awareness, understanding and access to information when selecting male grooming goods.

What does male grooming look like today?

Intelligence agency Mintel reports that 47% of men have visited a spa or salon in the past year.

1. Sources

Research is a key priority for male shoppers, with young men (18-21 years) checking 5.8 sources before purchase and older men (40-49 yrs) checking 4.4 sources, OpenSource stated. Interestingly, the more advanced the skin care product, the higher the number of sources checked.

2. Personality match

The number one question males ask before making a purchase is: ‘Is this product right for me personally?’. Brands will now be concentrating on providing innovative ways of communicating this to shoppers. Those brands that can provide a reliable and sought-after source of information, are likely to gain support and preference.

3. Offline referral

Social media is not the source of all knowledge as while males do talk about skin care, it is not typically conducted via social media. Talking about skin care with friends is the third most important source, yet these chats are typically short, selective and context-dependent.

4. Building awareness

Male grooming knowledge is “very limited”. ​While findings indicate that males want to look good and receive the same benefits as females do from their skin care routines. Brands need to increase awareness and education surrounding grooming options, along with enhancing their in-store and online environments to maximise comfortability, OpenSource suggested.  

Interviews were conducted with leading grooming bloggers to indicate underlying trends in masculinity driving the male grooming segment. “A macho image sold products as recently as one or two years ago. Now it’s a turn-off. In this era of male make up and #metoo the codes around masculinity are changing. I’m not just a bloke. I’m an individual,”​ OpenSource revealed.

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