The male toiletries market – comprising of razors and blades, shaving preparations, and shaving aftercare – is poised for steady growth over the next few years. One of the key trends driving this is the continually changing fashions and trends, such as the recent interest in grooming and appearance, such as sporting facial hair such as beards and moustaches.
Over the past few years, interest in facial hair has been driven by several different factors. During the recession, price consciousness was a key factor influencing the adoption of facial hair by many consumers. The “recession beard” as it came to be known, represented a way for men to cut back on their spending on grooming products and focus their purchases on the necessities such as functional hygiene solutions. Nevertheless, in the wake of the economic downturn, while the beard continues to grow in popularity, it is not necessarily being driven simply by the ability to reduce spend on grooming products. This is particularly important as we enter an era where male consumers are conscious about their appearance, breaking standard gender stereotypes. According to Datamonitor Consumer’s recent global research in 2014, over half (52%) of global males believe their looks and appearance to be important or very important.
Asserting masculinity in an era where male grooming and looking after oneself is becoming more socially acceptable is also feeding the growth of this category. This aspect is particularly relevant within Western markets where male grooming is relatively in its infancy compared to more mature markets such as Asia. In this respect, while metrosexuality has become a well-established trend within the male grooming space, needs are evolving and this has given rise to the recently coined “spornosexuals” – the next step for metrosexuality where emphasis is placed on enhancing both masculinity and sexuality with icons such as sportsmen providing the inspiration for this – and conversely, “lumbersexuals”. Lumbersexuals can, appearance wise, perhaps be seen as the antithesis of spornosexuals, sporting full beards and the “rugged” look. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they are any less interested in taking care of their appearance and engaging with products targeted towards their needs. Therefore the importance placed on highlighting masculinity represents an important driver within this trend and providing products which can cater to specific appearance related needs such as facial hair will be in demand by these appearance conscious males.
In terms of innovation, consumer interest in facial hair such as beards has led to a growing number of products specifically formulated to care and maintain these features. Additionally, targeting the specific needs of these areas by identifying the different nuances associated with caring for facial hair can assist in enhancing product efficacy. This represents an important consideration for brands, particularly as male consumers are highly results driven – according to Datamonitor Consumer’s 2013 global survey, nearly two-thirds of male consumers globally (63%) found results being noticeable to themselves to be highly influential in improving their opinion of a health and beauty product. Some examples of such products include Tom Ford’s Conditioning Beard Oil For Men launched in the UK. The product is designed to be part of the daily grooming routine and claims to condition, soften, and nourish the beard. Another interesting example is Billy Jealousy’s Beard Wash launched in the US which claims to be sulfate-free and is designed to leave the beard smooth, silky, frizz-free, and manageable.
The trend towards beards and facial hair in general is anticipated to continue to represent an important innovation area for brands, particularly as “beard and moustache care” represents a low base high potential category. Nevertheless, brands must ensure that they continue to pro-actively respond to evolving needs and attitudes in order to capitalize on the dynamism of male grooming routines and the category as a whole.
Jamie Mills is speaking at the Trends and innovations in male grooming Marketing Trends Presentation at in-cosmetics on Wednesday 15 April 2015, 14:15 – 15:00 Marketing Trends Theatre