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How to Catch a Man – Men’s Grooming Market Set to Explode

Posted on | July 29, 2009 | No Comments

By Carol Davies

Experts predict a surge in the men’s grooming market – just as they’ve been doing for the past decade. The men’s grooming market is only about one-fifth the size of the women’s market, according to Euromonitor. But if the men’s market is so dramatically underdeveloped, why has the oft-predicted explosion failed to materialize? Why is it so hard for men’s grooming brands to catch a man?

One reason is, in a word, trial. In stark contrast to women, men are notoriously set in their ways concerning personal care regimens. While women love to try new beauty products, and love to tell their friends, men are, well, reticent. According to a recent Datamonitor survey, 55% of men did not notice new personal care products vs. 29% of females. Women share product stories on blogs, YouTube and online stores, such as bellasugar.com with its “User Reviews,” or “Bella.com.”

For men, especially Gen X and Boomers, dynamic word-of-mouth evangelism – whether it’s in person, in a blog or on viral video – hardly exists. Not many guys talk about their latest moisturizer discovery between bench presses at the gym. And, if and when men do purchase for themselves, it’s often online, discreetly: 90% of those purchasing Billy Jealousy products online are male, 80% are male at labseries.com.

Since guys don’t look to other guys for advice about new products, marketers need to turn to the grooming experts men do trust – women. Because women often play a potent matchmaker role between men and new products, men’s grooming brands need to consider marketing directly to women to elicit their word-of-mouth marketing magic. Fact is nearly 70% of men’s personal care products are purchased by women.

Some tactics men’s grooming brands should consider include: sampling women with products to give to their men, sponsoring a column about men’s products in women’s magazines, women teaching men about grooming on YouTube, or creating a “woman/mother knows best” campaign. Splendicity.com has a featured blog entitled, “She Knows best” where a women reviews men’s products.

CVS Beauty 360 sells trial sizes of Jack Black at POP. Sephora.com has a “WHAT’S HOT IN MEN” section for Men where product reviews are written mostly by women, not men. You’ll see reviews such as this: “I bought Jack Black for my husband and he smells delicious; his skin looks great and loves the beard lube. Ladies and Gents, purchase this, you can’t go wrong!”

Ironically, one of the best ways a men’s grooming brand can catch their man could be to catch his woman.

Carol Davies is a Principle at FletcherKnight

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