In Brands, Insight, Marketing, Trend

The male consumer’s participation in the beauty category is elusive, yet for years the men’s category has been said to be poised for growth by experts. Could niche brands and shifting cultural attitudes finally create the tipping point that will make the $50 billion global market market explode—finally?

Cultural Drivers: 

  • Masculine does not mean macho anymore—in general people are less hung up on old notions of a masculine/feminine and are becoming more comfortable in their own skin.
  • Men of all ages are increasingly more conscious of leading a healthy lifestyle, staying fit, and looking their best.
  • The obsession with beards, beard shapes, and varying degrees of stubble has spawned an entire host of new men’s products.
  • Men are gradually becoming more sophisticated beauty consumers.

Capturing Behavior and Sales: 

  • The category is difficult to track: (a) he is not always the one doing the shopping; (b) a good portion of what he buys is unisex; and (c) he frequently shops across categories.
  • Trends vary by region, but in the Western world, shaving dominates outright, accounting for one-third of the entire men’s market.

What Men Want:

  • They want performance, but they want simplicity—straightforward propositions that are easy to understand.
  • While men may not want to linger, they do want help.

Category Through the Lens of Brands:

“Two-thirds of what men consume is not ‘products for men,’” points out Octavio Valdes, general manager of the Estée Lauder-owned Lab Series and Clinique for Men. “As consumers, men are much more important than the numbers would suggest.”

“Men’s prestige skincare is growing much faster than women’s, at about 9 percent,” says Valdes. “It’s not exploding, but it is growing.” At Kiehl’s, one third of the customer base is male, says Chris Salgardo, brand ambassador and former president.

“[The boom] it’s been coming, and we’ve seen it coming, and the barriers are falling quickly now,” says  Andrew Goetz, co-founder and president of the unisex apothecary brand Malin + Goetz. “Slowly but surely, it’s growing,”

Octavio Valdes, general manager of the Estée Lauder-owned Lab Series and Clinique for Men, points to the accelerated consumption of the mighty millennials. “Demographic changes are gradual, but unstoppable. There is a fundamental push for growth in this category, and it is worldwide.”

Read the full article on Business of Fashion.

Photo: Felipe P. Lima via Unsplash

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