In recent years the male grooming market has seen some insane growth and shows no signs of stopping. In fact, some reports predict that the global male grooming market will be worth a huge $60.7 billion by 2020. Big cosmetics brands are cashing in on this trend. However, we are also seeing several smaller male grooming focused businesses looking to grow and establish themselves in this space. For these businesses marketing is going to play an important role in their own growth, but also in the wider requirement for the market to grow as a whole.
Despite its predicted growth, a recent survey by GQ highlighted that on average men in the UK are only spending £13.63 on grooming products a month, a far cry from the buying power of women in the cosmetics space. As an industry, if we want to make male grooming a wide, competitive and sustainable market we need increase the number of men that buy products and their overall spend. In this article we will explore four key reasons why marketing is the key to reaching this goal.
The market needs education
As a reader of MenswearStyle, you are what brands would usually call an ‘intelligent customer’ when it comes to male grooming products. As it is highly likely that you have at least a fundamental understanding of the types of products available, their application and the benefits they can bring. As this is the case, you are likely already spending more than the average male on grooming products. For example, the previously mentioned study by GQ highlighted that on average their readers (intelligent customers) were spending £38 a month on male grooming products. That is an 179% increase in spend compared to the average British male. It is the wider education of the market that is needed to increase male spending on grooming products. Marketing offers a number of tools and tactics which can be used to do this.
Trust is the key to growth
Of course, every business thinks that their products are the best thing since sliced bread. However, consumer trust in brands is at an all-time low. In fact, studies show that only 46% of UK consumers are willing to exchange personal data with brands, even if it means free or discounted products. This lack of trust means that just using traditional advertising, where a business broadcasts a message, just doesn’t cut it any more. Influencer marketing is a buzz in the marketing world for this exact reason. By tapping into the power of influential individuals, usually on social media, brands can leverage the trust and independence they hold over their target market to communicate the benefits of their products. The majority of men are inherently suspicious of grooming products, often asking whether the money they are spending will really make the desired difference. Brands will need to undertake careful selection of trusted influencers in order to build the trust they need to grow themselves and the market as a whole.
Men need to be inspired
Why did you make your last purchase? It may have been practical, food and drink perhaps? There is a high possibility that you made the purchase because you were convinced it would improve your life in some way, perhaps increasing your social position. Before more men invest in their appearance through the purchasing of male grooming products, they must be inspired by the potential outcome. This is not to say that as a market male grooming businesses should go down the heavily photoshopped model route – nobody really falls for that any more. Instead these brands should be using aspirational, yet achievable marketing material to inspire men to be better versions of themselves. By communicating the benefits of grooming products through aspirational marketing, the desire for the results will increase, therefore increasing the need for the products.
We need to reach more men
We have already identified the need to educate more men on the advantages of using high quality male grooming products. Two marketing tools that will increase the reach of this education is social media advertising and pay per click (PPC) marketing. Where most male grooming businesses operate, quite understandably, within the ‘intelligent customer’ space, advertising to those who already know and understand the benefits of good grooming. This is a small circle compared to the potential market size. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Google allow businesses to super target their communications. This allows these brands to increase their reach into new and untapped audiences, allowing them to drastically increase the potential market. Marketing has a substantial role to play in the continued growth of the male grooming market. Without the education, trust and reach that marketing tools can provide it is unlikely that the market will reach the vast size that many predict.