Singapore, June 10th, 2020
What do men see when they look in the mirror? Think of your brand as that mirror. It can reflect basic hygiene and grooming to meet social norms, or it can reveal expressive possibilities for a highly personal style.
Watch the entire BrandSquare webinar from Kathryn Sloane of SGK and Ben Chong of Anthem: MEN’S BEAUTY GOING BIG IN ASIA: WHAT CAN WESTERN BRANDS LEARN?
Asian markets lead the world in embracing men’s beauty. And while most Western men aren’t quite ready for foundation and lipstick, they’re increasingly looking to flaunt their own individuality. Hold a mirror up to the East and visualize new opportunities for helping these men look their best. Below, are 5 ways brands can leverage the growing men’s beauty and grooming markets.
Respond to shifting cultural & behavioral nuances. In the last 5 - 7 years, brands have reimagined men’s grooming traditions by messaging toward bettering themselves and expanding on the old stereotypes of masculinity that may have been implied on them from other brands through experiences they projected on them.
For example, there is this new barbershop tradition, which is very much more than a shave and a haircut – many of these grooming stations add elevated experiences, like facials and eyebrow waxing, to create a social space in which a man can explore his grooming in a way that connects with his interests. Many of these barbers are thematic, introducing sports themes, or a sophisticated “men’s club” vibe to the beauty industry – creating a comfortable place for men to feel welcome among other liked-minded men.
Reinforce the importance of additional steps into grooming rituals. By disrupting the fixed routine, brands have the opportunity to introduce new products to help guide the changing habits in men’s grooming regimes. New launches of electronic cleansers fit naturally into routines with a slight extension to the traditional electric shaver and toothbrushes.
Embrace changing shopping habits. By tapping into cultural confidence, brands can leverage events like “Movember” to target specific audiences who are already interested in the male grooming market. This type of cultural movement has the ability to address important causes and amplify how users are taking ownership of men’s perceptions mental wellbeing attached with their physical health.
A strong body and a healthy mind has never been more true and important for a large portion of men, in fact, a survey by the Center for Appearance Research found that 78% of British men wish they were more muscular and 1 in 3 would give up a year of their life if they could achieve their ideal body weight and shape. This provides interesting insights as to how modern men perceive themselves, internally and externally.
Make the most of males’ openness to experimentation. By addressing their internal and external concerns, brand messaging is increasingly important for brands when addressing the fear factor. External concerns, such as pollution control are important messages to address in the men’s beauty category, especially in Asia. As men change their shopping habits, brands are making it easier for men to test products with subscription packages like Birchbox Men. With similar services, men sign up and receive trial-sized products monthly in hopes to establish brand loyalty.
According to a recent Mintel report, 50% of men age 18-34 who use shaving products report an interest in subscription services, as well as 40% of men overall. This goes beyond having, and we are now seeing exploration in areas such as fragrance, and cosmetics – giving men the ability to express themselves in the comfort of their own home.
Engage from the shelf, out. With changing media habits, successful brands are engaging with consumers both on the shelf and online. Brand owners must present clear and concise delivery of brand benefit and claim solution-based messaging on products and at the point-of-purchase. Through brand portfolio optimizations, brands must present solutions to different needs in sophisticated ways to show new product development benefits.
While we are seeing this movement thrive in the East, there are huge opportunities for brands in the West to embrace cultural and behavioral nuances by expanding and extending grooming offerings, which present advantages to increase steps in grooming rituals. By rethinking touch points, brands must embrace changing shopping habits and encourage experimentation to engage from the virtual and physical shelves by which men are making buying decisions.
Read the exclusive whitepaper written by Kathryn and Ben in the first issue of Patterns: MAKING CONNECTIONS: BRAND INSIGHTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD