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Beauty segment targets male and female market differently


According to best-selling relationship author John Gray, “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” Apparently, the same holds true in the personal care market.

Based on the findings of a recent report from independent market analyst Datamonitor, the male grooming segment still represents a great opportunity for consumer packaged goods companies, but the market needs a different approach from the female market in order to succeed because of the differences in attitudes and behaviors that exist between the sexes.

One big difference: The level of engagement. Many personal care brands targeted at women have been successful in achieving a high degree of engagement, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case among men. In fact, findings from Datamonitor’s 2008 consumer survey found that most men did not pay much attention to new personal care products, suggesting that men simply stick with what they know and don’t check out alternative products in the marketplace.

So what is the important factor for men when buying personal care products? Price. The consumer survey found that more than half of all male respondents believed that price had either a “high” or “very high” influence on their choice of products. This was followed by “habit/preferred brand” and “ease of use.”

“High-engagement brands will obviously be more successful in achieving a sense of loyalty with consumers, and marketers must strive to ensure that men feel a stronger attachment to their male grooming products and brands,” Datamonitor stated.

Datamonitor also noted that several areas of the market are open to diversification—namely skin care, as men grow increasingly concerned about battling the signs of aging. Despite this growing concern, anti-aging benefits are present in only a small number of male grooming products. There’s also potential to grow sales in the developed personal and oral hygiene sectors, according to Datamonitor.

Manufacturers are working hard to heed the call, evidenced in part by the increase in the number of new personal care products made just for him. In December 2008, research from Mintel Beauty Innovation found that there were more than 500 new men’s personal care products in the United States, a substantial increase from the 375 launched in 2007. Globally, Mintel had recorded more than 3,600 new men’s personal care product launches for 2008.

Among the more recent product launches is BathGear, a men’s personal care line by Schroeder & Tremayne. This line of shower accessories is positioned to offer men value-priced products with a simple approach—“Get Clean, Get Energized.”

The collection is comprised of five products that are in masculine colors of blue and black: Buff Up body sponge, Tone Up back strap, Lather Up soap pouch, Extreme Reach brush and Dual Action sponge. The products are available to ship late summer.

S.C. Johnson recently unveiled its new Edge infused shave gels, which are positioned as a shave prep line that “goes above and beyond shave protection.” The shave gels are infused with vitamins and antioxidants to give guys noticeably smooth and healthy-looking skin. In May, it was announced that Energizer Holdings is expanding its shave business by acquiring the Edge and Skintimate businesses from S.C. Johnson.

The hair care aisle also has seen some new entrants. For example, Unilever’s AXE brand entered the market in late 2008 with a line of men’s products. Earlier this year, Innovative Brands announced the launch of its new Pert Plus for Men, a line of 2-in-1 shampoo plus conditioner products exclusively for men, along with a first-ever 3-in-1 shampoo plus conditioner plus body wash. Meanwhile, Conair has developed the new Clean Head, positioned as the first groomer with patent-pending, angled dual foils and comfort guides specifically designed for shaving the head.

Seeing the growing opportunity within private label, Rite Aid also has jumped aboard the bandwagon with the launch in March of its five-blade shaving system called M5 Magnum Razor. It is a private-label product that costs about 30% less than leading brands.

But an even greater indicator that the men’s grooming segment is a hotbed is perhaps the fact that Procter & Gamble will be placing a much greater focus on men by reorienting its beauty business by gender versus around product categories.

“We think it’s the next logical phase in how you organize a beauty and personal care business for even more success,” said A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO of P&G. “We believe that we can execute better as we go to market with our customers if we organize personal beauty care around women and around men.”

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