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Marketing Matters: Are You a Trend Watcher?

By: Donna C. Barson, MBA
Posted: February 12, 2007

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The first has to do with men. All indications are that males are spending more and more time and money on personal grooming. Sales of men’s prestige skin care products for the first six months of this year totaled $32 million. This was a 3% increase over the same time period in 2005, and reflects a growing trend. (There’s that word again.)

In addition, the driving force behind the male grooming market increase is not who you think—a mid-20s urban hipster—but senior men. Research indicates that it is senior guys who are responsible for the fastest-spending growth in both American and European markets—a rate of 3.9%.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is the much ballyhooed metrosexual trend. Frankly, metrosexuals are so yesterday that they’re practically prehistoric. Not only was the metrosexual image too feminine for most men, but actual metrosexuals constitute only about one-fifth of all guys. And the metrosexual’s evil twin brother—the retrosexual—is not the target male. The man who the personal care industry needs to reach is the one who falls right between those two.

Another trend that has been coming on like gangbusters and will continue building strength in 2007 is the organic/“green” trend. The advance signs for this trend were everywhere, from the price of gasoline kick-starting the hybrid craze to Wal-Mart announcing that it was going to carry more “green” clothes to the rise in the amount of organic foods carried in supermarkets.

Sometimes a trend can be ascertained by studying foreign markets, and this is certainly the case here. Research indicates that the European market for natural and organic cosmetics is growing at 20% annually.