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The Sleeping Giant

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: February 1, 2012, from the January 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Most new male product initiatives have been focused on skin care, which is set to add $950 million to its value size by 2014, according to Euromonitor. The men’s category tends to reflect what is happening in the overall skin care market, with anti-aging products dominating launches. Men are less comfortable with buying a female or unisex version of an overtly feminine product, and this has helped to keep men’s skin care sales strong. However, men have been slow to embrace male-targeted hair care products. Most are happy to use a unisex shampoo or their existing shower gel. Furthermore, hair care as a whole has suffered during the global economic downturn, and Euromonitor has noted that those consumers who bought male hair care are trading back down to unisex product (Editor’s note: More information is available in the November 2011 print issue’s “A New Style for Hair Care” feature.)

King strongly doubts that men will ever spend anywhere near the amount on “shave great, look great, feel great,” i.e., cosmetic, products that women do. “The purchasing dynamic and personal aesthetic is different,” he observes.

Retailers also play a role in men’s products gaining acceptance and wider use—or lack thereof. “In the U.K., some retailers are 100% behind the men’s category, but some don’t appear to really care about it,” says King. “You’d be amazed at some of the problems regarding men’s toiletries and associated space. Incredible, as we make up approximately 50% of the U.K. population—from boys to men. It can’t just be all about the girls.”

On a brighter note, King believes that “word-of-mouse” and global interconnectivity will benefit the men’s markets in years to come. He believes that the timing for King of Shaves was good—the Internet was taking off and his products got great word-of-mouth. “Looking to the future, technology application and innovation will be key, and companies must embrace change as a constant to keep ahead of the game.”

Euromonitor International and Will King will participate at the 2012 In-cosmetics marketing trends presentations, taking place April 17–19, 2012, in Barcelona, Spain.