Men’s grooming products, over the last few years, are beginning to amass more and more shelf space and mind share as the consumer warms up to the idea of grooming as an essential and regular activity. The market, over time, has been compensating for having quasi-neglected men’s needs. ‘Looking good’ is no longer the domain of women and mirror time is now being shared with both sexes. A whole host of brand launches in this space are a sign of times to come. “The rising urban middle-class population and improved distribution channels in Tier II and Tier III cities are also expected to stimulate growth through 2020,”says Rajat Wahi, partner and head, consumer, Deloitte India. The current agenda for brands is recruiting the consumer — make the benefits of a skincare or haircare regimen, however basic it may be, apparent to men and their upgrade into the category will follow.
For the man who is well sold on the benefits of grooming and maintenance, warming up to electric grooming products is the logical next step. When Philips started off in this space in 2011-12, the aim, according to Ada Ratnam, president (personal health), Philips India, was to recruit people in India into grooming and shaving. But the company soon realised that men wanted to have more facial hair.
That is when it launched trimmers, trying to recruit youngsters in the age group of 14-15 years and upwards in metros and tier I cities. At a global level, until recently, Gillette (P&G) was the ‘best a man could get’. This was until Unilever upped the ante by buying Dollar Shave Club, a company that allows consumers to buy razors and other grooming products online at affordable prices. Closer home, men can choose products and services from start-ups such as Beardo, Bombay Shaving Company or Ustraa (Happily Unmarried).
To get the attention of a male consumer, everything from the product or service to its communication and packaging needs to engage the target audience in a way that provides a solution to a need. Functional advertising, therefore, is the best bet.