The men’s grooming market is currently at a nascent stage as compared to the women’s beauty care market. The male consumer is getting more aware about the kind of products or services available in the market.
The men’s grooming market is currently at a nascent stage as compared to the women’s beauty care market. The male consumer is getting more aware about the kind of products or services available in the market. This has made men more careful towards their appearance in a public setting, to project a well-groomed personality. There is the hyper-aware male consumer on the one end of the spectrum and on the other, is that male consumer going through the motions of telling apart a moisturising cream from a sunscreen lotion — a very simplified scenario. Brands are trying to cater to consumer demands at various stages of their evolution.
With increasing consumerism and the growing moustache and beard trend, companies are coming out with innovative products for specific needs. Even though the sales growth is generated mostly by mass-produced goods, innovations are most often introduced by brands in the premium segment. Five years ago, many current players in the space couldn’t have possibly thought of being present in tier III or rural areas. However, those areas are also being catered to now. The young working class base, for whom experimenting and trying out new innovative products has slowly become a second nature, is also contributing to the growth of the segment.
The number of men who realise the importance of grooming, especially to hide the signs of early ageing due to hectic lifestyles, work pressures, etc has grown. With rising awareness about the impact of unfriendly environmental conditions such as pollution and sun rays on the skin, demand for skincare products in the country has risen.
Despite increasing purchase power of consumers, Indian men still prefer products available at lower prices. As a result, international players have started introducing a wide range of basic, moderately priced products with an added feature or benefit without the premium positioning to increase volume sales. Many foreign brands with a strong support structure and an India-specific pricing strategy have also entered this market. Competitive pricing plays a huge role in how receptive the consumer mindset is. Initiating from utility-based offerings, people are ultimately shifting towards a full grooming experience either by purchasing products or experiencing a service.
Increasing modern trade, frequency of shopping fueled by smartphones bringing consumers and products closer, aggressive marketing by brands and sale periods in the online space are pushing the men’s grooming growth bar upwards. It isn’t that grooming is a revelation to men. This consumer segment had always frequented local barber shops for haircuts and shaves; however, with rising awareness of men grooming products in the country, the category is expanding to accommodate grooming as we now know it!
The author is research director, TechSci Research