Once upon a time, the men’s grooming market was relatively simple. Shaving and cologne were the cornerstone categories, and emotions were rather one-dimensionally focused on getting the girl. As the men’s grooming market has matured, however, so too have men’s emotions – at least related to men’s grooming. In our research with men on grooming and personal care, we have found that men – especially Gen X men and younger – definitely care about looking good and smelling good, and have absolutely no qualms emoting about what makes them feel good.
This emerging emotional complexity gives brands with a deep and thoughtful understanding of men’s emotional needs an exciting chance to seize the competitive advantage, creating insightful brands and innovative products with greater relevance and greater differentiation. Based on an attitudinal segmentation we created for men’s personal care and grooming, we see a variety of emotional needs and psychographic mindsets driving the category, pushing grooming beyond a simple story of sexual prowess.
Rough & Renegades, for example, are looking for products that help them express the confidence that comes from creativity, non-conformity and a willingness to go their own way. Billy Jealousy is a great example of a brand that speaks to this mindset, describing itself as “sharply tailored for today’s sophisticated bad boy”, “a way of life that defines who you are: effortless yet edgy, playful but still polished.”
The True To Self segment wants fairly neutral products that allow the true self, the man as an individual, to be what’s noticed. Australian brand Eshu’s philosophy is perfectly expressed for this male groomer, noting that eshu is “about simple, easy and effective skincare that doesn’t make you work too hard with difficult regimes or making you preen in the mirror. It doesn’t over complicate looking good because that’s no way to look your best.”
Even Gregarious Groomers have evolved emotionally. Whereas the Old Spice sailor of yore shamelessly kept a girl in every port, today he’s whistling a new tune and looking to “smell better than himself”. The men’s grooming market – it’s an emotional evolution in progress.