16/03/2017

Making Moves in Male Grooming

By Nellie Veltman

As gender stereotypes become removed from reality and people become accustomed to individual identities, we name 5 areas to watch in the male grooming sector.

Over the past ten years male grooming has transformed from perfunctory to essential. Where there was previously a stigma attached to male personal care there is now a sense of permission, even celebration, for men to take care of themselves. Similarly, the image of today’s modern man reflects numerous multi-faceted ideals and this fragmentation liberates brands to champion individuality and nonconformist attitudes. We pick out 5 areas of opportunity to watch, which smart challenger brands are already operating within.

Nurturing Mindfulness

As daily life becomes more hectic and anxiety levels are on the up, people are turning to practices such as mindfulness to re-centre and rebalance themselves. Departing from its traditional meditative roots, modern mindfulness has been popularised by apps such as Headspace, which boasts 5 million members. Mindfulness has been proven to prevent the recurrence of major depression, control stress levels and even increase attractiveness to the preferred sex! We identify a gap in the market for brands to integrate mindfulness into their male grooming offer, helping to champion the link between healthy minds and healthy bodies.

Grooming on the Go

Whilst it is true that generally men want to make more effort with their grooming, there is a tension between this desire and time scarcity or an unwillingness to spend ages in the bathroom. Brands need to design ways to maintain grooming whilst allowing consumers to be free from the shackles of the washbasin. Enter Mo Bro’s, whose beard and moustache travel set contains everything one could need to look after facial hair whilst travelling, from grooming scissors to beard oil. This brand exemplifies how to combine functionality with transportability. 

Personal care lifestyle brands

Mirroring a trend in the beauty industry as a whole, we will begin to see more male grooming brands uniting health, wellness, grooming and lifestyle through strong brand values. Embracing the appetite for genderless products, Westburn & Granite are an Aberdeen-based start-up looking to create a lifestyle brand to provide a multi-faceted offering to consumers. Championing local provenance, handmade craft and natural ingredients, the business brings us bowties, skin oils and beard care. The huge rise in men’s lifestyle, fashion and wellness blogs including 'Ape to Gentlemen', 'The everyday man' and 'Street Gentry', highlights the how personal care is now becoming marketed as a lifestyle.

Curating Regime Rituals

As with female beauty regimes, male grooming brands should now be looking to curate a sense of ritual within their product range. With a shift towards celebrating quality time-rich routines, we are seeing savvy brands celebrate rituals and tradition. Brands like Floris celebrate heritage in a contemporary way through considered craft. We are also seeing industry giants Clinique making tracks into simplifying the communication of routine as they have developed skincare based around skin type. Reflecting the process of their female skincare range, the male offering similarly includes toner, cleanser, moisturiser, communicating the step by step approach.

Educating and Demystifying the Sector

With the male grooming sector continuing to grow, and with a diversity of new products being introduced, we are seeing brands cleverly take on the role of demystifying products. Grooming brand Baxter of California’s blog is a great example of this as they discuss male grooming practices in a tongue-in-cheek, non dictatorial way that fits with the brands humour, rendering it approachable for all.

Male grooming continues to be a growing and lucrative industry full of opportunity as the image of the ‘modern man’ becomes fragmented. However, the opportunity for brands becomes ever more exciting as old fashioned gender stereotypes lose appeal and become removed from reality. People are becoming more accustomed to the concept of individual identity and as a result brands must clearly communicate their own values, clearly communicating the role they could play in our lives.

Read more about our perspectives on the shifting sense of gender in our design trends magazine Radar.  

 

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