Unlocking the male grooming market

For many health, wellness and beauty brands, breaking into the male grooming market can be a daunting challenge. In an industry long  dominated by female-based targeting, the right message to appeal to male consumers is tricky to identify. However, with our culture becoming increasingly gender-neutral and ever-growing competition in this market, it’s an opportunity that brands cannot afford to botch.

For online booking platform Treatwell, who usually market to a female audience, understanding what messaging male consumers would best respond to was crucial. Whilst other brands such as L’Oreal, Unilever and Nivea have already turned their attention to the male grooming market, Treatwell has held back due to a lack of understanding and a desire to get it right the first time.

Already, their latest campaign has incorporated a new colour palette of greens and blues in place of the usual pinks, as well as using male models. But to successfully target the male audience after years of focusing on women, a brand needs to do more than simply choosing gender-neutral colours.

Motivations of the male grooming audience

Starcount’s emotional analytics Observatory platform has tracked the passions, mindsets and motivations of the male audience in the beauty, health and wellbeing UK market, discovering insights that are the basis for any brand looking to get a foot in the male grooming market.

The data shows a clear clustering of traditionally male-oriented activities around Male Grooming, such as Body Building and Weightlifting.

However, one noticeable passion that’s aligned with Male Grooming is Self-improvement, a passion that closely relates to the services offered by Treatwell, as well as by other brands in the same space.

Self-improvement as a passion indicates an ongoing interest in bettering oneself both physically and mentally and, applied right, can be used to entice males into utilising not only the traditional male grooming activities, such as beard trimming, but also into having a massage or visiting a spa.

Not just ‘Male’ vs. ‘Female

This insight also allows a brand to personalise the marketing they put out, using the knowledge of the particular passions of the Male Grooming market to target more effectively. For example, a brand might identify that they have two key groups of male customers who are passionate about Self-improvement, but that one group is also into tanning while another is more focused on fitness. They can then tailor their communications accordingly, allowing each customer group to feel fully catered for and understood.

It can be difficult to diversify your communications to include the male market, but it is essential that when a brand attempts this, they understand exactly what the audience would be looking for – and what would entice them to engage. With insights based on accurate customer segmentations, a brand can target based on customers’ true passions and needs, rather than on gender.


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