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Lancome Luxury Skincare Line for Men

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The male cosmetic market has grown exponentially throughout the last decade. The younger generation of men is more readily accepting in this market as they “feel more comfortable using grooming products beyond the traditionally accepted deodorant and shaving products.”(Hawkins, 453) The biggest challenge in developing this market is making it more widely acceptable for all demographics of men to use male cosmetic products.
In today’s society, men feel the need to look younger and more attractive. The market has grown far from the major competitors including L’Oréal, Dove, and Old Spice to include up and coming companies such as Axe and Diesel. These new companies have taken a modern approach to their advertising using humor and sexuality , while Old Spice still uses its classic “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign.
The demographics have been broken up to such:
· Ubersexuals (25 percent): With a mean age of 38 and a mean income of $60,600, this group sees no complications between the sexes, and most agree that s is a good time to be a man.
· Regular Joes (27 percent): With a mean age of 43 and a mean income of $61,900, this group has no difficulties with how men are portrayed in media and do not feel threatened by women.
· Marked Grouchos (30 percent): With a mean age of 47 and a mean income of $55,500, this group is confused about what women want and do not like the way women expect more from them.
· Neutrals (18 percent): With mean age of 41 and a mean income of $53,500, this group is less resentful of woman than Grouchos and are accepting of changing gender roles. (Hawkins, 453)
The packaging of these products is crucial when it comes to enticing men to make a purchase. Packaging is the first feature a customer sees when buying a product and could be a large deciding factor in whether the customer buys it or not. Modern day men’s grooming packages tend to be black with a simple logo and color scheme. It is a definite need that the packaging reflects the intended genders i.e. for men, no pink or pastel color palates since society and consumers associate these hues with buying a feminine, or unmanly, product.
Male grooming products challenge manufacturers to advertise in new and novel ways while respecting traditional and evolving gender perceptions. The timing and placement of ads for men’s grooming companies is crucial to reaching the desired demographics. For instance, airing a commercial during sports events reaches a large market share. Not only are companies advertising during sporting events, but going so far as to sponsor sports teams and events. Female products are not often advertised during said sporting events so there is little competition for air time. However, women’s products are advertised more during daytime and primetime slots to reach their intended market.
In addition to timing and placement of advertisements, Celebrity endorsements are a huge contributing factor into what kind of products a man will use. As a highly influential form of propaganda, the huge marketing power of celebrities saturates the media. Athletes, musicians, actors and even politicians who claim to use a product can influence supporters and fans to purchase their preferred specific brands and products. Choosing the correct people to use in advertisement can greatly increase acceptance by everyday men.
Beyond age and income, another determining factor effecting the purchase and use of male grooming products is occupation. Most workplaces and job markets are competitive environments resulting in men feeling the pressure to appear a certain way. In many white-collar markets, first impressions are made based on appearance and men are judged on their style and personal presentation. This may require men in these lines of work to need extra grooming products including hair gels and facial moisturizers to achieve the perceived desired look. Not all jobs need or want a clean cut, polished appearance. Men who work more of a blue collar job many not feel the need to spend money on the more extravagant grooming products since they are going to get dirty or disheveled while working. These men’s men tend to stick with tried a true products that are deemed necessary (deodorant and shaving cream) with consideration for additional merchandises.
Another factor that is influencing men’s use of grooming products is the geographical area in which they live. Men living in an urban environment and working indoors are inclined to use additional products to keep up with the high fashion city stereotype. Conversely, men living in a rural setting are more likely to work outdoors, requiring sunscreen and insect repellent over hair gel and manicured hands.
New terminology has been developed to help qualify, define, and normalize the men’s grooming product market, but these word associations could do more damage than good. For instance, the term metrosexual is defined as "a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes." The term was coined to help market the male products and was efficacious for a small amount of time in a limited market group. However, the term has experienced some societal and consumer backlash. The repercussion has occurred in the form of the manly-man approach which dictates “Men should not spend more than five minutes fixing their hair. Hands should be unmanicured. Men should like bars, not clubs. Men should cook, but only manly meals such as hamburgers, steak, shrimp, mashed potatoes and pasta. Men should not garnish. Men should drink beer or cocktails not more complicated than Jack and Coke.”(Dang) Unintentionally, being or looking meterosexual has become associated with gentler lifestyles and femininity by older generations.
Ubersexual is another addition to our lexicon. As stated before, these men are on average younger, making them more adaptable or comfortable with the current style trends. The marketing for this group seems to already be in place and highly effective. These young men take pride in the way they look and have incomes that can readily absorb grooming products and practices into the budget.
The Regular Joes subgroup makes up a little over one quarter of men. This group is slightly older than the Ubersexuals making them more likely to resist the evolution of male stylings. Companies and advertisers will need to take an active stance to combat the backlash against men’s grooming products. For example, Lancome could make their men’s products more practical for daily use highlighting the advantages and affordability for the working class man. Specifically, the marketing teams should emphasize medical benefits and dermatologist recommendations in regard to daily use of SPF as sunscreen or as an ingredient in moisturizers. This is obvious to men who work outside or have a history of skin cancer, but men all men are exposed to the damaging ultra violet rays of the sun any time they are outdoors. This includes playing outside with their kids, attending and participating in sporting events, walking to and from work or the car; activities that are all part of the Regular Joes daily schedule.
Marketing Grouchos comprise almost one third of males, have slightly less disposable income and are part of the baby boomer generation, clinging to the values and standards they were raised with. Because this demographic is unclear, and perhaps even uncomfortable, with the modern approach to male grooming, products should be very affordable, practical, and easy to use. These products should fit into previously established routines, such as teeth brushing and shaving, without increasing primp time. Since these makes are confused by “what women want, “instructions for use and examples of results should be clear and concise. Advertising for these men’s products should show the product in use, the end result, and star men from this demographic demonstrating the ease of use and positive results. Imagine a Viagra commercial: good looking, slightly older, calm men explaining the product like a prescription with benefits specifically for this age group, gender, and their traditional desires.
Neutrals might not have a lot of disposable income but because they are accepting of style evolution, they will use make grooming products if they are purchased for them. Products that are geared to make the man more attractive or palatable to their partner or spouse will inspire the partner or spouse to “pick up” the product for their man. Again, affordability is paramount as is ease of use. Brands that women are familiar with and trust should formulate a men’s version. For example, if a woman loves her Neutrogena moisturizer and sees that a “men’s” line is available, she is more likely to purchase the product for her man when she is making her personal purchase. These products should be displayed near their female counterparts in stores and include scents that are mild or nonexistent. Similarly, products can be unisex: buy one bottle of moisturizer or face wash that both genders can use.
In summation, men’s grooming products should be affordable, easy to use, and have practical benefits. Over half of all men want or need to maintain their “manliness” and the subtle nuances associated with being a man’s man. Careful advertising, clever packaging, and everyday benefits will allow this niche market to expand to the general population.

Hawkins, D., & Best, R. (2004). Consumer behavior: Building marketing strategy (12th ed., p. 453). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin
Dang, D. (2005, October 12). Metrosexual backlash: It's the flop of the fop. Retrieved April 12, 2015.

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