Changes to the male grooming industry post Covid

KRUTI SHETH

New Delhi– While the male grooming industry in India is still in its infancy, it has tremendous growth potential and all of the building blocks to scale into a mainstream industry.

COVID 19 caught everyone off guard and brought the world to a halt before the industry could react or adapt.

Individuals have found the pandemic and involuntary time off to be eye-opening. We re-evaluated and realigned our priorities, which is the overarching emotion. We were able to spend more time with ourselves and look at ourselves objectively because we had taken a break from our routine. And when we put societal norms and trends on the back burner, many of us love how we look in our natural state and want to play with it.

This accelerated the shift in mindset from beauty consciousness to self-care for a sizable portion of the market.

Increased use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube exposes men to global fashion trends, contributing to an increase in demand for male grooming products. During the lockdown, sales of grooming products such as beard oils, hair gels, face washes, deodorants, perfumes, and electronic trimmers and clippers increased.

The Indian male grooming market was worth $643 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 11 percent to reach $1.2 billion by 2024. The rise of ecommerce is having a positive impact on industry growth. Companies such as Nykaa launched a men’s portal called NykaaMan in order to gain market share in the expanding men’s industry. International cosmetics companies such as The Body Shop went from having one male product to having a dozen. Men began to seek out products that were specifically designed for them, rather than by-products of the women’s range. As a result of this, the barbershop culture is gradually gaining a foothold in India.

The content of men’s grooming startups has shifted from looking attractive and attracting the opposite gender to feeling confident and looking presentable.

We’ve also seen some innovative marketing campaigns in recent years, such as The Man Company’s #GentlemanInYou campaign with Ayushmann Khurana, in which he debunks gender stereotypes in a heartfelt poem. On his social media, Hrithik Roshan also refers to himself as a Beardo.

To reach a larger audience, all of the new Indian male grooming start-ups are investing in trying to create strong brand associations through content marketing and influencer marketing. According to a recent Mintel Reports study, 45 percent of GenZ men were encouraged to use products by their male friends, while only 23 percent were influenced by celebrities, 19 percent by promotional offers, and 17 percent by bloggers.

So, while celebrity and influencer endorsements aid in brand awareness and investment in memorable content aids in brand recall, social circles have begun to dominate as an influencing power. Brands are shifting their focus to community building and storytelling in order to convert customers into brand promoters.

We’ve noticed that since the reopening, a lot more customers are experimenting with looks they wouldn’t have tried before COVID-19. Men who have traditionally worn deep fades and crew cuts are now experimenting with longer hairstyles such as top knots and man buns. Following the COVID-19 lockdown, a greater number of our customers want to understand and educate themselves about the products they use, and we’re also seeing a shift away from styling products and toward more nourishing products.

The pandemic has provided our industry with an opportunity, albeit an unwelcome one, to delve deeper and focus on why we’re here in the first place. On the most basic level, The Lair, like all other salons and barbershops, sells haircuts and personal grooming. The Lair’s experience is built on customer co-creation and positive network effects. (IANS)

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