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The underdogs taking on male grooming
It’s a fact that more and more people are concentrating on their health and wellbeing than ever before. This is great for business, as it means that new gaps and niches are opening up in the marketplace all the time; who, for instance, would have believed even a decade ago that the male grooming market would have taken off in such a big way? There seems to be a clear divide between independents, such as Bulldog and Kyoku, and big brands such as Ted Baker and French Connection, which use grooming as a sideline to their more established offerings. But what does this mean for the sector as a whole?
Male grooming in the UK is now a billion-pound industry, with all markets and demographics seemingly catered for. This Marketing Week article points at some interesting trends that have come out of this: for example, it states that “86% of men buy their grooming products at the same time as grocery shopping”! The habits of men and grooming are being changed, though, by smaller independent brands such as Bulldog, which aims to stand out from the crowd by offering adventurous products coupled with great design and a conscientiously environmental aesthetic.
Without the marketing budget of, say, Ted Baker (who have recently established a full-scale grooming operation in central London, entitled Ted’s Grooming Room), small enterprises like Bulldog have had to be inventive. This has led to a renewed focus on distinctive products: Kyoku has even debuted a face mask containing volcanic ash! Bulldog founder Simon Duffy has been changing ‘conventional’ male attitudes to grooming since creating the company in 2006. In Marketing Week, he says: “There are too many products in some ranges and I don’t think it needs to be that complicated. It’s very important for things to be straightforward.”
Bulldog differentiates itself by concentrating on very simple concepts – building a distinctive brand and ensuring that the product itself is as good as it can be. By bringing a masculine mentality to a conventionally female industry – and by consciously moving away from the brand images of some of the industry’s biggest players – Bulldog has flourished. As Simon says, “Bulldog’s long-term ambition is to truly become ‘man’s best friend’”.
Can you think of any other sectors where the ‘underdogs’ are coming to the fore? Let me know at email@example.com, and have a great week-end.
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