Last week, we attended the Barber UK show in Birmingham, a two-day show dedicated to barbershop brands and lovers alike to share the latest trends and novelties in this dynamic segment. The drastic growth in the number of barbershops in the United Kingdom is rooted in the increasing interest of male consumers longing for professional grooming, active marketing efforts, as well as the growing number of publications, such as the Barbers NV, Dear Barber, and Modern Barber, dedicated to this industry.
This year’s show offered several competitions staged in a boxing ring, which hosted top barbers in a ring “battle,” creating an exciting and fun atmosphere. With the abundance of training academies and workshops, such as the Foss Academy, driven by the United Kingdom’s top barber, Christ Foster, dedicated strictly to barbers, the show displayed massive interest in the ever growing barbershop market.
Not only was the barbershop fair a great tool for interested barbers to learn and share knowledge, the show offered a vast display of new and innovative products that could turn the industry upside-down. One of the new and upcoming U.K. brands that appeared particularly interesting is the newly launched brand in 2017 called the Beard Doctor. The Beard Doctor is a British brand, with Italian roots. The product is a mint- and grappa-scented perfume for the beard. Although perfumed oils for beards exist, this product is different. It perfumes the beard and acts as nourishment for the hair and skin, without an oily effect. In other words, this is something very practical for every gentleman with a beard as it can be applied everywhere without leaving residue on the user’s hands. Moreover, the packaging is especially made for convenience. The perfume is packaged in a tube, which reminds consumers of a doctor’s tube. This makes it very easy to carry and apply.
What is particularly interesting is the image that brands create, such as a reference to the American vintage retro style or a very sleek and “gentleman”-like appearance. In other words, barbershops and the brands that go with them and are up and coming display a very strong lifestyle connection with them. One brand that pursues a lifestyle image is Blue Beards Revenge, encompassing male grooming products under the motto “Grooming for real men.”
As barbershops are associated with a certain lifestyle, brands such as Bedfordshire Barbers, which was launched in 2014, not only sell to barbershops, but also to tobacco shops, catering to high end consumers.
The growing men’s grooming market is also influencing barbershops, especially franchises that create their own private-label brands. An example of such is the barbershop-franchise Mr., which showcased its private-label brand at the fair. Another barbershop which carries its own line is called Johnny’s Chopshop. Johnny’s Chopshop has two locations in the United Kingdom, but also sells private-label products. It also offers media platforms, such as the Johnny’s TV, which promotes barbers and can be a useful source for trends and techniques.
A new online platform for barbers, called “Get Groomed,” serves as a quasi “uber for barbers”. Barbers can register on the website, indicate their availability, as well as the distance to which they are willing to travel to, and can take up any calls which they feel suits them and their time the best.
The market is undoubtedly developing, and the United Kingdom is leading the pack! The various care products dedicated to barbershops only, the growing number of salons, as well as publications and organizations, such as the British Barber Academy, are proof of this market’s dynamics and innovations. Follow this trend in our soon-to-be-published Barbershops: Global Market Brief report where we asked barbershops across key markets, such as Brazil, Europe, and the United States, to share their impressions towards the brands used and services offered. The Male Grooming Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report is also underway, offering a deep dive into men’s grooming regimen.
Written by Marina Drobnjak, Researcher, Kline Consumer Products