COVID-19 pandemic proved that brands valuing safety and community are reigning supreme in the market

Knowing Your Audience Is Key to Male Grooming and Indie Brands

Despite struggles in the general beauty market, some segments are experiencing bright spots as a result of increasing consumer interest. Hand sanitizers, clean beauty, and self-care products had already been on the rise as consumers refocused or focused for the first time on these goods as a way to combat time in quarantine. But a surprising segment with renewed consumer interest is male grooming.

With stay-at-home orders in effect, many men have been growing out their facial hair and taking greater interest in their self-care routines. Beard care, grooming, and facial skin care products have been key for consumers wishing to find ways to improve themselves. Through social media and other online platforms, brands have created a community for consumers looking to build a routine that works for them. Dollar Shave Club uses humor and relatable messaging to entice consumers.

While major conglomerates such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble owned the majority of market share in previous years, some of the brands best poised to cater to this growing number of consumers are indies. These nimble brands are quick to jump onto marketing trends or language deeply resonating with target consumers. Oars + Alps partnered with investor and professional football player DeAndre Hopkins for content catered to the male consumer looking to create a routine, while building out its e-commerce sales strategy.

The indie beauty market, in general, has leveraged the Internet in a way to best reach the consumer. While recent years showcased the importance of using brick-and-mortar to scale, the COVID-19 pandemic proved that brands valuing safety and community were reigning supreme in the market. By identifying the key places to connect with their target market, either through social listening, Zoom calls, and even SMS marketing, indie brands have worked harder than ever to reach the consumer and create relationships.

While acquisition activity has slowed significantly in 2020, some of the top earners have made headlines with multi-million-dollar deals. Cremo, Thayers Natural Remedies, and Charlotte Tilbury were just some of the brands to be acquired, each with strong brand positioning with sales of more than $500 million in the U.S. in 2019. While indies accounted for about a quarter of the sales share in 2019 for the cosmetics and toiletries market, these brands are still expected to be making an impact on the market by utilizing their core positioning to remain relevant to consumers throughout the pandemic.

Kline’s upcoming studies—Beauty Indies USA and Male Grooming Products USA—will delve into the latest developments and key trends shaping these booming market segments. The studies will provide a deep understanding of the various products and concepts that resonate with today’s consumers. They also shine a spotlight on the marketing and distribution strategy of their respective market players.

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