A Challenge to the Beauty Industry to Man-Up!
Industry Story: Default or Design?
The story of an industry is often a tale more of default than design. That is, when we step back and trace the evolution of an industry, we typically see that things are the way they are, because thats just how the dominoes have fallen. There was no sophisticated Master Plan, no conscious effort to steer things one way, or another – the pieces just seemingly fell into place.
This phenomenon and a very common one at that is, quite frankly, not always a problem. Not when the default designcontinues to run on sound business fundamentals of delivering customer value and generating worthwhile profit (in that order).
But when its not working – when the default design ends up harming an entire industry and its customers instead of helping it, then its more than a problem, its a Systemic Disaster! It not only deprives established industry players of the opportunity to excel and profit to their full potential, but at the same time, it forces new industry entrants to adopt the dysfunctional habits, strategies and philosophies of those already operating in that space.
In short: when the default approach to business isnt working, it robs everyone involved – from those who sell, to those who buy. Weve heard of win win scenarios. Well, this is a lose lose scenario. And one of the costliest places that this systemic problem rears its ugly head, is none other than the Beauty Industry.
The Beauty Industrys Multi-Billion Dollar Broken Promise to Men
The Beauty Industry is, at least in theory, all about delivering value and improving the lives of its customers. Its about helping customers look and feel more vibrant, attractive, and confident. Its also about protecting their health, diminishing, or preventing the signs of aging, thwarting environmental damage and more. Indeed, when it comes to the promisesthat various industries make to its customer base, its not an exaggeration to say that few make pledges as bold, as sophisticated, and as seductive, as the Beauty Industry.
The promise that Masculine Men deserve from the Beauty Industry should say:
We, the Beauty Industry, care about and respect the billions of MEN who make up approximately 50% of the global population. To demonstrate this care, we will design Masculine Face Care (mens skin care and mens anti-aging) products exclusively for them, and then we will deliver those products in a manner, and in a location, that align with their masculine preferences and nature. When we accomplish this, we will deliver on our promise to provide value to our customers, and as a result, we will succeed and profit independently as individual companies, and together as an industry.
Unfortunately and by default rather than design – the Beauty Industry didnt only fail to deliver on these promises, it never bothered to make them in the first place! In fact, the Beauty Industry didnt just give up on men, it actually Declared War on Masculinity – which is an even greater gaffe.
And those of you who work within the Beauty Industry know this awful truth.
Instead, the very limited attention that the Beauty Industry pays to masculine men is geared towards women. Thats why up to 70% of mens skincare products are bought by women for their men.
And again its by default, not by design. Its just the way things are in the Beauty Industry. Its how theyve always been – Its how theyll always be. Unless someone boldly stands up, points a finger at this gaping problem, and states loud enough for those with the foresight and courage to hear: Masculine Men Matter to the Beauty Industry!
Why Masculine Men Matter to the Beauty Industry
Fundamentally, there are two answers to this:
Reason #1: The Mens grooming segment consistently out-performs all others in the personal care category, with particularly high growth in the mens skincare and mens anti-aging segment. As such, its not as if the Beauty Industry has to create momentum in the marketplace, its already there despite the industrys systemic neglect.
Make no mistake this growth isnt the result of the Beauty Industrys efforts to respond to the needs of masculine men. In fact, the Beauty Industry routinely attributes this upward trend to the perceived success of its campaigns (or schemes, some might say) to feminizemen, in addition to recruiting women to do its bidding.
Reason #2: This niche market segment is astonishingly untapped and under-served. There are millions of masculine men out there with billions of dollars that they want to, or would want to spend and in turn boost the profits of Beauty Industry players of all sizes.
But they cant because the Beauty Industry is so hell bent on feminizing men, no ones paying attention to the willing and able pool of masculine men who REFUSE to be feminized and who are ready to pledge their allegiance to an industry player that respects their masculinity, by taking his nature, his needs and his preferences to heart and manifesting them into reality – IF that player would only present itself!
As bizarre as this all sounds: a phenomenally huge untapped market worth billions of dollars, an entire industry that shrugs its shoulders with indifference, and Not Onebeauty industry player with the foresight and courage to challenge the status quo. Its critical to remember that were talking about default rather than design. Its not as if there is an organized conspiracy within the Beauty Industry against men. Its not that dramatic.
Beauty Industry to Masculine Men: You Will Be Assimilated Into the Female Collective. Resistance is Futile.
Really, the truth is strangely ordinary. For decades, the Beauty Industry has targeted everything, from product to design to marketing to distribution to promotions, to one gender only: women previous issues of this article series examined the financial aspects behind this practice. And now that theres a massive untapped market of masculine men, its struggling mightily to turn the ship around and focus on them.
So what does it do? By default, it keeps heading in the same direction towards women and tries to fit men into that picture, either by selling mens products to women, or by forcing men to concede (out of the lack of truly masculine alternatives) to the Beauty Industrys Pollyanna ideal of male friendly products. Men have little choice, but to settle for products that are philosophically and fundamentally female, despite the For Men statement on the label and male centric color palettes.
Yet the most egregious offense of all is the Beauty Industrys systematic assault on masculinity. The Beauty Industrys belief in the effectiveness of campaigns that blatantly go against mens nature, by seeking to change men and feminize men continues to this day with no signs of relenting. Indeed, this is the Beauty Industrys Multi-Billion Dollar Man Problem, and one that will never be solved if things continue heading in the default direction. A fresh, bold and progressive solution must be sought.
A Challenge to the Beauty Industry: MAN UP!
It all boils down to this: its time for the Beauty Industry to wake up, open its eyes, and MAN UP by fulfilling its promise to the millions of masculine men out there who expect and deserve more. Its time to look men in the eye and unequivocally pledge:
Yes, we, the Beauty Industry, hear you, we respect you, and we are willing to invest financially, in your needs and do what it takes to rise to the challenge! And we wont just pay lip service were taking action and proving it by offering men, products that complement, celebrate and enhance your masculinity – and were making sure that you have the Masculine Face Care products you want, where you want them.
Its time for the Beauty Industry to STOP its Assault on Masculinity. And, its also time for the Beauty Industry to stop using women to do its heavy lifting – mothball campaigns that cleverly and deceptively attempt to get at men through women. Its time to come out from those safe hiding places behind womens skirts and interact with masculine men Directly and On Their Terms.
Why such a BOLD challenge? Because all worthy challenges are BOLD Thats what makes them worth fighting for. This is the 21st century clarion call to the Beauty Industry. MAN-UP and engage men as men.
Beauty Industry Players who rise to this challenge and see it through will enjoy the fruits of victory: the loyalties of millions of masculine men brand new customers with billions of dollars to spend.
Beauty companies who ignore this challenge, or worse, bury its head in the sand will taste the bitterness of defeat and watch feebly as theyre pushed aside by smarter, stronger and successful visionaries who know a game changer when they see one.