AIRPARIS China Male Beauty Report 2019

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2019/10/25 发布于 商业 分类

Why male beauty is China's next brand growth story? This report navigates through data, culture and creative. It reveals consumer behaviours and brand strategies whose sophistication far exceeded initial assumptions. It also shows to the extent to which men are re-defining the traditional industry playbook for brand creative, product innovation and brand experience design.

Male beauty  男士美妆  Report  Cosmetics  marketing  branding  innovation 

2. In a 2011 interview with Global Entrepreneur magazine, AIR PARIS president Dimitri Katsachnias shared prediction that ‘Men in Paris spent about 50 years moving from using cologne to accepting after shave, while in China it may only take one year’ . While the prediction proved prescient, the magnitude of the male beauty boom goes far beyond our predictions. Forget about after shave, Chinese men are enthusiastically embracing masks, serums and premium sunscreen. A new generation of beauty buyers is also catching up to Korea in adoption of color makeup products like BB cream or lipstick. Be it in terms of sales or behaviors, China is driving the development of the 122 billion USD global male beauty market. Data from Euromonitor shows the Chinese male beauty market growing at over double global average (13.5% vs 5.8%). In an intensely competitive beauty market, men represent an attractive growth opportunity for existing brands and also attract savvy entrepreneurs eager to populate the market with new male only, digital native brands. From global behemoths like Channel to homegrown players like Martin, Chinese men’ s beauty enthusiasm is lifting all boats. We believe that the rise of Chinese male beauty ranks amongst the most important macro trend we have encountered in over 20 years of activity in the beauty scene. For this reason, we have compiled this in-depth report with the hope of bringing both clarity and perspective to the topic. This exercise meant navigating data, culture and creative. It revealed to us consumer behaviors and brand strategies whose sophistication far exceeded our initial assumptions. It also showed to the extent to which men are re-defining the traditional industry playbook for brand creative, product innovation and brand experience design. We hope that this report will inspire you and trigger ideas to turn the potential of male beauty into tangible growth for your brand. For more information on how AIR PARIS can help your business, please visit Chris Krakowski Managing Director China AIRPARIS
3. Introduction ‘Sales of male makeup kits are up 401%.’ Such is the eye catching copy that is featured front and center in one of Tmall’s latest advertising campaigns meant to advertise the platform ahead of the 6/18 shopping festival. More remarkable than the figure though is the tone and composition of the ad. Instead of a polished model, the visual features an average looking man in a mundane setting applying his makeup in an un-glamorous way. What this creative choice communicates is that beyond its remarkable growth, male beauty and skincare is no longer the domain of a niche avant-garde. It has gone mainstream and in so doing is unleashing enormous opportunities for brand growth. From mass market digital native brands such as Martin to incumbent luxury beauty players such as Channel, the male beauty tide has the potential to lift all boats. 02 Tmall betting big on male beauty for 6/18. Source:
4. The Rise Of Male Beauty Creates Opportunities For Brands In All Segments Of The Market NEW BRAND DISRUPTION INCUMBENT INNOVATION LUXURY BRAND EXPANSION Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: One of the top selling brands on Tmall and, Martin马丁 represents a new breed of digital native, male only beauty brands offering high value for money Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: LAB Series is evolving its marketing playbook by working with pro-gaming teams to convert the new generation of male beauty consumers 03 Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: With its 'Boy de Chanel' male makeup line, Chanel is amongst the first luxury brands to bet heavily on the male market
5. Male Beauty Is No Longer The Domain Of A Niche Avant Garde. It Has Gone Mainstream. It is our opinion that male beauty will be one of the most exciting growth stories of the coming years. The market presents a perfect storm of pent-up spending power, strong cultural underpinnings and relatively open competitive landscape. It offers tremendous opportunities for both established brands and newcomers alike to get in at the ground floor, help shape customer behaviors and gain a foothold in the market before it consolidates. will customers favor? What type of celebrities and ambassadors will they respond to? Which new product formats and ingredients will arise? To what extent are female best practices transposable to the male market? Etc… Answering these questions means standing at the intersection of culture, product, branding and channel innovation. It is this approach that we adopt in this article, showing how beauty fits into a broader cultural evolution of masculinity, breaking down the new male beauty routine, mapping the male beauty path to purchase and identifying different archetypes of male beauty shoppers. Most fascinating about this market is its uncertainty: Which beauty rituals will become fully mainstream? How many men will cross over from skincare to makeup? Which brands will come out ahead? Which purchasing channels 04
7. Big growth stories are always built on strong cultural foundations. Major shifts in norms and popular aspirations bring about new behaviors and new spending patterns. This is precisely what is happening at the moment as new definitions of masculinity and new lifestyle habits enter the mainstream and shape a ‘new Chinese man’ . This ‘new Chinese man’ is often embodied in the figure of the ‘Little Fresh Meat ’ ( 小鲜肉 ): fashionable, delicate, fresh faced men built on the template set by Korean boys bands. While this image carries some truth, it can also be misleading by reducing a complex cultural trend to a single extreme expression. Not all modern Chinese men aspire to become ‘Little Fresh Meats’ but most converge on a number of behavioral and cultural trends. ‘Little Fresh Meat’: Kris Wu, Z.TAO, LU HAN, LAY Zhang. Source:
8. BREAKING DOWN THE NEW CHINESE MAN TRADITONAL MASCULINITY NEW MASCULINITY Wu Xiubo. Source:'>Source: Deng Lun. Source:'>Source: • Cultural environment shaped by traditional gender roles • Status comes from economic success • Men succeed through their hard work • Low involvement consumer • Ideal of male appearance:'>appearance: elegant, strong, mature • Male makeup as a deviant phenomenon • Cultural environment shaped by gender re-definition • Status comes also from personality and culture • Men succeed also through their looks and personality • High involvement consumer • Ideal of male appearance:'>appearance: soft, clean, youthful • Male makeup is fully accepted and compatible with masculinity 07
9. o1. Passion for self-improvement Modern Chinese men are passionate about self-improvement. They dedicate an increasing amount of their free time and discretionary income to the betterment of their minds and body. More than an utilitarian pursuit, self-improvement is a life philosophy, an ethic of self-cultivation and constant progress through good daily life habits. Zhi Hu 知乎 One dimension of the self-improvement quest is physical. It is projected in the rise of fitness in both traditional gym formats and new formats such as exercises classes, 24h gyms or in-home fitness. In 2018 alone, sales of sports bracelets by men on Tmall increased 122%. This not only reflects the increasing adoption of sport as a daily life habit but also shows that physical self-improvement is closely linked to data tracking and ‘body hacking’, intersecting with a more traditional male interest in technology. De Dao 得到 Self-improvement is also intellectual and spiritual. Men represent a majority of the user base of top knowledge apps such as Zhihu (69% male) and De Dao (60% male). Within paid content, the top category by far is ‘personal growth’ accounting for nearly 50% of content and demonstrating once again modern Chinese men’s commitment to on-going skill building and intellectual growth. 69% MALE 6o % MALE Men represent a majority of the user base of top knowledge apps 08
10. o2. Increased independence and involvement in consumption choices Meituan CEO Wang Xing once said that the hierarchy of most valuable consumer groups went: young women > children > middle aged women > the elderly > dogs > men. This traditional view reflected the difficulty of getting men involved in premium consumption beyond a limited set of categories like electronics. Put simply: men lacked the sort interests and hobbies that drive spending. This state of affairs is changing fast. From sports to music, fashion, travel and self-care; men are developing new passions and becoming more involved consumers. A sign of this change is the rise of male focused e-commerce platforms. Du 毒 for instance started as an app offering appraisal services for rare sneakers. It has grown into a comprehensive e-commerce platform with a largely male audience and a GMV of over 10 billion RMB in 2018. Yoho有货 is another beneficiary of this wave of male spending and is posting 100% YOY growth rates. It is northeworthy for including a selection of male skincare products alongside its more traditional sneakers and streetwear categories. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the power of this new male consumption culture can be found in the efforts by various players to create the ‘male RED’. The most ambitious step in this direction has been taken by Zhihu who just pushed a new app called CHAO which bills itself as the go to place for lifestyle tips and product reviews for young trendy men. 09 Beauty products are making their way into popular male e-commerce platforms such as Source:'>Yoho.Source: Yoho!Buy app CHAO: Zhihu’s effort to create a male equivalent of RED. Source: CHAO app
11. o3. Beauty as an asset 95% of young professionals recently surveyed by job search platform BOSS 直 聘 agreed that looks had a direct impact on salary. The well-known term of ‘Looks economy’ (颜值经济) used to apply mainly to women for whom physical appearance has long been accepted as a direct driver of social status and economic success, especially in the social media age with its obsession with visual content. real world. This edge can deliver dividends in the workplace where a good physical appearance complements educational background to create the perfect ‘up and coming’ white collar worker. It can also apply to relationships where female empowerment makes traditional forms of status projection increasingly irrelevant or at the very least insufficient on their own. Many independent, professionally successful post 90s women expect more than a car and house in a partner. They bring to the dating game increasingly high demands in terms of style, attitude, culture and physical appearance. This vision of beauty as an asset is now increasingly embraced by post 90s and post 95 men who invest in their appearance to gain an edge in the Men Accept That Beauty Is A Key Driver Of Social And Economic Success, They Participate In The ‘Looks Economy’ 10
12. A sign of this evolution, many Chinese men are going beyond skincare and accepting the idea of beautification of the male face through makeup. This jump from ‘skincare acceptance’ to ‘beauty acceptance’ represents perhaps the most consequential shift in mindset at play. According to Weibo surveys, 31% of users ‘Strongly opposed’ men using makeup as recently as 2015 with 29% ‘Strongly supporting’ . Fast forward to 2018 and the share of ‘Strongly supporting’ has shot up to 60% while ‘Strongly opposed’ accounts for less than 10% of respondents. STRONGLY SUPPORT MEN WEARING MAKEUP 6o% 29% 2015 2018 STRONGLY OPPOSE MEN WEARING MAKEUP 31% 1o% 2015 2018 Source: Zhiwei Data 11
13. New Masculinity Codes Are Reflected In Brand Creative FROM TO Source: • Playfulness • Attitude • Approchability • Raw power • A god-like model • Projection of strength 12
14. The New Chinese MALE BEAUTY ROUTINE(S)
15. Male beauty as a whole is growing strongly. But to fully understand the opportunities offered by this trend, one must look beyond the headlines and dig deeper into understanding the new male beauty routines. Which products can be considered mainstream? Which are growing the fastest? How are customers transitioning to new products? Source:
16. o1. From male grooming to male color beauty: Mapping the male ‘beauty journey’ Based on our experience, we have divided the male beauty routine into 5 different stages of sophistication each corresponding to different behaviors and products. GROOMING Basic hygiene items with almost full penetration SKIN MAINTENANCE • Body wash • Fragrances • Shaving • Deodorant Essential skin maintenance items necessary for basic comfort and appearance • Cleanser • Moisturizer COLOR LE A PF R O G COLOR Niche but fast growing market for male color makeup items • BB cream • Concealer • Foundation SKINCARE-BASIC • Lipstick • Eyebrow pencil • Eyeline General purpose skincare items with high penetration • Toner • Mask R LO CO N SI TI ON Specialized skincare items with medium to low penetration • Serum • Eye cream • Essence • Supplements • Beauty hardware 15 UP A TR SKINCARE-ADVANCED GR AD E • Sunscreen • Anti acne RE A INC K S
17. Key Male Beauty Growth Categories 249% 126% Increase in BB cream purchases during 11/11 Year on year increase in purchases of serums by males 168% Year on year increase in sales of male face masks Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: Alimama Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: 214% 278% Year on year increase in sales of male lipstick Year on year increase in sales of eyebrow pencils Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: At the start of what can be considered male beauty is what we call skin maintenance categories: moisturizer and cleansers. These products have a long history in the market. They are almost universally accepted and considered ‘must haves’ for any self-respecting modern man. Mass market early movers like Loreal and Nivea enjoy very high market shares in these categories. brands. Alimama data shows for instance male cleanser sales growing 72% year-on-year in 2018. The next step up the beauty ladder is what we refer to as basic skincare with items such as toners, masks and sunscreen. These items have a very high penetration, especially with young and premium audiences (85% of men recently surveyed by Tmall and Loreal use at least one skincare product). They are part of the self-care habits of most appearance conscious men although usage frequency might vary from individual to individual. Despite their very high penetration, ‘maintenance’ categories are still growing strongly thanks mainly to increase in usage frequency and trading up in 16
18. With 168% Year On Year Growth, Masks Represent The Upgrade Of Male Beauty Routines Masks are becoming a key part of the male beauty routine. Source: 17
19. Within this category, male masks stand out as a breakaway growth item with 168% year on year growth in 2018 according to Alimama data. Sunscreen is also another strong growth product with 114% increase in search interest in 2018 according to 360 (highest of all product categories). Data from Toutiao confirms this with masks and sunscreen ranking as the top 2 most followed product categories by male users during Q1 2019. serums by men has increased 126% during the same year. An interesting element to note is the propensity for men to buy advanced products such as serums from female brands. While sales of serums by men have risen by 126% in 2018, sales of serums by men from male specific brands has risen only 26%. While gifting can account for some of the delta, there is without a doubt a strong ‘hidden market’ of men using female serums. SKII for instance is well known for being favored by many male users. From basic skincare, many men move forward towards advanced skincare. We believe that this transition marks an important inflexion point from skincare as a necessity ( ‘because I have to’ ) to skincare as a key lifestyle pursuit ( ‘because I want to’ ). Within advanced skincare we find products with sophisticated formulations and a more targeted effect such as eye creams, serums and essences. These products are often linked to anti-aging or counterbalancing the effects of busy lifestyles with frequent overtime work. We can also fit in this group emerging categories such as beauty hardware or skincare supplements. Finally, at the far end of the spectrum, many (though not all) men are enthusiastically making the jump from skincare to color makeup. On Tmall, male color cosmetics are growing 89% year on year, faster than fragrances, hair care, body care and face care. Men typically enter this universe through BB creams and concealers, products that often advertise themselves as ‘invisible’ and meant to correct small blemishes while maintaining natural skin color, like a ‘cheat code’ for your skin. The result: sales of BB cream and concealer have risen respectively 249% and 192% during double 11 2018 compared to 2017. Male face creams as a whole grew 101% year on year in 2018 while purchases of 18
20. Even more remarkable is the rise of lipstick and eyebrow pencils which have grown respectively 278% and 214% on Tmall in 2018. These products show that men are moving from a pure focus on skin to a ‘full face beauty’ approach. As impressive as these growth figures are however, we must keep in mind that male color cosmetics is still a nascent market with relatively low penetration. Sustained efforts from brands on marketing and product are still needed to make the category go mainstream (see below for more perspectives on this topic). We do notice however a significant uptick in adoption with post 95 and 2000 consumers. iResearch data for instance suggests that 1 in 5 post 95 consumers uses BB cream and eyeliner. 1 IN 5 POST 95 CONSUMERS USES BB CREAM 1 IN 5 POST 95 CONSUMERS USES EYELINER 1 IN 10 POST 95 CONSUMERS USES EYEBROW PENCILS Source: iResearch 19
21. o2. 3 opportunity spaces for upgrade If we consider the market as a whole, most middle class consumers would find themselves in the ‘maintenance’ or ‘basic skincare’ stages of their beauty journey. For brands, we see 3 major opportunities for consumption upgrade:'>upgrade: Skincare upgrade:'>upgrade: customers who start out with basic skincare items gradually learn about the category, find their preferred brands and develop a finer understanding of their skincare needs. They are likely to start upgrading basic items while adding new steps to their routine with products such as serums, eye cream or even supplements. Color transition: sophisticated skincare users gradually become more comfortable with the idea of color makeup. They see it as the natural next step in their pursuit of more beautiful skin and start experimenting with simple solutions such as BB creams before gradually adding more ‘advanced’ categories like eyeliners or lipstick. It should be noted though that the transition to color makeup represents an important step and shift in mindset. A significant contingent of customers, especially in post 80s generations, are likely to never fully move beyond skincare and into color makeup. Color leapfrog: it would be tempting to see color makeup as the sole domain of an elite of highly educated customers who have already adopted a sophisticated skincare routine. Reality though shows that many brands, especially new Chinese brands, are targeting post 95 and 2000 customers, trying to get them to leapfrog straight to color makeup. This trend is for us the most interesting opportunity space for new brands who have the chance to shape the habits of a new generation of ‘beauty native’ consumers. Source:
22. Many Young Consumers Are ‘Leapfrogging’ Straight To Color Makeup HE 赫恩 calls on the new generation of men to gain an edge in life through better skin. Source: 21
24. It is clear that the male beauty routine is becoming more complex, opening up considerable opportunities for both short term sales growth and long-term brand building. But how should brands go about winning in this market? How can they bring together communication, products and channels to reach and convert the new Chinese male beauty buyer? While there is no set, guaranteed formula for success; we have identified 4 key principles that we believe brands in this space should follow. Source:
25. o1. Leverage the influence of women as educators and influencers While men are becoming more involved in their beauty routine, it is an undeniable fact that they remain heavily influenced by the women around them. Women, be them wives, girlfriends or friends, act as purchase trigger, choice influencer and often times are also the buyers of male beauty products. Data from Alimama suggests that as much as 55% of male face creams and 70% of male masks are bought by women. As a ‘low hanging fruit’, male oriented brands should run targeted activities geared towards making allies of women. One example is Martin 马丁, a direct to consumer male skincare brand that ranks in the top 5 male cosmetics brands on Tmall. While Martin generates the bulk of its sales on and Tmall, it also uses female-dominated RED 小红书 to reach young women with gifting oriented campaigns. ‘Giving you back a fresh boyfriend’ set by Loreal. Source:'>Source: Also on RED, Korean premium skincare brand Sulwhasoo goes as far as changing the names of certain products to encourage women to purchase for the men in their lives. Its signature cleanser for instance, called simply ‘Fresh face wash’ 清爽洗面乳 on Tmall, takes on the new nickname of ‘dad and husband love to wash their face’ 老爸老公爱上洗 脸 on RED. Loreal also plays the game of playful nicknames with its ‘Giving you back a fresh boyfriend’ 还你一个清爽男 票 set. Sulwhasoo ‘Dad and husband love to wash their face’ cleanser. Source:'>Source: 24
26. o2. Adopt an ‘online native’ mindset Compared to women, men lack a history of buying cosmetics offline. They do not have the same need to be directly exposed to the products, smell them, feel their texture and do a test application. For most of them, beauty remains a relatively low involvement category in which the most prized brand attribute is convenience. This opens up a space for new online native brands. beauty brands built around mastery of e-commerce channels, agile digital communication, social community engagement and high value for money. Because of their main growth channels, these brands are often dubbed ‘Tao Brands’ 淘 品牌 and ‘Bo brands’ 播品牌 . The example of Martin 马丁 is very telling. Launched in late 2017, Martin has become one of the top performing brands in its category on both Tmall and where it has respectively 200,000 and 220,000 followers. Replicating best practices from other direct to consumer brands, Martin extends the same signature ingredient (cologne) across a wide range of affordable products from shampoo to masks, sunscreen, serums and even intimate grooming. Through simplicity and consistency, it provides a ‘one stop’ solution to all skincare needs. To facilitate discovery and maximize repeat purchase, it extends its presence across a social and e-commerce eco-system that includes Tmall,, RED and a Wechat mini program. A look at top selling cosmetics brands on Tmall reveals many familiar names like Loreal, Shiseido UNO and Nivea. But alongside these brands (and frequently out-selling them) are a new group of brands such as Martin 马丁, Man Codes 左颜右色 or HE 赫恩 . These represent a new generation of recently created male Through the case of Martin 马丁 we also note the importance of to convert male audiences. While its position in female skincare lags far behind TMall,’ s predominantly male user base put it in a strong position to benefit from the male beauty boom and it should be seen as a top priority channel for any brand in this market. Martin represents a new generation of direct to consumer male beauty brands. Source: 25
27. New Digital Native Local Brands Are Disrupting Incumbents Through Their Mastery Of Digital Channels Another example of digital powered growth can be found in Man Codes 左颜右 色 . Founded in 2012, Man Codes sells over 75,000 units of its star BB cream every month and owes a large part of its success to its mastery of online short video. It has over 1 million likes on Douyin and 22,000 followers on micro video app Kuaishou. Highly active on both video platforms, Man Codes’ content borrows more from slapstick comedy and ‘Stupid culture’ 沙雕文化 than from traditional skincare codes. The brand worked in particular with influencer Xu Huasheng on a series of humorous videos promoting the volcano mud cleanser set. All its content re-directs to its Tmall storefront to drive direct conversion. Man Codes’ Kuaishou content borrows heavily from ‘Stupid Culture’ 沙雕文化 codes. Source:'>Source: Kuaishou app Man Codes drives direct conversion from its videos through its Kuaishou shop Source:'>Source: Kuaishou app
28. E-sports and regular sports: GF brings together new and traditional male skincare codes. Source: o3. Explore new cultural territories to influence male beauty buyers have long used to reach male customers is sports. Athletes such as Beckham or Christiano Ronaldo were early pioneers in partnering with beauty brands. While not new, the ‘sports card’ is still highly effective to build cultural relevancy with male beauty buyers. Biotherm collaborates closely with prominent players of the Chinese basketball team and included basketball related experiences in its latest pop-up stores. Earlier in 2019, Mentholatum signed up NBA superstar Jeremy Lin while GF features track runner Xie Zhenye in its most recent communication assets. From choice of ambassadors to content production, the rise of male beauty is forcing many brands to re-visit their traditional marketing playbook. While more and more men pay attention to their appearance and to their skin, their sophistication as a whole remains limited and most men still enter beauty through other cultural territories. The challenge for brands becomes to insert themselves in these cultural territories through the right content and collaborations. One traditional territory that beauty brands 27
29. While sports remains a reliable avenue to reach male customers, we believe that brands should be more ambitious in exploring new, emerging cultural territories. Chief amongst these is online gaming which has gone in a few years from low-end occupation to trendy lifestyle hobby. Nivea, LAB and Biotherm have all recently struck partnerships with pro-gaming teams or top players. Biotherm has been particularly active on the gaming front, sponsoring Honor Of Kings games and holding live streams with its pro gamer ambassadors. Its recent communication is replete with gaming references, presenting Biotherm products as ‘weapons’ for ‘leveling up’ the skin. LAB content feature similar language: its new toner, endorsed by the IG Team (one of China’ s top pro gaming organizations), ‘Supports’ the skin and ‘Ganks’ impurities. Beyond borrowing slang, we believe that gaming offers tremendous opportunities for highly disruptive forms of commerce and communication through in-depth IP collaboration and in-game advertising. LAB x IG team collaboration. Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: Product descriptions borrow heavily from gaming slang. Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: Biotherm puts gaming at the center of its latest brand campaigns. Source:'>Source:'>Source:'>Source: 28
30. Online Gaming Is The New Battle Ground For Many Male Beauty Brands Still other brands introduce beauty offerings through the angles of fashion and street culture. As shown by the aforementioned examples of Du 毒 and Yoho 有货 , street wear has been a key category in driving the development of a male consumer culture and beauty brands who manage to insert themselves in this space stand to win big. GF for instance recently partnered up with hot fashion brand New Project Center on a pop-up event around the concept of ‘total makeover’ . The event combined fashion and skincare, calling out for men to comprehensively upgrade their appearance. Moving forward, we expect brands to be ever more inventive in collaborating with the gatekeepers of male traffic be them celebrities, other brands, digital platforms or IP properties. 29 GF and NPC bring together skincare and fashion for a total male makeover. Source:
31. o4. Educate on products benefits to trigger purchase One of the key challenges in developing the male beauty market lies in the need for education. Most men remain relative newcomers to the world of beauty and skincare. Unlocking the full potential of the market requires brands to educate audiences on products, routines and benefits. Very often, their job is to sell not just their specific product but the category as a whole. By reviewing the content of different brands, we have identified 3 key messaging angles that have proven effectiveness in convincing male customers of the importance of upgrading their beauty spending. trying to get across their benefit in a simple, relatable way. Many communication pieces stress women’ s expectations for a well put together man and the need for men to live up to these expectations. While men used to be shamed for being un-successful, they are now also shamed for being negligent with their appearance. Much of this content is voluntarily over the top, borrowing from internet meme culture to get the message across humorously. Man Codes 左颜右色 in particular embraces this crude and simple 简单粗暴 approach with its micro videos showing how a potential romantic encounter can be ruined by bad skin. Female validation: as mentioned earlier, beauty is for men an important way to gain an edge in an increasingly competitive dating market where women set high demands in terms of style and appearance. It is thus un-surprising that seduction is a key point of focus for many brands In many ways, the enduring presence of such messages shows how important female expectations are in driving male skincare adoption and how consumption behaviors connect to much broader cultural and social trends. Man Codes’ Kuaishou content shows in no subtle terms the difference between good and bad skin when it comes to seduction. Source: Kuaishou app 30
32. Loreal’ s BB cream allows men to be their best in key situations. Source: Performance and confidence: the traditional representation of male lifestyles is one in which men are expected to perform both at work and in social situations. It is no surprise then than beauty brands would frame the benefits of their products in performance related terms. Skincare becomes a tool for men to gain an edge in important moments. This dominance of short-term, occasion driven benefits messaging contrasts with the ‘long term skincare management’ approach that is more common in the female beauty space. Convenience: like most clichés, ‘men are lazy’ contains a kernel of truth. As we mentioned earlier, many men recognize the need to take better care of themselves but remain put-off by the necessary time investment. They expect solutions that offer immediately visible results while at the same time not disrupting their daily habits. Many brands address this issue heads on by emphasizing the convenience of their skincare solutions and their seamless integration into busy male lifestyles. Biotherm in its recent communication uses gaming analogies to connect to the male competitive spirit, calling on men to ‘turn on their high-energy mode’ with Biotherm solutions. Many other brands directly connect these benefits to concrete occasions amongst which the most important are overtime work, sports and business travel. 31
33. The example of BB cream is perhaps the most interesting. A majority of brands in this space present their BB cream as a miracle combination of a hydrating, cleansing and beautifying solution. They demonstrate how BB cream can allow men to cut down on the time and energy they spend on skincare. Man Codes 左颜右色 goes as far as claiming that its BB cream offers customers’ 30 extra minutes of sleep’ by reducing a complex skincare routine down to a single all-purpose product. Martin allows the well-groomed man to stand out from the crowd and get noticed at work. Source:
34. Man Codes’ promise: 30 extra minutes of sleep through a simpler beauty routine. Source:'>Source: With Loreal, apply your mask like a man. Source:'>Source: Major brands such as Loreal also play the convenience card to lure male buyers. The Loreal male face mask product page revolves almost entirely about the product’ s convenience: the packaging can be torn apart without damaging the mask, the mask is sturdy enough to prevent ripping, its large size is engineered for men’ s faces, it can be worn while exercising and only 5 minutes are necessary for it to delivery its effects. 33
36. While reducing the male beauty opportunity to color makeup would be a mistake, it is undeniable that it is the category that offers not only the highest growth rates but also the biggest opportunities for innovation both for incumbent brands and new entrants. Source:
37. During its early devlopment, male color beauty was driven by highly sophisticated customers with an advanced skincare routine who dared to make the jump into makeup, often through female products. These early adopters were glamorous, stylish and bold. The future of male color cosmetics however will not look like its past. Growth will come not exclusively from the avant-garde but by making makeup acceptable, useful and desirable to new customer groups. Only time can tell how different brands will tackle this challenge. From our perspective, we see 3 high-potential avenues to making color makeup part of every man’ s routine: Female makeup intersects strongly with fashion. It connects with consumers’ individual style and offers the possibility to play with colors to create different looks. While this vision may become accepted by men with time, it is still a step too far for most male beauty buyers. Rather than appearance alteration, male makeup should be promoted as invisible, highlighting natural features and subtly improving overall appearance without being noticeable. Focus should be not on style or glamour but on promoting a clean, natural and healthy looking face. We even see some brands going the extra mile in assuaging consumer fears by directly comparing their products to female equivalents so as to clearly highlight the differences between them. Natural beauty trumps glamour: one key to achieving mainstream acceptance lies on how brands frame category benefits. Local brand Solehe 和风雨 advertises its male lipsticks as discreet and different from female lipsticks, assuaging consumer fears about looking too heavily made up. Source: 36
38. Source: Makeup as a practical tool for advancement in the workplace: adoption of male makeup also goes through clearly communicated use cases that connect to male concerns and can form the basis of long-term habits. Korea is worth considering as a reference in this respect. Known for being the earliest adopters of color cosmetics, Korean men are driven in large part by utilitarian, work related concerns. In a highly competitive job market, looks are an integral part of the young professional’ s arsenal and assist men in moving up the corporate ladder. As we already hinted earlier in this report, the influence of looks on earnings is already well recognized in China and we foresee big potential for brands who can make themselves the workplace companions of ambitious young male professionals. This approach impacts not only brand messaging but also product formats, placing a higher emphasis on portability and ease of use outside the home. Innovating formats to make products desirable: many men shy away from color cosmetics because they are intimidated by the products in and of themselves. It is our opinion that format is one of the most important factors in turning male interest into initial transaction and repeat usage. Early on in the purchasing journey, the right format encourages discovery, establishes the product as male-specific and elicits desire through the appeal of novelty and the attractiveness of the form factor. After purchase, format supports habit formation by making products easy to use for beauty newcomers. 37
39. Format also encourages frequent usage especially outside the home by turning products into accessories and making male makeup look acceptable in public settings. Brands should be bold in experimenting with different packaging design and product form factors to better cater to male aesthetic sensitivities and usage habits. Korean brand MIP bring an ultra-masculine, industrial design aesthetic to male makeup Source:'>Source: 38 RD Men 锐 度’s eyebrow pencil comes in a fashionable, masculine box. Source:'>Source:
41. We’ ve seen key trends in adoption of different beauty products along with best practices in engaging with male beauty buyers. What clearly comes out of this analysis is that male beauty is not a monolith but a multi-facetted phenomenon with different consumers groups exhibiting different needs and behaviors. To succeed in this space, brands must be clear which male beauty consumer they are targeting and what their objective is. Based on our own experience and by recouping multiple 3rd party data sets, we have established a typology of male beauty customers classified based on their approach to skincare and sophistication. BEAUTY FOCUS Transition BEAUTY LEARNERS BEAUTY AVANT GARDE LOW SOPHISTICATION Transition HIGH SOPHISTICATION Transition FUNCTIONAL ESSENTIALISTS ADVANCED CARETAKERS CARE FOCUS 40
42. Functional Essentialists PROFILE Understand the need to take care of their skin, feel social pressure to do so Very pragmatic concerns: please girlfriend, look good for clients, avoid embarrassment… Unwilling to spend time shopping for or using skincare. Seek simplicity and are willing to pay for it Least likely to spontaneously look for skincare products or content. Will access skincare through other areas of interest (sports, video games…) Likely to stay loyal to the same brand as long as re-purchase is easy, likely to stick with what is familiar Key products: cleanser, moisturizer, basic masks Source: APPROACH & OPPORTUNITIES CONCERNS Create easy skincare routines with clear benefits for different occasions How can I make sure that my skin serves me well in key situations like dates or job interviews? Propose ‘all in one’ solutions through sets What should I buy? How can I make I pick the right products? Drive repeat purchase through loyalty engagement and subscription models What brand and products can take care of basic concerns in the fastest, most efficient way? Gradually start education on skincare best practices to encourage more involvement in the category 41 31
43. Advanced Caretakers PROFILE Existing users of premium and luxury skincare Have a sophisticated beauty routine including products such as specialty masks, serums, eye cream… Involved skincare consumers, willing to spend time learning about products Care greatly about ingredients, formulation and texture Can use female products for certain categories if they do not find the right male option Source: CONCERNS APPROACH & OPPORTUNITIES How can I improve my skin’ s health and appearance along very specific criteria (Ex: whitening, eye pockets)? Create new premium products bringing the latest in skincare science for male skin Maximize spending by introducing new skincare products such as supplements or hardware How do I make sure I’ m getting the best in ingredients and formulation, on par with the best female products but engineered for male skin? Develop customization options Connect to offline service centers to create advanced male beauty ‘macro brands’ How can I add new steps to my beauty routine to further improve my appearance? How can I get a skincare regimen specifically adapted for my skin and lifestyle? 42
44. Beauty Learners PROFILE Fashion forward men who already take great care of their appearance mainly through apparel and accessories Open to the idea of beautification, use basic skincare and entry level color makeup such as BB cream Eager to learn more about male beauty but are confronted to the relative lack of content on the topic May still feel reservations about more advanced color cosmetics products such as eyeliner or lipstick, need to be guided and reassured Source: CONCERNS APPROACH & OPPORTUNITIES How can I find male beauty products that are good quality but still easy to use? Educate beauty curious men on everyday beauty tips through accessible educational content Which forms of male beauty are acceptable? Which are right for me? Propose easy to use entry level color beauty products that make it easy for men to start experimenting How can I be beautiful but remain masculine? How can I educate myself about beauty tips and tricks to look better everyday? 43
45. Beauty Avant Garde PROFILE Earliest adopters of male makeup Highly involved in the category, spend a large part of their discretionary spending on skincare and beauty. Buy premium brands for both Combine a sophisticated skincare and makeup routine Buy a mix of male and female brands Path to purchase and influences are very similar to female beauty customers Source: CONCERNS APPROACH & OPPORTUNITIES How can I find the very best beauty products for men? Launch premium and luxury male beauty and makeup brands How can I play with different colors to change my look? Evolve male color makeup beyond basic products and offer more color and shade options How can I stand out through my exquisite appearance? Create advanced male specific beauty content This audience represents a big opportunity for established female brands who can extend successful franchises to male products 44
46. As we see, there are many dimensions to the ‘male beauty’ phenomenon. Not all men have the same starting point in terms of beauty routine and mindset. Not all men will share the same beauty journey. In many ways, one of the key signs of the maturation of the male beauty market will be the end of the very idea of a uniform ‘male beauty market’ . In a few years’ time, men will no longer be discussed as a uniform market segment. Successful companies will have identified niches and developed products and brands specifically targeted at key segments. For brands today, both incumbents and would be disruptors, the question is no longer about the potential of male beauty. This question is settled. The question is about where in the male beauty market they will chose to play.
48. We opened this report talking about the uncertainty that characterizes the male beauty market. As parting thoughts, we try to cut through this uncertainty and offer our own perspective on where we believe this market is heading: 1 The male beauty market represents the ultimate opportunity space for new brands. We believe that local, digitally native, direct to consumer brands will dominate the market and see a huge potential for acquisitions of new male brands by established beauty players, not unlike the 2016 Unilever acquisition of Dollar Shave Club 2 Just like sportswear brands spearheaded the early development of the male groomingand fragrance market, we expect popular male fashion and lifestyle brands to leverage their accumulated equity and customer base to expand into beauty either on their own or through collaborations 47
49. 3 As of today, male beauty products still largely mimic their female equivalents. We see a huge potential for more fundamental innovations in formulations, packaging and modes of application to fit more closely male lifestyles and behaviors 4 The male search for convenience will fuel the rise of customization and subscription services that will provide the ultimate one-stop beauty solution 5 While male ‘beauty occasions’ are currently mostly limited to work and dating, we expect the male beauty market to mimic the female market with multiple skincare solutions and ‘makeup looks’ for specific moments and occasions (Ex: sports, travel, season specific products…) 48
50. Air Paris works with brand owners to devise comprehensive strategies for new brand creation and brand growth. We articulate all the variables of brand strategy into a compelling vision complemented by actionable roadmaps for action. Air Paris means excellence in creative ideation and content production. Across channels and form ats, we deliver brand content that makes a difference, helping you build brand equity and drive conversion throughout all your brand touch points. 49
51. Beauty Clients Paris New York Shanghai 5 Rue Royale, 75008 Paris +33 (0) 1 53 45 35 00 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 1405 New York, NY— 10010 +(1) 917 410 7511 376 Wukang Road, Unit 208 Xuhui District, Shanghai, China +(86 21) 6466 2000 Explore more insights and contact us on