Good Grooming for Witty Guys
Mensgroom is tailor made for today’s man.
By Joanna Cosgrove
Women aren’t the only ones who yearn to look good. Men want to look good too, but don’t want to spend as much time in front of the mirror. In response, the brains behind
the Schwarzkopf Company and Riviera Concepts Inc., Gerd Schwarzkopf, founded PHCP Inc. in Mississauga, ONT, and created Mensgroom, a no-nonsense line of hair, face and body care products jam-packed with purposeful natural ingredients like birch sap, Marsipium tree bark, Mannetake mushroom and soy protein. The products are geared to appeal to the “sensible, witty, worldly man of today” with tongue in cheek product names like Soothe the Shaven Beast After Shave Balm, Be Cleansed My Son Facial Cleanser and Daily ‘Do Right Hair Conditioner.
|The Mensgroom line includes a wide array of products.|
The company’s study revealed several “mythbusters.”
“The men’s personal care category had grown in double digits in Europe and in North America but not to the extent you’d expect, given the demand,” remarked Ms. Robinson, who said it wasn’t long before her research discovered that the purchasing disconnect occurred at the store’s retail counter. “Men have their own approach to shopping, whether it’s a car, electronics or personal care products. They want to know in a quarter-second blink factor that a product is theirs and theirs alone. They want a self-serve shopping experience, not a lab coat lady telling them how to moisturize. We knew that if we could reduce the embarrassment we could increase the trial.” she said. “Of those polled, 78% of men said marketers don’t understand them and speak to them directly. What they want, quite simply, is products that do what they say and say what they do. There’s a reticence and cynicism among men regarding product claims and spending money on personal care products.”
Ms. Robinson went on to categorize men as “information seekers.” They want to know what a product does in a couple of sentences. If they want to know more information, they’ll want to find it at their own leisure,” she said, pointing to how this finding led her company to package Mensgroom products simply but with a wry humor that would appeal to today’s man. “Mensgroom products feature one or two witty sentences on the outer packaging to explain what the product does. The inside carton flap has a simple little cartoon that takes the message one step further. If he really wants to know technical data and substantiate the clinical data of the formula’s efficacy, he can go to the website. But we don’t give it to him until he’s ready to read it.”
The same applies to formulation information. “They also told us they don’t want a chemistry lesson, they want to relate to the ingredients. As one man told us, ‘it’s not an artistic manifesto, it’s a shave cream,’” she said. “Men want premium products without the pretension. If you can say contains a natural ingredient such as Mannetake mushroom – guys know what that is, it’s not a multi-syllable technobabble ingredient that they don’t believe is valid.”
Men also seek effective, multi-purposed products that do what they say they will do. Mensgroom’s Feed Your Head Scalp Treatment Serum, explained Ms. Robinson, is an anti-aging scalp treatment that not only addresses thinning hair, but picks up where other shampoos and conditions fall short because they act more or less as clarifying formulas that reduce build up. “This actually treats the scalp with Marsupium bark extract, an indigenous tree from India, that improves the health of the follicle, helping the bulb become more firmly rooted to help the hair growth get back onto more of a normal cycle so that over time the hair becomes thicker as well – a claim that was confirmed during the company’s blind test trials,” she said.
The Serum (100 ml, MSRP $45) is also enriched with Vital Hair and Scalp Complex – isolated extracts of sugar cane, lemon, apple and green tea – which provide “natural exfoliating properties through the action of hydroxy acids that promote cell renewal on the scalp,” helping to “clear the follicles of excessive dead cell build up, allowing more room for thicker hair growth.” This serum is also formulated with menthol and microencapsulated peppermint oil, ingredients that give a cooling and tingling effect to the scalp.
At 16 SKUs, the Mensgroom product family is purposefully lean. “Men don’t want a lot of SKU clutter,” commented Ms. Robinson. “There are two shampoos – men are either concerned about thinning hair or they aren’t. The same goes for wrinkles – if he is concerned about wrinkles, there’s Time Fighter Face Cream. If he isn’t there’s Daily Defender. It’s really easy for him to make his choice.”
Mensgroom hair, face and body products range in price from $45 to $20 and are sold via the Mensgroom website (www.mens-groom.com), Sears and Amazon.com.