Led by moderator and lifestyle commentator Robert Di Mauro, two luminaries in the men’s marketplace—Gary Esposito, partner at the Zunda Group and Mike Bruggeman, founder of Organic Male—talked shop on the ins and outs of male grooming essentials.
Esposito, former creative director at Playtex Products and director of creative services at General Foods, was instrumental in the redesign of Degree deodorant, which initially was intended as a dual gender product. His presentation focused on “Practical Considerations: Different shell constraints, different facing sizes and different shop-ability.”
“Men are not men globally,” noted Esposito, citing cultural differences between the American and European male as examples. “We also need to separate the product in North America between men and woman.”
According to Esposito, it was imperative to leverage the packaging to this unique demographic (the American male).
“From cowboy boots to Ferragamo shoes…the size of a steak in Paris and Manhattan…these men (US and EU) have two different styles,” he explained.
The Organic Male lineup.
Besides adding a checkmark graphic, which spiked sales of Degree 62%, according to Esposito, changing the unisex feel to a feminine style on the women’s SKUs also helped in the rebranding.
Next up was word from the Organic Male himself, Mike Bruggeman, who prior to developing the Organic Male line, was employed in the health care industry as a vice president overseeing operational performance and human resources for more than 20 hospitals.. Transitioning from health care to skin care may seem like risky career move, but he saw it differently. In 2008, Bruggeman embarked on a personal quest to develop a men’s skin care line equivalent in scope to any of the major women’s brands. Growing up on an organic dairy farm in Wisconsin, his beliefs in health promotion and wellness is the driving force behind Organic Male OM4, the first type-specific, green and clean skin care system formulated specifically to address the differences in male and female skin.
According to Bruggeman, industry trends in the headlines are a key indicator of what’s going on in the men’s market. Plus, “men are quite loyal when they like a product,” he noted, referring to his influences from Clinique’s 3-step system.
From headlines on the Old Spice guy to makeup for men to Amore Pacific’s Manstudio, the burgeoning male grooming category shows no signs of slowing down.
“The North American men’s skin care market is expected to hit $227 million in 2011,” noted Bruggeman. “By 2014, total male consumption, including the use of women’s and unisex products, is expected to hit $84.9 billion.”