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Make Way for the Guys…

The Facts:

  • There are 106 men for every 100 women in Malaysia [DOSM]
  • Value of men’s grooming products, outerwear/apparel & fragrances has increased from RM3.4bn (2006) to RM 4.5bn (2011) à ave. annual growth of 6%

Ladies, make way for the guys – there are slightly more males than there are females in Malaysia and the aisles at personal care stores, pharmacies and clothing retail stores increasingly dedicate shelf space to men’s grooming products and apparel that are beginning to rival that of women. The times appear to be changing in that men are more concerned with their appearance and make it a point to look good.Picture1

According to Euromonitor International, the value sales of men’s grooming, outerwear and fragrances collectively, grew by 7% in 2011 to reach RM4.5 billion. And is forecasted to grow further to RM4.9 billion this year. This was led by Men’s Outerwear (jeans and outerwear) and Men’s Toiletries (shaving and toiletries).

Within this broad segment, overall growth was spurred by several categories, namely Men’s Jeans  (9%) and Men’s Toiletries (8%), in particular skincare.

The sales of men’s jeans is almost on par with that of women’s. Standard men’s jeans dominated in Malaysia where established brands like Levi’s and Zara performed well and receiving positive feedback on cut and design for men. Several other new launches e.g. Levi’s and adidas, targeting men also helped grow the market.

Partly due to price increases, value sales of Men’s Toiletries was boosted by the increasing demand for more sophisticated products, offering added value benefits to men and catering to different skin types or lifestyles.

Changing Attitudes Towards Grooming & Fashion

Why is there growing interest in male-specific products and apparel lines? Could it be that celebrities like Brad Pitt and Don Draper, and closer to home Asian artistes, have helped men have a greater appreciation and hence demand for fashion and grooming brands? Based on an article in The Edge “A Sharper Image”, this trend began in the US and UK and over the last 10 years, and in recent years led by Korea, has become very strong in Asia.

Make Way for the Guys Pic 1

One other reason for the influx in men’s skincare products could also be that the women’s market is close to saturation point that manufacturers need to expand into the men’s product ranges to create new revenue streams.

A recent study by L’Oreal Malaysia [Source: The Star], conducted among 500 males in Malaysia reveal that Malaysian men are now paying more attention to their appearance. Some interesting findings from the Malaysian Men’s Grooming Report:

Make Way for the Guys Pic 2


Where is the Category Headed?

That said, men’s shopping behaviour differ from that of women when it comes to skincare, in that it remains as a functional activity; majority of men prefer to be in, out and then move on quickly. And it is for the same reason that men want simplicity. Brands therefore need to get the formula right in terms of relevance, appeal, quality, packaging and pricing for male consumers.

Zooming into the media spend for men’s face care – the category grew at a faster pace of 7% hitting an estimated RM40 million than total media spend increase of 4%, for the period Jan-Oct 2012 vs.. the same period in 2011. Brands like L’Oreal (+RM4.1 mil), Nivea (RM3.7 mil), Dashing (+RM3.1 mil) and Men’s Biore (+RM1.3 mil) led the increase in spends over the period.

According to Nielsen Consumer & Media View (Jul’11 – Jun’12)  face care users tend to be younger (73% are below 35 years), white collar workers & students (62%) and from middle-higher income households. Based on media spend patterns and current users of face care among men, it appears that this market for now is driven by mass brands. Over time, users are expected to become even more sophisticated and eventually upgrade to more premium brands.image 2

The prospects for men’s outerwear, toiletries and fragrances is positive with an increase in fashion and appearance consciousness suggests that more new international brands will gain entrance to Malaysia.

One final observation is that more famous European and Asian apparel brands have not only opened retail outlets in large and centrally located shopping malls like Pavilion, KLCC, Mid Valley and One Utama, but have now extended the availability of their products to suburban Klang Valley – to neighbourhood or suburban malls like Paradigm Mall and Setia City Mall. We see this as a continuing trend that will play a key role in further propelling this market in the next few years.