Gen Z is defining a new approach to men’s grooming

Gen Z is defining a new approach to men’s grooming

October 26, 2021
4 min read

As a more egalitarian and gender-fluid younger male consumer emerges, attitudes toward grooming and experimenting with new products are evolving, creating new opportunities.

The time is now to tap into burgeoning Gen Z spending power

The youngest of the Gen Z generation is yet to establish significant disposable income. However, according to a report published by the Bank Of America, US Gen Z consumers are expected to surpass the earnings potential of their Millennial counterparts by 2030, with the bank estimating that its current spending power will increase from around $7 trillion now to reach $33 trillion by 2031. Better online and remote working skills are expected to drive their earnings potential in the future. But Gen Z is expected to be conservative in their spending patterns. Many witnessed their families suffer during the 2007 economic downturn, which means brands will have to work hard to win them over.

Genderless branding is making a mark

There is an abundance of products targeting men in a straightforward way, using bold darker colors that emphasize the fact that they are dedicated to men. While this approach is far from redundant and continues to resonate with the functional male consumer, younger men are switching to products that are different from traditional brands, playing on gender-neutral branding that is ethereal and designed to appeal to men or women.

Influencers are changing habits and driving sales

Independent beauty bloggers, vloggers and influencers who instill confidence and trust in their followers are winning over some younger men. Hyram Yarbro has become one of the biggest influencers in the global skincare space, amassing 6.7 million followers on TikTok. A gender-neutral and fluid approach to engaging his audience has spelled an essential part of his success with this age group and led to the launch of his own skincare line, Selfless By Hyram.

In the US, more than half of men aged 18-24 learn about beauty from TikTok, and in Spain, nearly four in five people aged 18-24 use social media to find beauty/grooming information.

Inclusive brands are targeting Gen Z regardless of gender

A brand designed for the future
Humanrace ticks a lot of boxes. Thanks to Pharell Williams‘ name It taps into the celebrity skincare trend, while also being refillable and described as “all-gender”.

Inclusive shaving
BiC US was launched in the US last year and challenges the conception that there need to be male- and female-dedicated shaving products. The range includes shave cream, blades and refillables.

Eco-friendly inclusivity
BePlain is a skincare brand from South Korea that has grown into an international phenomenon on the back of championing dual causes that make it both eco-friendly and genderless.

Some men still need reassurance

The functional male is looking for recognizable, fuss-free products that are dedicated to men. Often lacking the necessary information and confidence to choose the right products for them, this means branding that makes a clear statement about what the product does and reaffirms that it is dedicated to males will resonate.

Genderless is not the only way to get men to experiment

War Paint For Men is a makeup line branded in a bold way and emphasizes that it is dedicated to men. Its success means it is available in more than 70 countries with a customer base that targets younger males.

Similarly, baseball star Alex Rodriguez has lent some swagger by partnering with hims & hers to back The Blur Stick concealer. It ticks the inclusive box by coming in eight different shades, while also emphasizing that it is dedicated to men.

Pivot messaging around changing attitudes

Male grooming is poised to see some changes thanks to the growing number of more adventurous Gen Z men who are open to experimenting with a new approach to personal care, creating very different-looking products.

Demand from these men will feed a fresh wave of product innovation in the male grooming category, providing opportunities for brands that are willing to pivot their messaging and branding to this audience.

Gen Z male consumers are open to experimenting with new brands that offer inclusive messaging and communicate through the right social media channels.

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