Affluent Millennial men and the grooming paradox

Michael Baer’s WTF Beauty article highlights the opportunities for marketers to ignite interest, education and spending by this significant segment. His favorite grooming product? Aquage hair paste.

The author(s)

  • Michael Baer Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing, Media Development, US
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Grooming has long been the domain of women. But as social mores evolve, affluent (household income $125,000+) Millennial men are making inroads into this formerly forbidden territory in ways their fathers couldn’t have imagined.

Yet, while these men care as much about their appearance as women their age, old-fashioned attitudes about masculinity are creating tensions that brands and retailers should recognize—and resolve.

Older affluent males report having speedy morning rituals, while a majority of Millennial men say they spend a “great deal” or “fair amount” of time on theirs. At the same time, they’re also less likely than other men to say the time is well-spent.

In other words, affluent Millennial men want to look their best but don’t feel great about the effort expended or the results. Their inexperience with new products and routines contributes to their dissatisfaction with their results.

How they access grooming information is one source of tension. While they turn to more sources than older men do, they lag behind affluent Millennial women, especially from insight from friends, family and all forms of media. Affluent Millennial men say that they do not discuss this topic with friends.

Thus, more dissonance: young men are actively seeking grooming inspiration. But traditionally, men don’t discuss grooming habits with those closest to them and the data confirms that.

Finally, affluent Millennial men report spending less money per month on products than any other demographic aside from 50+ men—less than $50 a month. This group cares deeply about grooming and spends time in grooming activities, yet even affluent Millennial men don’t spend much money on the category. There is an opportunity for marketers to ignite this group’s interest, education and spending.

Affluent Millennial men represent a rich opportunity—and a fascinating challenge—for grooming brands and retailers. This powerful group would likely welcome education and inspiration, especially if messaging is presented in a way that affirms their identity.

This article was originally published in What the Future, an award-winning deep dive into different aspects of consumer thought and behavior. Each quarterly edition features exclusive new data from world-leading research firm Ipsos. WTF explores how the opinions of today impact the trends of tomorrow.

Charts: Millennial men's thoughts on grooming

The author(s)

  • Michael Baer Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing, Media Development, US

Media & Brand Communication