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A whole new man-scape

A whole new man-scape

Sales in men’s grooming products are expected to hit $85 billion, with men trimming, clipping and shaving more than ever before. Gulf Marketing Review meets the razor-sharp Philips’ exec who’s capitalizing on the ‘man-scaping’ trend.


January 28, 2010 2:51 by

Not, however, to Nico Engelsman, senior VP of Consumer Lifestyle, Shaving & Grooming Category, Royal Philips Electronics. He’s been tracking this “hair management” movement for quite some time now.

I met with the immensely affable and unassuming 52-year-old Dutchman at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. We were ensconced in the impossibly glamorous setting of the AT&T William’s Paddock. Philips Shavers is a major team sponsor. Philips is also a global leader in men’s grooming and shaving products, which account for 20 per cent of the multinational’s total international sales.

Globally, men’s grooming is one of the few sectors expected to grow in the recession. According to market researcher Packaged Fact’s latest study, Men’s Grooming: A Global Analysis, sales of all grooming products used by men including deodorants, shaving products and haircare will hit $85 billion within five years.

As he has been with Philips for 26 years I had expected the usual polite but corporate media-trained responses from Engelsman, but what ensued turned out to be a highly animated, and inevitably amusing discussion about, you guessed it – men’s hair.

“If you talk about grooming, it’s normally wider than just shaving. It’s an English word that you normally use for horses, isn’t it?”

He continues: “We’re into male grooming, which means that we shave, we clip hair, we trim beards, there’s full body grooming, which, basically, is the shaving of anything below the neckline.”


His jocular demeanor, of course, belies a huge amount of consumer insight work undertaken on a global scale. When launching a shaver, for example, at least five markets, the US, Russia, China, Japan and Germany, are excavated for insight.

“Depending in which country you live, men are grooming themselves in a particular way. It started in San Francisco, where men shave their chest, armpits and ‘other’ [my word, not his] areas.”

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