They’ve helped revolutionize the male personal care market, and these three digital native success stories are now taking aim at Millennial women…
Millennials may have spurred the genreless generation, but for all their support of gender-neutral clothing and they/them pronouns, 18-36-year-old men and women are still largely buying and using gender-specific personal care products. Though several up-and-coming beauty brands are marketing themselves as gender-neutral, the majority of digital native brands in the personal care space have chosen gender sides and stayed there. That’s not to say these brands aren’t bucking gender norms, however. In fact, a growing number of these personal care brands are targeting men with huge success—brands like Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, and Hims are effectively revolutionizing the male grooming and self-care market, which is now poised to be worth $166 billion by 2022, and a healthy (and growing) 37% of Millennial men tell Ypulse they’re are spending money on personal care products every month. While these numbers are nothing to sneeze at, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what women spend on their personal care. Our data found that nearly twice as many Millennial women are breaking out their wallets for personal care every month, and the beauty industry alone is already worth $445 billion globally and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that these male-targeted digital native brands are now taking aim at Millennial women.
With direct-to-consumer beauty and grooming brands like Glossier, Stowaway, Bevel, Onomie, and Context winning favor with wellness-loving Millennial women, the Hims and Harry’s of the world could be missing out by not tapping that other 50% of the youth market. At the same time, Millennial women are fed up with the average brand’s use of gender stereotypes in their branding and marketing efforts, including pink-everything and airbrushed images of beauty. In fact, 88% of 13-36-year-old female tell us that brands oversexualize their gender, and 59% tell us that brands should forget gender altogether when targeting their messages. Instead, Millennial women favor the messaging of brands like Glossier and Thinx, which prioritize realistic and diverse images of women, coupled with the stylish minimalist branding and transparent pricing Millennials increasingly demand—there’s no longer any room for the “pink tax” with this gen. Here’s how three successful digital native brands are beginning to target Millennial females next:
Popular men’s grooming company Harry’s Inc. launched its women’s brand, Flamingo, just a few months ago. Though the company has had its share of female customers for a while now, and in fact estimates that more than a million women have already purchased Harry’s blades. It’s no wonder—though the women’s hair removal market is two-thirds the size of men’s, getting affordable, quality blades delivered to their doors (sans pink tax) is something Millennial women have an interest in, too. That said, Flamingo is upping Harry’s offerings to better appeal to women. The line includes wax strips, razors, gels, and lotions, all served up with up minimalist, sophisticated design and packaging with muted (read: non-gendered) colors. Though the blades maintain Harry’s signature German-made, five-blade tech, the razors are designed to better conform to the specific areas women shave and include rounded edges, a weighted handle, and extra grip. The handles are also designed and shaped to fit naturally and ergonomically into a woman’s hand.
Known as the “Glossier for Dudes,” startup Hims has found success selling “science-backed” health products and prescriptions to Millennial males, offering everything from salicylic acid shampoo to generic Viagra, skincare, and oral care. Now they’re doubling down and offering the same level of reputable and convenient health products to women with the launch of Hers, which offers treatments and prescriptions for sexual wellness, skin care, and hair loss, all wrapped in the company’s signature and Millennial-friendly brandless packaging.
The Hers platform functions the same as Hims—customers can order products online with or without a prescription and have them sent right to their door, no trip to the doctor required. Women seeking prescription medications, like birth control, simply fill out questions about their medical history specific to the condition that they want to be evaluated for, and then do some DMing with a certified doctor. But where Hers stands out from other health and wellness startups offering skincare solutions and birth control on-demand is with its offering of Addyi, the only FDA-approved medication for women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, i.e. the libido-boosting pill women have been searching for for years. “Our goal is to help women make the most informed choices about their health at every stage of their healthcare journey,” Hers brand lead Hilary Coles told TechCrunch. “We thought it was offensive really that there have been 26 options out there for men to get hard and this is the first thing offered for women… It’s another area that has been super stigmatized.” Their commitment to de-stigmatizing women’s health could seal the deal of their success with Millennial women.
Dollar Shave Club
This direct-to-consumer brand made their name with a viral commercial that was all about Millennial men—and though they haven’t introduced a new product that targets Millennial women, all signs indicate that Dollar Shave Club is pivoting to be a gender-neutral, female-friendly brand. Last year, they introduced a new campaign that shifted from male-oriented humor to a more “inclusive,” and “sincere” approach, according to Adweek. Notably, the focus of the campaign, the “Get Ready” video, showed women using Dollar Shave Club’s products. With “Dollar Shave for Women” startup Billie raising $6 million to encroach on their razor-delivery market, it’s not too surprising that the real Dollar Shave Club would make clear efforts to show Millennial women that they’re welcome to subscribe too. In fact, a Google search for “Dollar Shave Club women” surfaces an ad aimed at female consumers, directing them to a starter kit with the message “Ladies, start shaving for $5. Without the Pink Tax.”