The Cutting Edge Of Men’s Grooming
If you had asked a man 15 years ago what his options were for personal hygiene and grooming of facial hair, he would have likely said that he picks up his disposable razor blades at the local drug store. Prices would have been relatively high, compared to wholesale costs, reflecting the economies of distributing low cost items through the network of brick-and-mortar outlets such as Long’s, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid and CVS franchises that dot the American urban and suburban landscape. The situation is much different now. Changes could not have come at a better time as personal grooming habits have diversified. The hipster, half-shaven look is one example of a stylistic change that requires effort and proper equipment to maintain its subtle scruffiness. We asked the experts on the best electric shaver for men to give us a summary of major industry changes.
Thanks to advances in online retailing it has become possible for manufacturers to both broaden and deepen their product offerings without confusion to customers thanks to the power of crowdsourcing reviews that increase differentiation and traction of new products. This is most true in the electric shaver category. Sites such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target allow customers to post experiences. Smaller entrants to market use the power of social media to gain sales and positive word of mouth to overcome the initial reluctance barrier.
Electric shavers have a broad range of price points and a large number of accessories. Thanks to the power of crowdsourced reviews, it’s possible to narrow down the choices to come up with a best “overall” shaver. One of the most well received has been the Braun Series 790cc. That is, though it may not be the best for every individual, it has the broadest appeal and most likely to be generally liked by any one individual compared to other shavers.
Besides offering a very close shave that approaches that of a traditional handheld razor, the product comes with self-cleaning technology that cleans, charges and lubricates the electric shaver constantly. The battery charge is hefty enough to offer 50 minutes of shaving. Other qualities that men find appealing include the quietness of the shaver that still has an ambient buzz indicating that the product is operating; ease of holding it despite being wet; speed of the product in conjunction with the closeness of shave, and how it performs on hairs near the neck, a difficult place to shave. Technical details are found on Braun’s webpage for the same product.
For men who resolutely stick to disposables, that market segment has seen seismic shifts in the retail options as well. New online companies work with a subscription model to bring low cost high quality disposables to men who dislike having to go to the drug store regularly. The pricing is low because of economies of scale, which is made possible by the marketing reach of the internet. Subscription models offer a number of price points as well, basically correlating with the number of blades needed per month.
Finally high end manual razors has seen growth in a smaller segment of the market. Manuals require more preparation and are therefore less popular with the busy working man who has limited time to spend at the mirror every morning. Proctor and Gamble has an Art of Shaving subsidiary that produces high end heritage razors. The fanciest model has handles made of horn, and handcrafted blades. The product diversification is a boon to the gift industry, increasing the number of choices significant others and friends or family have for picking out as presents to the men around them.
(Photo Credit: Morgue Files)