This descriptive case discusses an emerging global market trend and opportunity – the increasing use of beauty products by men, especially those in Asia. “No More Uncle” captures the emotional motivation behind unappealing and/or older-looking men to transform themselves.
Ironically, Asian men were late to grooming compared to those in Western societies but they are making up for it by becoming much more aggressive in adopting their products and services. No country is a better example of this than South Korea, which has attained a “lead” market status such as in soap operas, popular music, women’s beauty products and now even men’s grooming. The case introduces segments such as NOMU (No More Uncle), JUBAEK (Weekend Department Store Warriors), and YUMMY (Young Urban Males) and describes an important retailing venue for grooming – the updated barbershop. The case wraps up with information about new dimensions on which men’s grooming can innovate and grow.
Men’s grooming represents not only an economically viable industry that is growing almost in double digits, but shows dynamic consumer behaviour – marketing should not stick to centuries-old assumptions of gender or else significant opportunities will be lost.
The case also includes as a rare pedagogical option of a fictional narrative film, “The First Timer”, specifically produced for the case study. This multimedia platform allows instructors to use a written case combined with a visual story to flesh out the dynamics of men and their potential trepidation of becoming initiated to grooming products.
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