The Changing Beauty/Wellness Consumer in the US and Europe

By Jacqueline Clarke Wellness Research Director, Diagonal Reports | October 28, 2008

I review the emerging beauty and wellness market opportunities and their implications for service providers.

Unwittingly, hotels have found themselves amongst the best placed service providers to benefit from the emergence of men as beauty care consumers. Men's attitude towards beauty care has been transformed over the last decade and has fuelled high growth rates in the professional beauty market in that time. Men now account for more than half of salon sales while a fewer years ago they were not even considered as a category.

This market has quite literally fallen into salons' laps as it was created mainly by the women who prodded and persuaded the men in their lives to use professional hair and skin care services.

Hotels which provide spa services have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to sell beauty or wellness services to men who already are existing hotel clients. These newer spas have been designed with male clients in mind, they have been able to customise treatments and services for men. The overly feminine ambience of many traditional beauty salons and day spas continues to deter many men from crossing that threshold and using the treatments. In addition, hotel spas are easily accessible and in a familiar environment which are key criteria for the male consumer. I describe a number of basic ways which make spas less intimidating for men

Looking ahead, we can confidently predict that hotel spas can also benefit from the next big market opportunity which is presented by the demand for anti-ageing and rejuvenation treatments.

Hotel spas are well placed to benefit from some major, but underreported, changes in the beauty services business. Among them the emergence of men and of the over-50s as important consumer segments. The rise of the male beauty consumer is good news for hotels because these consumers overlap with male hotel guests. Even better, hotels are already on the other side of biggest barrier that stands between men and beauty/spa services: crossing that threshold.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.