The grooming brand launched its line for women last year and within a year it has achieved 25% of the overall business.
Even before girls reach the age where they can finally start waxing, they receive unsolicited advice from all sides. An aunt says you should only wax at home. A cousin insists that shaving gives the best results. Didi salon has its own two pence value – threading is the only way out on the face as a razor will give you masculine stubble. Then there are the peers who suggest everything from hair removal creams to clippers. By the time she’s ready for her first hair removal experience, she’s not sure who to listen to.
Until the pandemic began last year, many women left the painful and tedious process in the hands of salon professionals. Visits to the salon for waxing and donning were routine. But with salons closed for months due to the lockdown, how long would women wait to get rid of unwanted hair? Soon they returned to the good old home solutions or, better yet, looked for products that could do the trick in the home. Products in this category include depilatories, including wax strips and other wax products, razors, and depilatory creams. This has given a strong boost to Indian women hair removal market Rs 15,000 crore. This figure is expected to increase by 21% year-on-year over the next five years.
Making the most of this change, Bombay Shaving Company launched its women’s line in 2020 with shaving products and by the end of the first year it has achieved 25% of the overall business.
In this segment, India has traditionally been heavy with services, that is, salons. But as these services became inaccessible in the first wave of last year, hair removal products began to develop. Also for women, hair removal is not a functional thing, but a catalyst for confidence. The need for hair removal therefore remained and only the mode changed.
Siddha Jain, Assistant Vice President, Bombay Shaving Company (BSC), in an interview with afaqs !, says the demand generated during the pandemic will continue and intends to expand beyond shaving to owning the end-to-end hair removal space. To this end, it will also create products for waxing and depilatory creams. She said that it was not difficult to extend the offer to women because even in the men’s segment, 30% of the base was made up of women, who bought the products for the men in their lifetime.
âBSC enjoys strong equity as a thoughtful, understated, subtle and gentle brand. It was never macho. It is a very contemporary brand in its communication. And fairness remains. So it was natural for us to cultivate this equity first. This is the reason why we chose the name Bombay Shaving Company Women and no other name. But we understand and recognize that BSC Women will need to have its own separate entity, so we have created a separate website destination, âshe says.
It started with just four products last year and among them, facial razors have seen great demand. âWomen were attending Zoom calls all the time and they had to take care of their facial hair. So we saw a strong demand for facial razors, âshe adds.
Having established itself in the men’s segment, it is proposing to cover the entire gender spectrum soon.
The brand must communicate differently to women. âWomen don’t speak the same language and don’t adhere to the same standards. The consumer is a nuanced public, who understands the smallest details of the products she buys. She wants to partner with brands that have a deeper meaning beyond just selling a particular product. She’s very connected online. So it has to be a very personal communication. We need to find ways to make each touchpoint a little more personal, familiar and conversational. Unlike men, shaving is not functional for women. Men don’t talk to each other about their shaving experience. But women do. A community-based approach is therefore important, âshe adds.
A BSC Women consumer is in the 18-35 age group. She spends a lot of time doing things that she enjoys doing and therefore has less time for appearances. Yet she is aware of it. When it comes to hair removal, women want products that are gentler on the skin, less painful, faster, and more wearable.
âIt might sound like a really big group, but it’s seamless in a lot of ways. Everyone wants the best for their skin. They don’t want to compromise on time. They are successful and over there. They work and are ambitious. But they are very conscious of their appearance and their self-confidence, âshe says.
This age group is made up of two groups: Generation Z (18-25) and Millennials (25-35). Jain says the two groups behave very differently. Millennials are “made by mothers first”. They are not the first to adopt and wait for their friends’ comments on the products they try. While Generation Z does not believe in the status quo. They challenge myths and tackle them head-on. But even they don’t compromise with their skin.
At least 40% of women between the ages of 18 and 25 prefer a razor as their first method of hair removal. Among millennials, it was 10-15% until COVID, when that all changed. âNow people don’t want to spend time doing things that aren’t as rewarding. They want to spend time on experiments and all of a sudden the value of the time has increased, âshe says.
Launched in 2016, Bombay Shaving Co has a portfolio of over 100 products for shaving, bathing, body, skin and beard care. With this he established himself in the men’s category. However, he is fairly new to the female category and needs to cultivate an following. Initially, it will focus on digital. Besides pure digital, it will also work on digital across channels. For example, using the community of influencers on Nykaa. Finally, he works on the creation and distribution of content.
âWomen consumers are much more knowledgeable online than men. We will also do targeted and sharp offline activations. For example, we attended Delhi Times Fashion Week as a grooming partner and had some interesting offline activations, âshe adds.
The women’s hair removal segment is surrounded by all kinds of myths, including the ones we talked about at the start. Society has set itself the goal of bringing them down. For this, they educate consumers through the product experience and also through original content. The brand recently organized #SmoothAF Comedy, an event for actresses talking about their hair removal journey.
âWe want to have this quirky content space around hair removal. We want to be the equivalent of âCoke Studioâ in the hair removal business, âJain said.
They’ll also have expert content with skin care experts, makeup artists, and others leading the conversation. They will also have community content where people will also help them create better products by providing valuable contributions. âThey will serve not only as champions but also our tribe of #SmoothAF experts who will come back to us,â she adds.
The company intends to develop the educational content from January and plans to partner with platforms such as POPxo and iDiva which have its preferred target audience and also the sensitivity to understand the brand and co-create. content for her. It will soon launch the BSC Women’s Academy series. He recently published a large-scale campaign with Alaya F.
BSC products for women are available online and offline. Offline, they are available at department stores like Shopper’s Stop, modern commercial and medical chains like Apollo and MedPlus. But above all it has a large online audience and is available on its own website and on other platforms like Nykaa, Purpple, Amazon and Flipkart.
Currently, the brand offers a complete shaving regime: shaving foam, razor and aftershave. It also offers other products such as depilatory creams, facial razors and trimmers. This puts it in the same space as brands like Gillette Venus and Veet. Even The Woman’s Company has razors. But no brand owns the end-to-end space. That is, they all specialize in one of the subcategories and not all of them. BSC Women wants to become this brand. Jain aims for BSC Women to have a 20-30% share in all subcategories within a year.
âWe want to be the brand women think of when it comes to hair removal, however they do it. Hair removal is an occasion-based thing. Women are not a wax person or a shave person. We can be 60% wax or 30% in the salon. Over time, people will shift more from service to product, but we won’t completely replace salons. Visits to the show can be reduced and limited to special occasions, âshe adds.
Earlier this year, consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser, owner of Veet, led a 45 crore fundraiser at the company.
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