In 1957, Dove introduced the Dove Beauty Bar and launched a brand community that became one of the most successful and well known in the skincare and beauty industry. 53 years later they launched a spin off line called Dove Men+Care and took a chance that has paid off wonderfully.
When the line of men’s products was introduced it was clear that there was space in the market for it. For decades men used women’s or non-gender specific products in their daily cleanliness routines. Because of the lack of “made for men” products, men were left without feeling an affiliation to any brand or product. They bought what they recognized on the shelf, or what their partner brought home, or what was on sale.
In 2010 Dove ventured to change that.
What Dove capitalized on was the growing desire for consumers to feel like they are part of a brand community and feel a sense of connection to the products and brands that they like and use. From the website: “One of the biggest hurdles men face is reconciling their real selves with the portrayal of a “real man” in the media. In fact, almost three-quarters of men globally (and 80% of men in Canada) believe men are stereotyped in advertising and 67% of men (71% in Canada) find it difficult to relate to men their age in advertising.”
Immediately Dove Men+Care started building advertising campaigns that targeted men. And not Hollywood caricatures of men like the Marlboro Man. Dove wanted to show men doing regular man things and then getting clean using Dove Men+Care products. It sounds so simple it’s crazy. But it worked.
Dove Men+Care built their first large-scale campaign around the idea of men being comfortable in their own skin. With spots that featured the likes of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, things got off to a great start. Since then, the advertising campaigns have shifted to include The Man Manual which offers advice to men on everything from DIY projects to cooking the perfect steak to using Men+Care products in their daily routines.
The Dove Men+Care social media campaign has also been well executed. Their Facebook presence includes a variety of product and brand community based images and engaging posts that are both entertaining and informative. They aren’t taking themselves too seriously and it is paying off with a growing community and increased brand exposure.
Men have finally been targeted by a soap/shampoo/moisturizer campaign the way that women have been for years. It’s as though someone stood up and decided that men were capable of making choices about their body wash for themselves. And while it may be true that some women are buying the products from their men, I can personally tell you that I am picking up Dove Men+Care products (the Hydrate+ Face Lotion is my favourite) and enjoying the results.
As Krisztina said in her post about Brand Expansion, “Expanding your product offering to gain a new segment of consumers is a great idea. You can leverage the equity of the original brand; take advantage of existing consumers, brand recognition, relevance and credibility.” and Dove has done exactly that with the Men+Care line.