Women have been frequenting spas for years, but men are catching up. Research shows that more men visit spas today than ever before. According to a study from the ISPA Foundation, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), men represent 47 percent of the spa-going population in the U.S. “Due to the effects of our modern lifestyle, like higher stress levels and environmental toxins, more and more people are understanding the need to actively care for their skin,” says Josanna Gaither, director of education and aesthetics at Natura Bissé. “Visiting a spa for a face or body treatment is a great way for people—both men and women—to learn how to better care for their skin while receiving the de-stressing benefits of massage and the spa environment.” It’s not exactly news that men now make up nearly half the spa-going public, but there are a few things to keep in mind when catering to this clientele. Here are some of the ways you can capitalize on this influential market.
Chill Out, Dude
Men have many of the same concerns as women in terms of wellness. Combating stress is a key motivator. “When we break down the stigma that spa treatments and beauty products are feminine, it encourages men to take better care of themselves, both inside and out,” says Kim Zimmerman, public relations and e-commerce manager at Rescue Spa (Philadelphia). For instance, a deep-tissue massage isn’t just a luxury, it’s also therapy; facials are important for a healthy appearance; and manicures and pedicures aren’t just for nail art. According to Corinne Smith, director of sales and marketing at Sothys Paris, spas are beginning to cater more services and programs that specifically target the needs of men. “The positive is that male clients now have more services to choose from and more options in skin- and bodycare,” she says. “By attracting more men, spas can increase their client base and expand the demographic.”
Michael Bruggeman, CEO of Organic Male, OM4 recommends that you rethink the way your spa presents itself and its services to attract spa-goers of both genders. This includes tweaking the language on your menu, adding male-specific services, providing information on men’s services and products on marketing materials, and developing ways to get men interested in esthetic treatments and grooming services.
The Spa at Cedarbrook at Cedarbrook Lodge (Seattle), for instance, created the CB Men’s Spa menu, which features services designed specifically for guys. “Men often neglect their skin, which is why spa treatments are so important to restore it,” says spa director Joan Higdon. “We offer a Men’s Rejuvenating Facial, tailored to repair the wear and tear from daily shaving, and our Foot Refresher offers a way for men to address foot odor with a botanical approach that keeps them smelling earthy, not fruity.”
Because time and money are often factors in keeping male clients away from the spa, express services, weekday specials, and shorter (and thus less expensive) treatment options are effective. “Many men don’t want to spend their day lounging around in a robe sipping tea and being pampered,” says Erica Connor, director of retail operations for Dermalogica. “Express services are a great way to introduce men to spa services. A mini service is a great spa ice breaker for men because of the lower cost and time commitment.” At Moonstone Spa at the Oregon Garden Resort (Silverton, OR), time-crunched male clients can pop in for a quick facial treatment in a comfortable atmosphere with the Gentleman’s Express Facial ($45, 35 minutes), which helps cleanse, hydrate, and restore the skin.
Express treatments can also be a way for spas to get male clients in the door, in hopes that once they experience the benefits of one spa visit, they will book other treatments to try on a return visit. “They allow them to get in and out of the spa in a timely manner, while allowing them to embrace the benefits provided from the spa experience,” says Gaither.
Couples’ massage offerings and promotions can also help get men into the spa for the first time, and focusing massage promotions on recovery from sports or working out can help them to feel comfortable booking the treatment, like a special massage for golfers that addresses the muscles used in the sport, according to Marc Zollicoffer, director of professional spa education at Aveda. Consider massage a gateway treatment, as it can help introduce men to your spa. “Many men only book massages,” says Gaither. “Offering a treatment that provides massage as well as an introduction to a facial will help entice men to try out a facial on their next visit to the spa.” Although the times are a-changin with men growing increasingly comfortable with the idea of frequenting spas, they sometimes still need an extra nudge.
While men are certainly less comfortable with the idea that beauty comes at a cost, that doesn’t mean they won’t pay for products that deliver real results. In fact, according to Smith, men actually average a higher spending ratio than women, resulting in increased retail sales revenues. Recent research from Mintel reports that men’s personal care in the U.S. is anticipated to reach $4.7 billion in sales by 2020. As such, male clients are more likely to purchase homecare products, thus increasing your spa’s retail sales while providing exceptional results for the client, according to Connor. She adds that male clients are more likely to return to replenish products and to receive professional advice, which often leads to a happy, loyal client and an ongoing revenue source for your spa.
While men may still prefer to keep their regimens simple, they are becoming increasingly comfortable taking up their fair share of the medicine cabinet. “Men and women alike want to look and feel their best,” says Connor. “Although all men may not readily admit it, they are just as concerned about keeping their skin looking great as women do.” For those who have yet to embrace the idea that there is a product for every concern, multitasking products remain a popular option for male spa-goers. They help men tackle multiple skincare concerns without requiring the use of several products and a strict regimen. “Multitasking products are the best way to get them started especially with products you know they already use,” says Connor. “Chances are, most men regularly cleanse, shave, and moisturize. A post-shave moisturizer with an SPF or face and body cleanser that can be used to shave with are ideal as effective entry points to skincare.”
Even though more and more male clients are embracing the benefits of visiting a spa, there are still factors that deter more men from visiting, including the misconception that they are only for women, the fear of discussing skincare concerns and products with a professional, and the lack of understanding when it comes to treatment options. “Oftentimes, men are intimidated by what goes on behind those spa doors,” says Connor. “The fear of the unknown and the assumption that spa services are for women only deter them from visiting spas. Men want to know what products are best suited for them but are afraid to ask. It is important to make them feel welcomed and provide value by educating them about their skin.”
Bruggeman recommends that spa directors spend time training concierge and desk staff on how to communicate with men when booking services. “They are the key to communicating offerings to men,” he says. “Script their communications with men and women who are buying services for men—emphasize the hot-towel aspect of the treatment, the massage elements, and relaxation.”
Another reason men often avoid the spa is because marketing typically leaves them out of the picture. “Whether it is the spa website, menu, or general images, marketing is mostly geared toward women,” says Smith. “By simply adding more concise treatments to the menu and a few male images to the marketing, it will help drive more men through the doors.” Additionally, developing spa packages around holidays like Father’s Day is an effective marketing technique to entice a woman to purchase the gift of spa for the man in her life, and it is a good chance to introduce men to the benefits of spa-ing. The Spa at Pelican Hill at The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Coast, CA), for example, created the Father’s Day Relax & Reboot (starting at $215) package, which includes a 50-minute massage featuring an invigorating dry brushing to stimulate circulation and an aromatic blend of grapefruit and spearmint. The treatment ends with a special cocktail that the man can enjoy while he relaxes.
When it comes to marketing, it is important for you to use a simple, streamlined approach to target men. Also, explain the usage and results in a simple, straightforward manner, such as what it does, how it is applied, and how much the product costs to promote retail effectively. “Most men, if they receive an explanation of the benefits in a simple and quick fashion, will be apt to purchase and won’t question anything else,” says Gaither. Also, in the treatment room, estheticians can be more direct with men. “Don’t spend time explaining lots of active ingredients, delivery systems, and scent,” says Gaither. “Men want to use a product that will address their issues: dry skin, red bumps from shaving, and blackheads. If you can specifically address how a product will improve their concerns, they are more likely to purchase it.”
Comfort and Joy
According to Katherine Tomasso, national director of education at Yon-Ka Paris, the key to attracting men to your spa is to make them as comfortable as possible by speaking their language. “If you are serious about really expanding the male market at your spa, every aspect of it should be gender neutral from the design to the service selection, to the welcome experience,” she says.
Also, it’s important for you and your staff to treat prospective male clients with kindness, respect, and without judgment or pressure, so that they feel comfortable asking questions. “Talk to them in a private area, not in front of 15 people, and keep your voice down,” says Danuta Mieloch, owner of Rescue Spa. “Spas are all about—at least they should be all about—wellness. The moment any clients or prospective clients enter a spa—men or women—they should be made to feel comfortable and should leave feeling better than when they arrived.”
According to ISPA’s Consumer Snapshot Initiative, the highest proportion of male spa-goers can be found in the Southwest. Here is a look at the typical male spa-goer:
Age: 25 to 44 years old
Profession: Likely to be employed at a management level or above
Most frequent retail purchases: Shaving products, suncare, and vitamins and supplements
Check out these products designed to help male clients look and feel like new.
1. Aveda Invati Men Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo: Featuring certified organic cedarwood and salicylic acid, this shampoo’s lightweight, creamy texture easily exfoliates and refreshes the scalp while strengthening and conditioning hair. www.aveda.com
2. Clubman Classic Barber Shave Cream: For men who prefer the traditional straight razor shave, this cream offers a professional lather for a smooth, close shave and hydrated, soft skin. www.clubman.com
3. [ comfort zone ] Man Space Extra-Protection Cream: Prevent redness with this cream that provides hydration and effective antioxidant protection from the sun, pollution, and environmental stress. www.comfortzone.it
4. Dermalogica Post-Shave Balm: This multifunctional balm intensely moisturizes and clears dead skin cells while preventing ingrown hairs and bumps. www.dermalogica.com
5. Dossage No. 8 For Him: Offering a clean and masculine fragrance, this cologne contains fresh citrus, green foliage, lily of the valley, and sandlewood essential oil. www.dossage.com
6. Guinot Paris Très Homme Express Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel: This rejuvenating men’s eye gel reduces puffiness, diminishes dark circles, and smoothes away fine lines. www.guinotusa.com
7. Ilike Organic Skin Care For Men After Shave Gel: Formulated with aloe, calendula, peppermint oil, and rosehip, this anti-inflammatory cooling serum tightens, repairs, and regenerates skin. www.szepelet.com
8. Organic Male OM4 Citrus Bamboo Resurfacing Scrub: Stimulate cellular repair with this tangerine scrub that helps to remove dull, dead epidermal cells to reveal a youthful complexion. www.om4men.com
9. Pevonia Myoxy-Caviar Age-Defying Caviar Balm: Smooth fine lines and wrinkles with this nourishing caviar-rich balm that repairs, firms, and re-energizes skin. www.pevoniapro.com
10. RA for Men Mineral Freeze: Combined with natural actives, including hematite and vitamin C, this powerful skin-firming peptide formula regenerates and firms the skin. www.ramethod.com
11. Tao of Man Daily Skin Defense: Combined with hyaluronic acid, this highly active herbal serum helps to prevent ingrown hairs while calming the skin. www.taoofman.com
12. Woody’s Quality Grooming For Men Tuff Spray: Build body in hair without shine or stiffness with this sea salt spray that gives hair beachy texture and control. http://www.woodysgrooming.com/
13. Yon-Ka Paris Lotion YK: Instantly revitalize and soothe skin with this refreshing oil-free toning lotion that can be applied after cleansing and shaving. http://shop.yonkausa.com/