For decades, the wellness industry has catered primarily to women. However, the new generation of companies are catering to male wellness demands.
According to a recent Mintel report:
Progressive brands have started to tackle taboo subjects in men’s health through sensitive and supportive dialogue — allowing male consumers to feel heard and understood. Direct-to-consumer brands Roman and Hims are helping men voice their health concerns and feel more confident discussing personal wellness: Both brands are built on the philosophy that men do not feel comfortable talking to their doctor about common bodily issues. Aiming to provide accessibility to medical advice and medication, Roman and Hims offer prescription treatments for erectile dysfunction, hair loss, premature ejaculation, genital herpes and more. Different from traditional treatments, the companies use thoughtful and understanding language to help men feel supported in caring for and talking about their sexual health.
Founded by Jack Abraham Andrew Dudum and launched as a digitally native brand in November 2017, Hims uses a telehealth platform that allows men to save time, money and the potential embarrassment of a doctor’s appointment by delivering health products to customers’ doorsteps, with no shipping costs. A company representative claims that all of its products are up to 80% less than the local pharmacy. All products are FDA-approved and are personally recommended by the company’s medical team.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hims is offering at-home COVID-19 saliva test kits that are sent to a lab that provides results in three to five days. The test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and costs about $150. Additionally, the company is now offering primary care telemedicine and online therapy sessions on its platform, where one can perform a virtual visit with a physician for $39. The company has facilitated more than two million remote consultations to date.
Hims did $1 million in sales its first week and gained unicorn status a year later after raising $100 million in a venture-funding round with a pre-money valuation of $1 billion, as confirmed by TechCrunch. A large part of that success is due to the company’s fresh approach to branding, the use of minimalist packaging and a dose of humor that appeals to today’s consumers. Hilary Coles heads merchandising for Hims and said the company relied on market research that suggests men also tend to be particularly brand loyal and don’t explore as much as women once they find something that works for them. “Within skin care, women try new items every one to three months while men check out different products every three to six months, according to focus groups and consumer surveys, a company spokesperson says. Overall, men are less adventurous within the beauty, grooming and wellness space while women enjoy shopping across a lot of different brands.
The brand got its identity from New York marketing agency Gin Lane before it dissolved and reopened as Pattern, a direct-to-consumer holding company. The packaging was created by Josh Morenstein and Nick Cronan at San Francisco-based design studio, Branch.
The team set out to create an experience, tone and brand that would normalize both seeking information about men’s health issues and treating them. A large amount of information needed to be conveyed on an uncomfortable topic in a friendly, trustworthy manner.
Set a foundation based on empathy while effectively communicating sensitive health issues. ForHims.com publicizes statistics aimed at destigmatizing touchy topics: “You’re not alone. Hair loss affects 50 million men in the U.S.” and “40% of men by age 40 struggle with ED.”
“Our strategy from the beginning was to be up-front with the customer, comfired Morenstein. We developed a conversational tone that is backed by science, allowing people to dig deep for the information if they choose. Normalizing men’s health issues is something that permeates through all aspects of the brand.” It was crucial that consumers understand that Hims is an authentic telehealth platform with medication and other health products that work.
Show men that are dealing with similar issues in a way that is normal and relatable. That was communicated with art direction that strived to be fun, eye-catching and honest. For example, visual metaphors were implemented such as a cactus to describe the product benefits. Instead of alpha design and primary colors, Hims packaging is done with simple serif font and neutral colors. The products have an ambiguous look of high-end skincare products. Morestein takes it a step further, “The core products are based in baldness and erectile dysfunction — things people don’t want to talk about. But what’s unique to Hims, and the brand as a whole, is that we don’t really care. There are products that we want and need. Women don’t have a problem leaving out a serum that diminishes wrinkles. There’s maybe even pride in getting the best and one leaving it out. That’s something with what we’re trying to do with Hims.”