Glossybox is a fascinating concept. You register, pay your subscription and each month you get a box full of fairly generously sized samples of the latest products and can even write about them to earn a free box. It’s a great way for people to try new stuff, relatively inexpensively, and companies get their products into the hands of potential customers. With plenty of beauty junkies out there you can see why it’s a popular idea and why many of my female pals rave about it
The question is, will men buy into it too? Just launched, Glossybox For Men (there’s a joke there somewhere but I’m too polite to make it) lands on your doorstep four times a year for £15 (plus £2.95 P&P) a pop and contains ‘a selection of products from high-end, on-trend and specialist niche brands’. The first box, above, contains two samples of existing YSL fragrances, an ingrown hair treatment from Shaveworks, a Clarifying Face Mask from Murad, two body products from Vitru and a shampoo and a hair gel from Goldwell.
Clearly, as someone who works in the industry and who gets to sample a lot of products already, the box isn’t aimed at me but the Shaveworks product is one I haven’t come across before so I guess in that sense it hit the spot. The fact that, like a lot of men, I’m folically-challenged didn’t exactly endear me to the styling gel and including two YSL fragrances seems a bit lazy but it contains a fairly interesting range of products and the packaging is superb.
So will Glossybox be a huge hit with men? My instincts (and of course I may be wrong) is that it won’t. And to remove my industry bias I asked a few of my male friends what they thought. They all loved the concept but all said the same thing: why would I pay for samples? One guy, who buys most of his grooming gear online, said he often gets free samples with his purchases anyway and though he was always keen to try new stuff he wasn’t that keen. Another likened it to buying a compilation album – a bit indiscriminate.
The problem is, men are very different consumers than women. I think we tend to be hard nosed and cynical about samples, we’re hard to please and judgemental. There are men out there who like to keep up with the latest trends and discover the coolest niche brands, of course, but comparatively, they’re the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg that is the male grooming market.
Having worked with several online retailers over the years I know how much men do love to try new stuff but also how much they love getting that stuff for free. What’s more, even though I’m a man I can understand a woman getting excited about trying out a Daniel Sandler mascara for free but will men experience the same excitement and anticipation about trying out a hair gel?
Of course, I suspect as it grows and develops it’ll refine and improve its content. In the meantime, if you’re curious, give it a go.