Is the market overflowing?
Something that I’ve noticed recently, both on Facebook and Twitter, is that the amount of beard product manufacturers are growing tenfold each day, and said manufacturers keep on giving away free samples, lowering the prices or are offering up to 50% discount on their stuff. There are companies who sell beard oils for $1 and $2 a bottle. It kind of feels that everyone is so keen on getting sales, that they are lowering the value of their own product, and also their competitors products.
The beard care industry is big, no questions there. But it’s also small compared to other types of products. The competition is huge and the margin is pretty low as it is. Comparing it to, let’s say, shampoo, regular hair shampoo, there are thousands of brands, from $1 bottles up to hundreds of dollars, but thats because there is so many people using shampoo, it’s a never ending revenue source, the beard society isn’t, not yet at least.
Well, it’s like this, and I see this pretty often. People do not know about beard products… regular people, who don’t use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, they don’t know about beard products (not all of course). Why? Well, mostly because the beard industry lives on social media, and why not, social media is a great way to promote products, a great way to get new customers and friends. But at the same time, there aren’t that much people on those social media to supply 500+ beard product manufacturers.
If you are a manufacturer, I envy you. I wish I could afford to start my own brand, and I almost did, but my economic situation put a stop to that.
[/pullquote]Are you a member of a couple of Beard groups on Facebook?
Check the member list, whether it have 100k members of 500, it’s always, or most of the time, the same 50 or so, people who post, comment and are active. Most of the people there either like the pictures, or just silently watch. The active people are the same ones who are active in every other group as well, I know, I’m one of them. And I’ve noticed this for a while and come to the conclusion that the beard care industry is not big enough for all manufacturers.
I love beard products
Don’t get me wrong, I love the diversity and multitude of different scents, products and types, but I also see a downwards spiral going on. When I started Ratemybeard almost 2 years ago and went out to find products to review, I found about 10 manufacturers. A month later that number had doubled. Now, two years later, there are so many brands, that I can’t keep up, I used to know each brand by name, their products and the people behind the brand.. and now, I’m lost. I see at least 1 or 2 new brands every day!!! And I start to wonder, can all of those brands make a living on this, or is it just a hobby?
I envy you
If you are a manufacturer, I envy you. I wish I could afford to start my own brand, and I almost did, but my economic situation put a stop to that. And in some way, maybe it was for the best. Because seeing the competition all these brands have, I don’t know if I would’ve survived. Specially when stuff unearths, that some brands order their oil pre-made from Alibaba, sure, why not. But the genuine feeling of hand made disappears, and I think the beard care industry is so all about craftsmanship and genuine labor, that a oil from a factory in China seems fake and cheating.
Are we coming to a halt, are the industry fed up and the customers too few? Is it gonna turn around and single out the smaller brands?
[/pullquote]I myself are to blame
In the beginning I asked for samples to review, and I got them. I’m so thankful for that, because without those free samples, I would not have been able to do my reviews. But now, I see in beard groups and forums, that the people asking for free samples are ruining the industry. They ask for free samples, but are not returning customers, they feed on getting free stuff from the hard working beard brands. When I started, this wasn’t a problem, there weren’t that many reviewing products, but today, 50% of the groups I’m a member of, post reviews and giveaways etc.
Beard care is amazing
And I love it. But I do hope that the industry see the problem, stop giving out free samples (take a small fee), raise prices and put more pressure on customers. Everyone want to make money, and no one want to spend money. But if you meet in the middle, amazing things can happen. What the lowering in prices does, is that people start to “water out” their oils with cheap ingredients, but I hope that this bubble will burst, flushing out the lower quality brand oils, leaving the high quality ones left to flourish.
Is it the beginning of the end?
Are we coming to a halt, are the industry fed up and the customers too few? Is it gonna turn around and single out the smaller brands? OR are the smaller brands the new kings? Do the bigger brands have to change their strategy and lower their prices, resulting in a even greater price war, what happens when we have too many brands, what happens when people only ask for free samples? What happens when we don’t know what to chose anymore?
Am I wrong?
Is this just something I took from my own mind, or is this something you as a manufacturer have noticed? Please leave a comment with your thought and concerns.