As a consultant at The Value Engineers it is always great working on the industry leading brands we regularly service, however at times the opportunities available when working on smaller brands can be equally rewarding.
Back in 2010 I was lucky enough to be involved with the brand development for a little known male grooming brand called Wingman, taking the unofficial title of Marketing Director for a short time. The founder was set on developing a new male grooming brand by starting out with the Wingman Wipe; a ‘shower in a sachet’ that helps remove dirt, bacteria, excess oils and odour from the skins surface. Targeting men at the gym, during festivals, on urban travel, in the office and on nights out the individually wrapped wipes promise Active Cooling from Aloe Vera, Peppermint Oil and Ginseng extracts. The product and the brand seem to have gone from strength to strength and earlier this year won a place on the shelves in Boots via a BBC2 television programme called Britain’s Next Big Thing.
Being a part of product and brand development from the outset and seeing the fruit of my labours on the shelves of the largest pharmaceutical retailers in the UK was hugely exciting so imagine my interest when I saw the development of Wingman’s first direct competitor product!
Cue Fellas; a biodegradable and UK manufactured intimate wipe offering us guys’ clean, fresh confidence for our ‘manatomy’. With a brand positioning not dissimilar from Wingman and brand values and tone to match this seems like a direct competitor in the making. The only marked difference between the two being Fellas focus on the ‘manatomy’ versus Wingman’s targeting of the face and body. Interestingly when developing the Wingman concept the start point was an intimate wipe however Stuart Jolley, the company founder and I felt this was far too limiting and that men like us needed something to clean and deodorise the whole body, not just our ‘manatomy’.
With both brands offering a fresh and modern approach to male grooming it will be interesting to see if either can grab a foothold in a crowded male grooming market. Being first to that market and already having secured shelf space with a major retailer gives Wingman a distinct advantage; however the promise of British manufacture, specific targeting and biodegradability could perceivably work in Fellas favour.
Whilst everybody at The Value Engineers wish continued luck to both I certainly know who I’ll be cheering for…let battle commence!