A brand’s identity is made up of a delicate and complex ecosystem of various design elements and a variety of materials and platforms to denote seriousness and create great contrast to make the product immediately jump into view. Over the years, skincare has helped men discover ways to manifest their grooming essence. At the first quarter of the the twenty first century, a useful and clear example is found in the elegant simplicity which revolutionized men’s relationships with their bodies and lifestyles. At this juncture, grooming brands require a solid identity to be expressed not only in its creative design but rather a results-driven product make-up used to strengthen its brand.
In the contemporary world, new healthy and modified product lines have been created through digital platforms that have diversified the productions methods. As a result, the visual communication of the brand is no longer limited to taking responsibility for traditional matters. Instead, brands find harmony in relationships with consumer experiences and even scents, and this harmony unifies each brand and distinguishes it from its competitors. The ned result is a men’s grooming brands are able to stay solid in an industry that is changing rapidly transitioning.
There’s been a shift in a man’s perception toward grooming, how it’s acceptable to for men to spend grooming dollars on themselves, which promotes better skincare health and an improvement in appearance. The social media boom that began with facebook and selfies, leading to Instagram, videos and other social media channels—has created self-promotion for building the most important brand that matters—oneself. Within the grooming space, which includes beards and facial hair, this rise of selfies, online dating and the importance of looking camera-ready on-demand necessitates quality products specific to a man’s skincare needs.
MËNAJI responded to the phenomenon of men wanting to ready at all times by creating ClearShave, a gel that can be used anywhere, anytime as it doesn’t require water. First to market with concealers tailored to men’s oiler skin, the shade spectrum was expanded to meet a broader demographic market and reformulated to include only VEGAN ingredients.
When MËNAJI entered the marketplace, men’s grooming had to be defined at its most basic. Power Hydrator Aftershave, for example, was given its name so men understood that it had to be used post-shave. “We were first to market with products marketed to men given their specific skincare concerns, which included concealers and anti-shine powders,” says MËNAJI president Pamela Viglielmo. “What we find interesting is that today our products are often used as unisex products, recognized as having results-driven formulations for both men and women!”
Men’s skincare is a business that’s experiencing unprecedented growth, a business of making men look good, building confidence. Given today’s changing demographics, these products are highly sought after by a broader customer base. We were the first and will always continue to be the most advanced in this category,” says Viglielmo.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Pamela Viglielmo President, MËNAJI Worldwide about how MËNAJI was the first company to launch men’s concealers and anti-shone high def powers, why the brand understands that Millennials want storytelling via social media and so we use these platforms to show consumers visually our products’ key ingredients and why her growth strategy is to bring even more visuals to our rich story and to clearly show the benefit of taking care of yourself—body, appearance and mind set!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about the history, launch date and DNA of the MËNAJI brand?
The U.S. based company was established in 2000 by a celebrity makeup artist and is currently sold in more than 25 countries. The brand is changing the dynamic of the men’s beauty/grooming industry, revolutionizing the approach men have toward a skincare routine with lifelong benefits. What began as an insider skincare and cosmetics line used by professionals for men in the public eye, MËNAJI’s high quality/results-driven formulations, which include everything from shaving gel to undetectable concealers and anti-shines, is recognized as the superior men’s skincare line in the marketplace.
I began my career in business with an emphasis on languages and international relations. Prior to MËNAJI, I founded The Gramercy House, LLC, an international strategic marketing and sales consulting firm, which focused on Asia, Western Europe, the Middle East and South America. With more than 25 years in the global beauty industry, I have worked with indie brands across multiple product categories via multiple distribution channels internationally.
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what is your competitive advantage in the men’s grooming market?
Pamela Viglielmo: MËNAJI was the first company to launch men’s concealers and anti-shone high def powers, which are tremendously popular with insider professionals who find the products to deliver on their needs when grooming high profile men and on-air talent. As men’s grooming has evolved, becoming more mainstream due to a man’s desire to look good and be camera-ready daily, MËNAJI has the experience, foundation and quality products to meet the demand. Quality is the cornerstone of the brand, as every product uses the best ingredients and is highly developed by our genius developers.
While cosmetics have been around for a long time, MËNAJI is the first brand to reach the consumer market with men’s concealers and anti-shine powders almost twenty years ago.
Joseph DeAcetis: How is you demographic generationally different?
Pamela Viglielmo: The demographic reaches any man who wants to look good. However, Millennials and Gen Z are more accustomed to using skincare developed exclusively for men.
Joseph DeAcetis:How do you intend to market to Millennial’s and Gen Z with advertising dollars?
Pamela Viglielmo: Data shows that different generations look at beauty, well, differently. As a result, why they buy and how we advertise to each is not the same. An example is that although consumers of all ages are moving to greener, cleaner beauty, there are key differences between Gen Z and Millennials.
Gen Z is the most important generation for upstart natural personal care brands to cater to. Studies show that most members of this generation actively seek out verifiably clean and organic make up and personal care products that make them look like themselves. To this group we spotlight that our Urban Camouflage® CAMO Concealers, which are VEGAN with multiple new shades—Light to Deep—that deliver a “natural look” across a broad, inclusive customer spectrum. Since they are more experience-focused than other demographic groups—we aim to work with MËNAJI retail partners for collaborative in-store events that allow them to interact with MENAJI products; to ask questions, touch, feel and test. We also are available via telephone to enable guidance on shade matching, which we love to do!
In comparison, a recent survey from Alix Partners shows that Millennials and their robust buying power drives consumer demand for transparency, traceability and sustainability in personal care; and that they’re the age group most willing to pay more for clean-label, ethically sources products. They want to buy smaller, purpose-driven brands due to these companies’ perceived authenticity, rather than established bigger companies. To meet the expectations of this group we talk up our CLEAN WATER marketing initiative that supports The Thirst Project, a CA-based charity organization that educates about the global concerns of water scarcity. In turn, we emphasize that our secondary package design and manufacture (although necessary for to meet FDA labeling requirements), is minimal due to our using “best practice” environmentally sourced paper, etc. for a reduced carbon footprint. These are steps we embrace due to serious global environmental concerns. This has always been close to me as I grew up in Woodstock, NY, with a very environmentally engaged family.
MËNAJI understands that Millennials want storytelling via social media and so we use these platforms to show consumers visually our products’ key ingredients. Successful marketing to this demographic demands that MËNAJI demonstrates our company ethics through our teams’ sales behavior to shoppers whether online or in store. The terms “trust” and “transparency” is tied to value-sharing intimacy that was traditionally reserved for friends and family.
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what are men seeking today in men’s grooming?
Pamela Viglielmo: Men are seeking quality products that are simple to use. They want to achieve results without the hindrance of time. (We have a series of four videos to share, which breaks down and simplifies the men’s skincare routine process with the right products).
Joseph DeAcetis: Can you elaborate on the approach of how men in the USA are now receptive to their appearance and how that connects to success?
Pamela Viglielmo: There are multiple factors in the rising interest of men’s skincare products. Everything from how men think of their appearance, what products can they can use to look younger, healthier and more well-rested. How can I look edgier and visually express myself visually to fit my lifestyle or profession? Also, the time and energy that a man invests in his grooming and the acceptance of multiple looks has shifted. Traditionally a new haircut, close shave and splash of cologne was about all a man could do. Today there are hundreds of new hair styles and facial hair looks. The cosmic shift is investing in yourself, which is seen as being healthy and smart. Using cosmetics is a positive to achieve these ends.
It also connects with social media, today’s increased importance on looking presentable whenever an impromptu occasion arises. How many times have you experienced a meeting where a colleague pulls out a phone to take a picture? A picture that will be shared across a variety of social media channels? Enter MËNAJI, which offers the products to look good on demand.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are some of the special ingredients that you are using for your products?
Pamela Viglielmo: Through intensive research, we know that using the highest quality ingredients provides the best, results-driven products. Such ingredients as Jojoba Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Dipeptide, Fruit Cell Cultures and other botanical-based formulations specific to a men’s skin is what sets MËNAJI apart.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes in detail about product offerings and why you believe it is important for consumers to understand how this brand is a fresh idea?
Pamela Viglielmo: Perception and education is still a factor in the men’s grooming market, notably our cosmetics like the CAMO Concealers, which were first offered by MËNAJI, and HDPV Anti-Shine Bronzer. If a man uses cosmetics, it doesn’t mean anything more than he’s interested in looking better—covering a scar, acne, knocking out shine or evening out skin tone if it is undetectable. Makeup can be used for many purposes, such as MËNAJI’s Power Hydrator Plus, which is a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30. It provides excellent sun protection, significant moisture and yet has a tint so that, when applied, there’s no white sunblock residue. To some it may be makeup, to others it’s smart, healthy skincare that prevents dangerous sun skin damage with an added perk of making you look better with undetectable cosmetic application.
Joseph DeAcetis: If you could choose one celebrity to showcase your brand, who would it be and why?
Pamela Viglielmo: Mark Ronson is an innovator in the music industry who is more about substance and talent than flash—a true MËNAJI Man.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how technology aided you in the development of your brand both product make-up and e-commerce?
Pamela Viglielmo: MËNAJI’s online and marketing presence is strongly tied to technology. Through web searches, sharing our story (both visually and in copy) we show why MËNAJI is the best of its kind and a leader in the field, our website and presence on social media channels connect us to a wider reach of those who are interested in advanced men’s skincare. We continually strive to make our website and all our electronic marketing pieces SEO rich and contribute articles to educate and inspire via others sound minded website for robust back linking. We are eager to introduce a technology that will match skin tone so accurately that we will feel comfortable to use. For now, we are most confident speaking to customers, asking several key questions so as to get the answers need to guide to the proper shade for any of our three skin tone true shaded products, such as the Urban Camouflage® CAMO Concealers, HDPV Anti-Shine Pressed Powders, and Power Hydrator PLUS SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizers.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Pamela Viglielmo: From product development, to package design review, to ensuring that our brand’s social messaging and brand image is continuously on mark. The creative side of the business is so much fun, however equally important is managing the other elements that will ensure that MËNAJI continues on the great trajectory that it has been for almost 20 years. We were first to market with undetectable HD Cosmetics for men, and we intend to always be the leader due to having the very best products and collaborative partners. To address the grooming needs of men everyday, so that they can look their best, I have the pleasure of chatting with dynamic professionals; top make up artists, fantastic formulators—all friends after so many years, which is a fantastic part of my day too.
Joseph DeAcetis: Where is the product made and why?
Pamela Viglielmo: We source in the USA with formulations and packaging that is almost exclusively USA-made. U.S. made because this is an American brand with an international reach. We support our country in its global initiative, support our neighbors and provide jobs, as well as ensuring we have seamless communications with our partners. I look to our suppliers as collaborators for without them, MËNAJI might still be a concept, albeit a fabulous one, that did not come to market.
Joseph DeAcetis: You have the floor: Talk to my viewers about why they should try this brand now. – What is unique about it?
Pamela Viglielmo: MËNAJI is a mindset and one that men easily put into motion every day. It came from the simple fact that men deserve to look and feel great too for any reason, anytime, anywhere. How good skin isn’t reserved for only those with good genes or with professional groomers on hand. The idea that men have the right to feel however they envision themselves and to get that look needs to be easy while keeping their skin healthy.
Ultimately how you present yourself should be empowering and MËNAJI will make that happen. Our products are used by top actors, models, athletes, performers from Hollywood to the Grand Ole Opry, as well as Men’s Fashion Week in Paris and NYC. Essentially all professionals who need visual results because they know the importance of appearance. MËNAJI products are appearance problem-solvers. They’re easy to use, undetectable and naturally formulated to clean, correct, conceal and protect. Healthy, blemish-free skin looks best whether on camera or with your friends anytime, anywhere.
Our most popular makeup products are our Urban Camouflage concealers, which we reformulated a few years back so they are vegan and expand to a broader skin tone range, as well as our lightweight anti-shine powders and, most recently, the 3-in-1 Power Hydrator Plus SPF 30 sunblock tinted moisturizer.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are you future projections and growth strategy for the next few years?
Pamela Viglielmo: We continue to see substantial growth across multiple sales channels. Our growth strategy is to bring even more visuals to our rich story and to clearly show the benefit of taking care of yourself—body, appearance and mind set. We look to engage with more men who want to be part of the MËNAJI story and what we are doing to ensure that men can express themselves visually to get what they want, whether it be on a date, new job or landing the next lead in a film. With today’s emphasis on visual marketing, such as videos and other visual mediums, we envision incorporating more into our messaging as today’s consumers turn to these mediums for information and inspiration. To achieve this we need authentic material to tap.
We look forward to working with even more technology groundbreakers, across all facets of today’s ever changing world. Leaders who know the that future growth is tied to continuing to tell our story in the most authentic, natural way possible; yet never moving too far from aspirational looks that we all strive for. Some of the very best ad campaigns ever simply show life well-lived and to this end MËNAJI is a part of every man who seeks to live life to the fullest.