US Consumers Cite Self-Esteem as Top Motivation for Grooming – GfK

Americans spend 5.3 hours weekly on personal grooming

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New GfK findings show that “to feel good about myself” and “to please
my spouse or partner” are the top two motivators for grooming among US
consumers. The results are part of a new GfK survey – among over 27,000
consumers in 22 countries – investigating reasons for trying to look
good and the amount of time spent on grooming.

GfK asked consumers to choose among common reasons for personal
grooming, which is defined here as any activities involving bathing,
shaving, dressing, hair and make-up. The most popular motivation in the
US, cited by 62 percent of consumers here, is “to feel good about
myself.” Americans spend an average of 5.3 hours weekly on personal
grooming. Globally, 60% of consumers cited “to feel good about myself”
as their main grooming motivation; respondents worldwide spend roughly 4
hours weekly on grooming practices.

infographic on this study at full size

Other US reasons: Spouse, individuality

In the US, “to please my spouse or partner” and “to express
individuality” were tied as the second most cited reason for grooming,
scoring 35% each. “To make a good first impression” took fourth place
(34%), and “because it makes me feel in control” came in fifth (33%).

Men and women display notable differences

Among Americans, gender plays a vital role in the motivations for
personal grooming. Despite holding mostly similar views, men and women
assign different levels of importance to each motivation. For example,
even though both men and women cite self-esteem as their top motivation,
a significantly greater proportion of women mentioned it as their
biggest reason (71% versus 52%).

Motivation   US Men   US Women

“To feel good about





“To express my





“To please my spouse
or partner”





“To make a good first





“To make a good
impression on those I
find attractive”





“To feel in control”





* Does not appear in the top 5


Top motivations change with age

Among the age groups surveyed, all cited “to feel good about myself” as
the major motivation for grooming (over 50 percent for all).
Unsurprisingly, for the 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 groups, “to make a good
first impression” ranked as the second most popular reason. For those
aged 40 and above, “to please my spouse or partner” remains in the top
three for all age groups. Notably, “to express my individuality”
disappears at age 30 and only re-emerges in the 50 to 59 years group.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or
older in 22 countries. Online data were collected using a staggered
field start that completed in June 2015 and weighted to reflect the
demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market.
The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey,
UK and USA.

1The survey question asked: “Here are the reasons some people
have given for trying to look their best. For each one, please indicate
if it is a major reason why you try to look your best: To feel good
about myself / Because it is important for my career / Because it is
expected of me / To be admired and respected by other people / To please
my spouse or partner / To make a good impression on people whom I meet
for the first time / To express my individuality / To set a good example
for my children / To make a good impression on people of the opposite
sex or those that I find attractive / Because it makes me feel in

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit
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David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms