Men review shampoo, too

ChickAdvisor is expanding its sites as the men's personal care category grows.

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The team behind ChickAdvisor is expanding its offerings, creating new platforms for brands looking to build up its online reviews among more than just a female target.

After realizing the opportunity in the booming men’s personal care category (think Unilever’s acquisition of the popular Dollar Shave Club as just one example) the company launched XY Stuff, a review site dedicated to products aimed at men.

ChickAdvisor launched in 2006 and shortly after, the pair did get questions about when a “DudeAdvisor” might be coming, according to co-founders Ali and Alex de Bold. “Over the years, it just became very clear that there needed to be some sort of platform like that for men,” Alex told strategy.

While they initially thought men wouldn’t want to review products in the same way as women, they were proven wrong, Ali adds. After gathering research by surveying its existing ChickAdvisor membership base about whether the men in their lives would be interested, the team discovered an appetite for a men’s website.

Since launching in January, the site has grown to 12,000 members. Like its female counterpart, the XY Stuff website features brands from major CPG companies, such as Unilever’s Axe and Dove Men+Care, Ultima’s Iogo yogurt and Canada Dry. Currently, it’s largely focused on the personal care category, the de Bolds say.

Now, the company is continuing to expand with a launch – currently planned for September – of a family-oriented version of its site aimed at creating a user base of all genders. With many of the reviews on ChickAdvisor already leaning more toward being for families, the team decided it was time for a standalone, dedicated site aimed at parents, Alex says.

While the company’s sites work similarly to review sites like Yelp, it also creates campaigns for brands looking to gain online reviews and social buzz. When a brand has a new product, for example, ChickAdvisor (and now XY Stuff) will send an email to its community and those interested in trying it can fill out a survey – created to help match the brand with its target customers – before writing their reviews. The company has also developed an “Ask a Pro” platform to connect people, rather than having them rely on chatbots for product recommendations.

Sixty per cent of ChickAdvisor’s visits last year came from mobile, implying that many shoppers are turning to Google and review searches while in store, Alex says. The sites’ online reviews can also be syndicated to brands’ e-commerce sites and the company has done a pilot with Dove to work reviews into the in-store experience (shoppers could text “Dove” to a certain number to pull up reviews).