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Organics Buzz Grows Brand

Emily Keats

Jenny Belknap, Vice President of Global Marketing, Origins,

Whether it’s a balm, butter, whip or ingestible product with stress-relieving or sleep-enhancing qualities—more than likely, Jenny Belknap—vice president of global marketing for Origins, the Estée Lauder Companies’ brand—has taken part in launching it, promoting it or educating consumers about its benefits. The environmentally conscious beauty professional believes companies will continue to “green their brands from a manufacturing, packaging or ingredient perspective” in the coming years, especially through ongoing corporate initiatives.

Belknap’s job is demanding, and she spends a great deal of time lost in her work. Fortunately, it’s for a brand that emphasizes the importance of holistic health and stress relief through its products. With the surge in popularity of organic cosmetics and personal care products, Origins executives, including Belknap, felt it was their duty to create a natural line of their own. “As the pioneer in the prestige natural personal care category, it was in our DNA to launch certified organic products,” she says.

According to Belknap, Origins spent more than three years developing its Organics line after the U.S. Department of Agriculture began certifying organic personal care products. “It was very important for us to be able to provide customers with a transparent, easily identifiable way to verify the purity of their products,” she says. The brand launched Origins Organics in late 2007, and less than one year later, it won the 2008 FiFi Award for Bath & Body Line of the Year.

Belknap says Origins also branched into the nutricosmetics market by introducing several new products in the Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins line, including the Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Supplement and the Nite-trition Restful Sleep Supplement, which joined the already instituted Weil Bee-ings Organic Health Support Honey and Tea Forte products. “They are the perfect complement to the Origins brand, as they reinforce the importance of beauty and wellness inside and out,” Belknap says. As for the future of nutricosmetics, Belknap predicts more growth. “My bet is that products will become more widely available in mass channels of distribution in convenient, easy-to-consume forms and packaging,” she says.

Because today’s consumer lives in a fast-paced environment, health and beauty companies will have to collaborate in creating simple, yet high-quality products, but packaging should not be a problem, she explains. “There are a lot of great packaging options out there, and more and more of them are from recycled or sustainable sources,” she says. Belknap also believes organic brands such as Origins will continue to pursue paths of sustainability. “Organic beauty has evolved in two primary ways: the aesthetics of the products, which have greatly improved, and the brands that are launching them,” she expxlains. “Consumers no longer have to sacrifice luxury for organic personal care.”

To further the brand’s forward-thinking perspective, Origins recently promoted Jane Lauder to senior vice president and general manager, a move Belknap says will give the brand a fresh set of eyes, because according to Belknap, achieving success in the beauty business not only comes from “passion, drive and creativity,” but also from “a deep understanding of the importance of brand equity.” It’s fair to say Belknap has mastered these skills. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, later assisted in strategy creation for the Estée Lauder brand’s Re-Nutriv products and helped launch the Origins Organics line.

“My professional goals are focused on driving Origins growth and success over the next years,” Belknap says. “I think Origins is the beauty industry’s best-kept secret, and I want to have the opportunity to share our amazing products with millions of new customers.”

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