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Gaining Consumer Confidence by Finding Common Ground

By: Kayla Fioravanti
Posted: June 3, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Consumers are confused, and many brand owners are formulating based on a variety of lists, standards and variations of misinformation on the Internet. Mintel Beauty Innovation predicted a new consumer standard it coined as “Nu Natural.” According to Mintel, “it is a new vision of natural that is less focused on certification and more focused on results, efficiency and safety. In 2010, beauty products will evolve from today’s trend toward organic ingredients, revisiting attributes like authenticity, provenance and local production, and expects claims such as ‘free from’ and ‘sustainable’ to appear in products that simultaneously contain synthetic actives like peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides or collagen.” Mintel’s Nu Natural encompasses the values that are driving consumer spending, and keeps the decision-making simple for consumers.

Using Technology to Build Credibility and Value

The good news is that consumers are readily available for direct one-on-one contact with brands. The story of your product creates value, credibility and furthers consumers hunger for education regarding natural, safe, green and organic beauty products.

According to Mintel, in 2010, “Consumers will not just buy discount brands, they will scrutinize products more, and buy those that they perceive as being good ‘value.’ There are a growing number of online tools to help people pay attention to virtually everything, ensuring transparency—everything is out in the open in the Internet age and secrecy is no longer acceptable for today’s consumers.”

According to recent Sundale Research information, the natural industry will grow by 14.6% in 2010. Mintel says, “One-third of all consumers have never tried organic or natural personal care products, suggesting that there is plenty of room for growth in this market.” Research by Sundale has shown that consumers are willing to pay 20% more for safe, effective “green” beauty products. Even in this economy, Mintel research says, “Consumers will look for ways to escape from the tyranny of value, cutting back and saving such as splurging or lashing out on a big purchase—consumption has never been solely rational … and it never will be.”

Brands, big and small, that do not undercut another brand to sell themselves will find consumer loyalty; word-of-mouth advertising and opportunities abound in the virtual marketplace of social media. Like never before, a brand’s ability to speak to consumers honestly and forthright will supersede those that maintain a one-way communication with the consumer.

Ethical Responsibility; Sustainability Trump Price in Naturals