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Marketing Matters: Why She Won’t Buy Naturals ...

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: March 5, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

Forty-five percent of all women said the main reason they buy natural/organic beauty products is because of their fear of chemicals. When later asked to check reasons (among many) why natural beauty buyers purchase natural/organic beauty products, 80% said they were better for the skin and 64% cited their desire to avoid placing chemicals on their skin. Another 27% cited that the ingredients in traditional beauty products were harmful to their health.

The sense of ingredient uneasiness is felt by traditional beauty buyers as well. Seventy-two percent of traditional beauty buying women felt the most appealing language when considering a natural beauty product is “XXX-FREE,” meaning free of harmful chemicals; 74% of natural beauty buyers felt the same way, ranking such language as the single most appealing terminology when considering a natural beauty product. Traditional beauty product buying women also warmed to terms such as “clean” (62%), “hypoallergenic” (62%) and “pure” (57%).

These women also felt the greatest emotional attachment to beauty product claims that clearly explain nature’s benefits in soothing wording and speak to each natural ingredient’s health benefit. The Benchmarking Company tested seven actual on-the-market beauty brand product claims/wording, and found that soothing wording that clearly explains nature’s benefits creates a powerful claim that 73% of all women (and 59% of traditional beauty buying women, the largest percentage of claims believability for this group) find most believable. As the claims became slightly more complex, and then more scientifically/statistically oriented rather than naturally oriented, they became more unbelievable to all women.

Perhaps most telling of all, because women wish for products containing less harmful chemicals, a full 90% of traditional beauty buying women “might” or “would definitely” be willing to try an organic beauty brand if the brand earned the USDA Organic Seal. Even though attaining the certification is difficult, there are few real beauty brands that have earned it and it sets them a step above the crowd. The Benchmarking Company believes the USDA seal will serve as an absolute indicator of trust and safety to consumers in the future—and an emblem many companies will not be able to afford to be without.

Natural and organic beauty products are in their infancy. Many women consider them a natural extension of the holistic lifestyle they are already living or want to lead. Expect greater consumer education about them, more detailed labeling that explains how or why a product will help women live a more holistic lifestyle while helping them to also look their best, and a stronger desire for proven products that help women to look better than traditionally made brands. In addition, to help sway the non-natural believers, look for greater demand for third-party independent testing to prove product efficacy; products proven to be safe and natural offering advanced technical efficacy stand to gain.