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Communicating What Comes Naturally
By: Alexandra Voigt
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
Mareike von Postel, Marketing Manager, Weleda North America
Mareike von Postel, Marketing Manager, Weleda North America, www.usa.weleda.com
Weleda doesn’t have the background of a typical personal care company. Founded in 1921 by Rudolph Steiner, and based on anthroposophy—a 20th century philosophy that advocates inner development through exploration of the individual’s relationship with a spiritual world—and biodynamic agriculture, the global company remains driven by these founding principles. Mareike von Postel, marketing manager for Weleda North America, sums the mission up simply, “We are a different company. Our farmers and partners are where it’s at. Our products don’t start in the lab—they start on the farm.”
For von Postel, marketing is less about promoting the product and more about communicating the benefits of both the products and the manner in which they are cultivated. In addition to the founding principles, Weleda also relies on a number of global fair trade partnerships to obtain natural ingredients.
Von Postel explains, “We pay fair price for the raw materials and educate our suppliers on organic and biodynamic farming. We’re empowering the individual. It’s a company ideal.” In addition to reinforcing its principles, these endeavors also present challenges for von Postel and her team in communicating to the North American market.
Her approach to creating an effective marketing message is based less on marketability and more on open communication. Von Postel notes, “There are so many messages we are conveying, but the concept [of the message] never changes. We are trying to stay authentic and honest and communicate what we are doing. We never change it; we just grow and evolve it.”