You know, it used to be enough to just have a wonderful product. All you needed to do was put it on the marketplace and wait for the money to roll in. As long as it performed as promised, consumers would buy it, no questions asked.
This is becoming very true in the beauty marketplace, and marketers cannot ignore the social consciousness of consumers. It is no longer enough for a product to promise the moon and deliver it—the consumer’s social consciousness must also be assuaged while using it. In other words, the consumer must be made to feel good.
According to a recent study by TNS/Media Intelligence/CMR, the natural and organic skin care, hair care and cosmetics market is growing by nearly 10% annually. In 2003, the market was approximately $3.9 billion. By 2008, it is anticipated to hit $5.8 billion.
Another report adding fuel to the organic beauty fire, the 2007 Health and Wellness Trends report from Natural Marketing Institute, reveals that consumers are quite willing to pay as much as 20% more for organic personal care products. Furthermore, the group’s Evolution of Personal Care Database reveals that 59% of the women surveyed said that having a product with 100% natural ingredients is somewhat to very important to them when purchasing personal care items. In addition, the Organic Trade Association recorded an 11% rise in the growth of organic personal care products in 2006; organic hair care rose 17%.
Make no mistake about it, the ability to market products as pure and natural is significant, and will grow in significance when the definition of natural is standardized (an effort that has gained momentum during the past year). Then, companies that comply with the definition are going to be able to trumpet their natural status over those that don’t measure up to the standard.
If you doubt that last statement, then why is Target currently rolling out Erbaorganics, an organic skin care line for mothers and infants? Does it possibly have something to do with Wal-Mart’s creation of organic beauty selections in 350 stores nationwide? And why is Publix launching some very green supermarkets in Florida called Publix GreenWise? Might it have something to do with shaving the competition’s potential marketing edge?
For marketers, the stakes have never been higher. Since future generations will probably seek out more natural products because of the increasing emphasis on the environment, the battle goes beyond today’s consumers to those of tomorrow.
Marketing a product as natural poses a huge challenge. While there are still problems to be worked out—the standard definition of natural, the shortened shelf life of natural products due to current limitations of natural preservatives—the wise marketer should move onto the natural stage now before it gets so crowded they aren’t noticed.
It would be the natural thing to do.
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