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Natural vs. Nature-inspired: Brand Considerations and Reaching Consumers

Posted: April 4, 2012

The natural beauty market has been evolving toward more effective and truly natural products, writes Kline & Company project manager Agnieszka Saintemarie in a recent blog post, however, she questions whether this the most effective strategy for brands aiming to succeed in the segment. 

The demand for natural personal care products remains strong within Western Europe and North America, according to Saintemarie, and and while growth may be tapering in these mature markets, the share of the naturals segment in the overall beauty market is  increasing and remains resilient.

Several significant factors are affecting and driving the growth of naturals, which Kline forecasts to remain strong through 2016. A pertinent factor consists of heightened consumer awareness of health, environmental and sustainability concerns—as well as product ingredients and their efficacy.

Recognizing that a brand’s truly natural aspect is far more positively perceived by consumers compared to the brands that are merely naturally inspired, writes Saintemarie, brand owners are making efforts to reformulate their products using truly natural ingredients and move from naturally-inspired to truly natural—and consumers are seeking out more information concerning the ingredients as they attempt to discern between the two. However, many consumers are still unable to distinguish between the two. Similarly, a sizeable number of consumers are confused about what precisely constitutes a natural product as new ingredients are introduced, new brands are launched, and existing products are reformulated.

Consequently, for additional marketable legitimacy, some brands are seeking to conform to universally recognized standards certified by esteemed independent agencies to enforce the credibility of their natural brands.