Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Webinar Q&A - Is a Little Natural OK?

The Natural Foods Merchandiser reported today that U.S. natural products sales top $56.7 billion with 9.7 percent growth in 2006 across all channels. Natural personal care sales grew by 18.4 percent to $2.78 billion. Considering yesterday's webinar discussion about defining natural products, I would have liked to have seen some information on how they qualified products for their survey.

Speaking of the Beauty Goes Green webinar, technical challenges have made posting the webinar archive and pdf files of the slides take longer than anticipated, but some of the information is now available here. And now, a few more questions posted by webinar attendees.

  1. How can a company incorporate elements of natural/green but not have it be the main marketing communication strategy? In other words, our brand is not a 'natural' brand but we want to have some elements of natural ingredients.
  2. How can a company not be 100% green like Aveda and still be successful in this area? What should be done first?

Please leave your comments by clicking on the word "comments" below. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!


Blogger m.overstreet said...

karen any effective "definiton" of industry terms must be founded on the basis of a common langauage. The term "natural" at present is best described as "marketing terminology" Unlike organic which is legislated and regulated (UDSA/FDA)the "natural" market is still an area of contention. In fact the term "natural" in new food launches (12/06-2/07) has fallen from 8.9% down a 2 full percentage points to 6.9% as reported by Product Scan ( It is therefore imparative in my mind that the industry proactively adopt common terminology before the government defines this terms for them.

9:44 AM, June 07, 2007  
Blogger Karen said...

Thanks, Michael. Defining "natural" has clearly become an important and sensitive topic for the personal care industry. It is critical that people from across the industry who will be affected by such action weigh in on the subject on forums such as this one.

10:56 AM, June 07, 2007  
Blogger Tina & Beth Ann said...

the magic of branding is in the vary essence of distinctness. if every brand in the beauty sector changed their platform and messaging to just speak to "natural", what a boring selection would we present to our customers? The challenge we are facing as marketers and good partners to our retailers is how to comply with the increasing customer demands of only "good for you" ingredients while still delivering on its own brand DNA's.

Aveda is Aveda because Horst had a wonderful, before its time vision. The same with Burt's Bees. But not every brand in the marketplace needs to adapt to these ingredient, manufacturing and ecological standards by sacrificing a coherent, unique platform.

So what to do first... if your brand was a person, the questions we would ask are: who do you want to be when you grow up, how do you want to get there and where do you want to live? Your answers to these questions will help you figure out how to address the first steps in going natural while maintaining the voice of your brand.

2:43 PM, June 09, 2007  

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