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

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: May 28, 2008

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The natural beauty buyer’s attitudes toward personal wellness mirror her consumer behavior. In The Benchmarking Company’s standard 17-question personal wellness catalog, natural/organic beauty buyers ranked every statement higher, sometimes twice as high, as traditional beauty buyers. For instance, 84% of natural beauty buyers believe the mind and body are connected for overall wellness, compared to 70% of traditional beauty buyers. Only 7% of traditional beauty buyers meditate regularly versus 19% of natural beauty buyers. Also, natural beauty buyers are 23% more likely to believe in the concept of inside/out beauty than traditional buyers, and nearly twice as many natural beauty buyers believe in holistic medicine.

Furthermore, 74% of consumers of traditional beauty products admit they don’t know the difference between a natural product and an organic product, and, of those, 54% don’t care to know. It’s not a high priority for them as they haven’t embraced the concept of “all-natural” or inside/out beauty as a lifestyle choice.

Women who normally buy natural/organic beauty products have much higher makeup and skin care aspirations than traditional beauty brand users, and they have higher expectations for natural or organic beauty product efficacy. Eighty-two percent of natural/organic beauty buyers want to look beautiful yet natural, compared with 64% of their traditional buying counterparts. Natural beauty buyers want both makeup (84%) and skin care products (84%) to be free of harmful chemicals, compared to 56% of traditional beauty buyers for makeup and 54% for skin care products.

When asked to rank how much they agree or disagree with natural/organic lifestyle questions on a 1–5 scale, those who normally buy natural beauty products tended to post a higher agreement level to the questions. While 83% of natural buyers agreed that natural beauty products were more expensive than synthetic ones, compared to 69% of traditional beauty buyers, 54% of natural buyers also agreed that they perform as well as traditionally made brands, compared with 19% of those who predominantly buy traditional beauty products.

Traditional beauty consumers are skeptical that a product called natural or organic will work as well as traditional beauty brands, but later sections of the report revealed they are also curious and willing to give natural beauty brands a try. For instance, when asked which type of cosmetic brand—from the choices of a mass, prestige or natural brand—is best for a woman’s skin, 50% of traditional beauty buyers said natural brands are best, with 28% believing mass were best for skin and 22% saying prestige brands were best. Still, a slight majority of traditional beauty buyers feel that mass-market brands make them look their best at 35%, with 33% believing prestige brands do the trick, and 32% believing natural brands are the most successful.

Why not?