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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 Age of Naturals report also asked traditional beauty-buying women why they don’t usually buy natural or organic beauty brands, allowing them to pick all that apply from a list of possible reasons. The number one reason they gave is that it just hasn’t occurred to them to give naturals a try. With the thousands of brands on the market clamoring for both attention and disposable income, 50% of traditional beauty buyers just haven’t given it a thought yet, and 49% don’t know enough about them to make a decision. Another third aren’t automatically jumping on the natural/organic bandwagon because their current brands work just fine for them.

And while these women say that natural/organic beauty brands are “too expensive” to try them (45%), surveys and focus groups show expense will always take a backseat to the emotional reasons behind a purchase.

Giving natural beauty a try

The four pillars of non-natural beauty use—complacency, expense, ignorance and skepticism—are often swept away by simple curiosity or the desire to try what’s new and popular. No matter how many times the questions are asked—Why did you switch brands? What made you first try a certain brand?—the answer that is usually first and foremost is curiosity. That was also true in The Age of Naturals, with curiosity ranking as the number one reason why women who normally buy natural beauty first did so.

However, fear ranks a close second for reasons to try natural beauty brands. This year’s cosmetics headlines have been inundated with fears about parabens, hydroquinone, lead in lipstick and other potential toxins. In the absence of U.S. government regulation on cosmetic ingredients as a whole, some watchdog groups are making it seem as though traditional cosmetic manufacturers are asking women to smear pure toxicity on their skin.

Forty-five percent of all women said the main reason they buy natural/organic beauty products is because of their fear of chemicals. When later asked to check reasons from among many why natural beauty buyers purchase natural/organic beauty products, 80% said they were better for the skin and 64% cited their desire to avoid placing chemicals on their skin. Another 27% cited the ingredients in traditional beauty products were harmful to their health.