The market research provider recently unveiled its latest research in this area, which underlines how growth in the category is continuing to outpace that in most other categories in the US, but also stresses that there is still a unique and specific set of challenges to natural players.
Perhaps the before and after shots are playing the same strategy as many of the mainstream or more conventional brands, but experts at Kline are convinced it’s a winner.
Before and after images stress clinical trial results
“Natural beauty marketers are trying to prove the efficacy of their products by conducting clinical trials, showing “before” and “after” pictures,” said Naira Aslanian, Kline Group Project Manager Consumer Products.
Aslanian has overseen the research company’s Natural Personal Care Global Series report, a summary of which can be accessed by clicking here.
“This allows them to compete with their conventional counterparts, proving to consumers that natural can be truly natural and products can still work.”
Stressing ethical and sustainability
But beyond this, there are other ways to make a brand stand out, which are stressed in Kline’s report. Indeed, it is also crucially important to stress the ethical, sustainable and ‘clean’ credentials of a brand in an effort to differentiate them from the competition, particularly brands that are making natural claims that cannot be backed up.
“Natural beauty brands face many challenges. A major one is that they compete with conventional brands that make natural claims. There is currently no regulation that sets the standards on what natural claims can be made on product packaging,” said Aslanian.
There is also the big challenge of competing with other brands that are not truly natural, the type of products that are often referred to as being ‘natural-inspired’. These brands have done a lot to confuse consumers over what is really a natural brand, but perception and knowledge of natural products is evolving, the Kline report states.
The perception of natural brands shifts up a gear
“This is shifting as consumers become increasingly aware of natural brands and ingredients, and retailers [are] playing their part in either allocating space to truly natural brands or storing only natural products,” said Alsanian.
“Natural brands have also made great strides in expanding distribution beyond the traditional health and wellness stores, appearing in local supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, and online, garnering a share of the market.”
The online retail channel is also doing a lot to help educate and shape consumer perception of natural cosmetic and personal care products, with a plethora of smaller and highly curated retailers now occupying this space.
“Online stores, such as Credo Beauty, which is dedicated to selling safe and effective products, are the go-to retailers for consumers who prefer only natural products,” said Alsanian.
What’s next for natural brands?
So what next for the future of the industry? Aslanian believes that the authenticity of natural products remains one of the biggest hurdles for natural brands.
“The challenge that truly natural brands face is conveying to consumers the message that their brand is truly natural versus simply naturally-inspired,” she said.
“The majority of consumers still cannot tell which brand is truly natural versus naturally-inspired. It is important for truly natural brands to win the confidence of consumers by better portraying their naturalness.“