Sectors and industries continue to evolve based on consumer trends and purchasing decisions. However, as the natural trend takes hold, brands may leverage its popularity by using terms that potentially falsely and unfairly indicate the true nature of items’ contents.
“Some brands take the route of ‘what it’s not’ or ‘free from’, thus providing an immediate visual statement that a brand is supposedly less harmful,” stated Nicole Fall, founder, Asian Consumer Intelligence.
Words such as ‘clean’, ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’ are used by some brands, while others “can take the more dermatological or scientific semiotics route, yet are still perceived to be natural because the formulation does not contain certain ingredients”.
Currently, there is “no doubt, there is no set definition or criteria as to what defines natural”, Fall commented.
Creating wellness in R&D
There are key developments expected within the natural segment relating to how it is expected to develop in the near future.
Healing, health and wellbeing are anticipated to impact the marketing of natural cosmetics and personal care items too.
This will be particularly strong “in countries such as India, Korea, China, Indonesia and other Asian markets where there is cultural heritage with some form of natural medicine”, Fall added.
Whether it is “ayurvedic, hanbang, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or jamu, the connection to the healing effects of plants, herbs and flowers are omnipresent”, within the industry.
Using local knowledge relating to locally grown plants is “common sense”, and can be especially strong and prominent in marketing and promotion campaigns “if consumers recognise these plants have particular healing effects”.
Sharing her views on the considerations brands must now make when exploring new R&D efforts and delving into formulations, Fall commented: “The shift to natural is less about a ‘return’ to traditional TCM – since it never went away – and more about local brands looking for differentiation from multinationals.”
Fall will focus on how the natural segment in the East is distinguishable from Western ideals by looking at the aesthetics of cosmetics and the future of what natural means too.
Her upcoming presentation at the in-cosmetics Asia event is more about the cultural nuances around what natural means in some parts of Asia, especially in influential Asian markets – and consequently what filters through from a trend perspective to other countries in Asia.
“For example, a woman wearing 10 different cosmetic items could describe herself as wearing a natural look when in fact it has taken her an hour to apply her make up,” expressed Fall.
Decoding what natural means
Nicole Fall will be presenting in the marketing trends theatre at in-cosmetics Asia, which takes place on 31 October – 2 November 2017.
The session, entitled ‘What natural really means in Asia’, will decode what consumers seek from a natural personal care and beauty brand, how natural’s definition has changed when it comes to obtaining a particular look and analyse key brands in Asia with regards to appealing to consumers in this rapidly growing category.
“My presentation will focus on the interpretation of what natural means, how it is probably different to what people describe as natural in Western Europe or North America and how these different perspectives can be leveraged by brands,” Fall concluded.
For further information or to register to attend, visit http://asia.in-cosmetics.com/visit/