•The Grayson Report
WHILE THE ORGANIC “certification wars” will continue ad infini- tum, it’s the communication—
the advertising of “natural” products
and their countless iterations—
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON
SUZANNE AND BOB GRAYSON ARE RESPECTED, PROFESSIONAL MARKETERS, HAVING SPENT THEIR CAREERS WITH
THE LEADING COMPANIES IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
BEFORE STARTING THEIR SUCCESSFUL CONSULTING BUSINESS IN THE EARLY 1970S.
THEIR CONSULTING CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED AVON,
BRISTOL-MYERS, ESTÉE LAUDER, PROCTER &
GAMBLE, REVLON AND COVER GIRL, AMONG OTHERS.
THEY RESIDE IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA AND MAINTAIN AN OFFICE IN NEW YORK CITY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, THEY CAN BE REACHED AT
mental principles. Since then, entrepreneurial natural lines by the
dozens have sprouted and struggled
in the only channel that could/would
accommodate them: health food
stores. Still, it was just a ripple. The
birth of Whole Foods in the 1980s
and, to a lesser extent, spas in the
1990s, broadened consumer realiza-tion that natural equals health,
which was later fortified with the
emergence of organic, its highest
form. Since then, a proliferation of
aromatherapy and botanical products in all distribution channels created acceptance of a new generation
of natural/organic products.
Yet, until green beauty products
broke into mainstream distribution,
they were unable to gain legitimacy
as a business category. Hence the
perennial problem: mass distribution
requires advertising dollars to create
consumer awareness, but you need
the sales volume of mass distribution
to generate advertising funds. You
can’t get volume without mass distribution; around and around it goes.
Thus, there is not that much
advertising in the natural/organic/green category (of which the latter
is now becoming a vibrant partner).
It has been a consumer-powered
movement and not one created by
big marketers, with big budgets.
Health and well-being transcend all
business categories and lifestyles,
because they embody the ultimate
consumer benefit: life. Now comes
the explosion of established brands
into mass distribution, requiring
those big budgets to go beyond the
early adopters and provide strong
mass sell-thru. This is the most powerful global beauty trend of the generation. We can not recall a beauty
business category that was powered
by consumer interest alone, and not
by technology, product innovation,
packaging, dramatic positioning or
advertising, and/or specif-ic/perceivable benefits. Yes, the No. 1
consumer concern (after jobs and the
economy) is health in all of its constituents—thereby creating significant validation (boost) to the natur-al/organic/ green beauty business.
The entrepreneurial days are giving way to the big marketers entering the fray with their huge communication needs—pari passu.
Established marketers also have the
considerable challenge of introducing
natural/organic/green without denigrating their established brands—
you know, the ones that pay the rent.
Origins answers that question to
consumers by saying, “Origins
Organics offers a choice,” etc. Maybe
that’s why its introductory ads last
year, didn’t offer any (real) product
performance benefits beyond the
(imagined) “feel good” of using organics. So far, there are not many adver-
EverPure focuses on product benefits.
which will determine consumer perception, acceptance, purchase and
realized benefits and hence, their
ultimate value and loyalty.
Consider the evolution of natural.
It started in the late 1960s with the
huge success of Lemon Cleanser, the
star product of a mass cosmetic line,
Love, which was geared to young
women (Smith, Kline & French). The
line was born during the hippy/love
generation. Aveda came on the professional scene in the late 1980s,
with its aromatherapy and environ-