The rise of ultimate natural beauty: ‘no product’ at all
04/12/2014 by The Red Tree
Kat Westbury has worked with The Red Tree for over 3 years and has 12 years’ experience in developing marketing, online and social media campaigns for brands in both London and Sydney. Now based in Sydney full-time (the weather was irresistible), she works as part of The Red Tree’s international team. Here, Kat looks at the rise of ultimate natural beauty – no product at all – and how brands can prepare for this new beauty climate.
A prominent Australian television journalist recently published an article via a major Australian newspaper titled ‘Tracey Spicer: why I’m weaning myself off extreme grooming’. Tracey, one of the highly-polished and ‘heavily’ made-up faces of Australian television, bravely included a photo of herself, well-dressed, but completely un-groomed. No makeup and hair unkempt, Tracey looks like a completely different woman.
Response has been mixed, but overwhelming. People are talking about the beauty industry. The need for brands to position their products with a more natural, liberated woman in mind continues.
The surge in the availability and inclusion of natural ingredients in almost every thinkable beauty product over the last ten years has been exponential. Consumers have almost come to expect at least one natural element in the products they regularly use. Rosehip oil, marine algae, argan, honey, aloe vera, tea tree, coconut extract – we’re basically slapping our fridge on our faces.
But we’re now seeing a stronger, and for the beauty industry, slightly more alarming, shift toward natural beauty – no product at all.
Emma Watson’s powerful United Nations #heforshe campaign launch sparked a global resurgence in a new kind of feminism – men standing up and addressing gender inequality for women. Another Australian television presenter, Karl Stefanovic, recently announced he had been conducting a secret gender equality experiment on air. He wore the same suit co-hosting Australia’s prime morning breakfast show Today, every day, for one year.
Not one person noticed until he announced it.
His co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, on the other hand, received a steady stream of evaluation and comment on her outfits throughout the year. A simple experiment with an astounding result.
This shift in social discourse has influenced how women feel about an industry we’ve been buying into as consumers for centuries. Combined with an integrated focus on what we’re putting into and on our bodies and how this affects our long-term well being, this could signal the beginning of another big change in the way brands will need to position themselves in a market that is beginning to reject traditional ideas of beauty.
To remain successful and relevant, beauty brands will need to get to know their consumers again. Underneath the social issues guiding this transition to a more natural approach to beauty, it’s not an overly revolutionary suggestion to assume that most women like to feel beautiful. The typical woman’s bathroom will continue to contain beauty products in some form. It’s the idea of how beauty is defined that has changed.
What can brands do to stay relevant?
1. Talk to your consumers. Get to know your marketplace. Gain a wider understanding of what women (and men) are talking about and how this impacts the products they’re seeking out.
2. Review your message accordingly. It’s not about changing your entire product line and reducing it down to one chemical-free cleanser and moisturizer if you’re a beauty brand with a well-performing make-up line. It might be integrating simplicity within your message, refining your product portfolio or aligning your brand values with a social message or cause.
3. Evaluate. What’s working? What’s not working? Why? Don’t just focus on your product. What are other brands doing to stay relevant? How can you integrate these strategies within your brand in a unique way? Look beyond your brand and broaden your focus.
The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.
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Any company entering The Beauty Accelerator™ competition must be based and registered in the UK.
The scheme by which investment into the winning brand will be made is the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). You must be eligible for SEIS to enter The Beauty Accelerator but you do not need to be registered for SEIS. You can be in the process of applying for SEIS and receiving Advanced Assurance from HMRC, which is free of charge to obtain and certifies to investors that the criteria necessary to qualify for SEIS have been met by the company at the time of the application. You do however need to be SEIS registered at the point of investment.Click here For further information about SEIS
As is the case with all equity investments, the winning brand must be willing to provide equity stakes for both SFC Capital and The Red Tree. In addition, the winning brand might be required to pay a monthly fee for the duration of the 12 month period of assistance from The Red Tree. The size of the equity stakes for both SFC Capital and The Red Tree are unknown at this stage and will be based on the valuation of the business at the time of investment. The value of the monthly fee to The Red Tree will be determined by the scope of work required by The Red Tree and will be agreed in consultation with the winning brand. The equity stake, monthly fee and scope of work will be discussed in further detail with short listed brands during the interview stage.
Brands that applied for The Beauty Accelerator™ 2022 can apply for The Beauty Accelerator™ 2024.
Applicant brands should ideally have proof of concept – the business should ideally be in operation with at least one product currently retailing on the market, an existing website in operation and a number of months of trading.
Under exceptional circumstances, brands that are at concept stage will be considered.
There should be a team in place or a willingness to take on a co-founder at an early stage.
A business plan must be in place and submitted as part of your application to demonstrate the revenue that can be delivered.
The business should not be valued at more than £1,000,000.
All R&D should be completed as funds invested will only be used for marketing and commercial activity.
If you are short listed, you must be available to attend the virtual shortlist interview. It is likely that short listed brands will be required to attend more than one virtual interview.
If you are a Finalist, you must be able to attend The Beauty Accelerator™ Final, either virtually or in-person.
You cannot apply for or already be in the process of applying for another accelerator or incubator during the period December 2023 to December 2024.
If you are selected as a finalist, and if you go on to win The Beauty Accelerator™, you must agree to exposure of you and your brand through The Red Tree’s, SFC Capital’s and Freeths online and social channels and a possible marketing campaign.
Confirmation of the winning brand is subject to SEIS eligibility confirmation, agreement on equity stake and The Red Tree fee, and completion of due diligence.
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