Building and running a beauty brand is never easy. But it’s especially hard when founders who are committed to education see other brands cutting corners and making marketing claims that obscure the truth. This is very evident in the hair care sector, a booming category ripe for new brands and more innovative ingredients and formulas than in years past.
According to the founder of one natural style hair care brand, customers ask misinformed questions every day, including the definition of a clean beauty brand. And they see retailers perpetuating similar issues based on their own goals and interests.In this latest edition of his Confessions, Glossy speaks with the indie brand founder and discusses hair care. We heard their views and reactions to the dark world. This story has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
How do you deal with industry misinformation, especially undefined and unregulated terms like “clean beauty”?
“[When I’m asked] Whether my brand is clean or not, my approach is to evoke cognitive dissonance in a way that doesn’t offend consumers and exposes the lack of thought behind the question. [I respond by saying] “Let’s define clean.” [I ask] why is it important to them?If what they are asking me is if my products contain chemicals, well, because everything is made from chemicals. , which is intentionally misleading. [knowledge] Because you’re caught in the trap of wanting nothing [unnatural] with their products [most of which] create [ingredient] Expression stability. My strategy is always to answer questions with bigger questions. … I don’t want to lead with a marketing strategy that lacks integrity. “
Which brands and companies are complicit in spreading this kind of misinformation?
“Probably about 95% of the natural hair care industry uses or makes claims in some way that are not regulated or legally ought to be said. [the industry] We use terms like ‘all natural’ and ‘environmentally friendly’, but we need to talk about what they mean. There are a lot of terms and claims about hair growth, such as “the X ingredient promotes hair growth”…. well, who knows? Proven by whom? “
I don’t want to pretend to be dirty, so what effect does this have on your brand?
“It can be very frustrating. [time on education] When you want to share how great your products are and how they can help solve your daily hair care problems, it should be part of your marketing strategy. We spend most of our time dispelling myths rather than talking about them. [beauty] A non-hair-related way to learn on YouTube.natural hair care brands [often] It was not founded by people in the industry. Those who cannot talk about hair care due to lack of experience will talk about ingredients by default.
But truth always wins. Honesty always wins. And I think it opens up a unique opportunity for my brand, and for brands like me with science-based beauty experience. It also gives her a unique advantage in establishing herself as a leader of sorts.But transparency should be about [servicing customers] It’s not about showing how great your brand is. “
What is your experience with retailers?
“I thought consumers were the only people on this clean beauty train. But the way it’s presented is imperfect.I was sitting in a room with a hiring retailer [clean misinformation] Because there is a consumer demand for clean beauty.You will often be asked to tick a box to make a claim. What all big box retailers want to tell you [that stuff].
Retailers want to show consumers that they care about the environment and that they care about what they care about. …if there are more natural alternatives or safer synthetics that can be used in place of the harsh ingredients, I agree that they should be used. is that they are not wise [about clean beauty]they really don’t care. What they care about is how well brands can market messages that consumers are receptive to. “
Has that made it harder to secure partnerships with retailers?
“Yes and no. I’ve met with popular retailers who were utterly unconcerned with the effectiveness of their brand and utterly unconcerned with the experience and the actual science behind it. I was obsessed with what ingredients I could call and what fantasies I could put behind them. [scientific knowledge] Many of these ingredients do not improve the value and performance of the product. There have been tough times when I had to confide in retailers that I would never say that. We all know that the ingredients from the trees in the Amazon rainforest are worth nothing, but we’re not going to add them. “
Editor’s Note: In our Confessions series, we provide fashion and beauty industry insiders anonymity so that they can openly share their perspectives and provide our readers with genuine insights. The author is aware of the identities of the speakers and confirms their titles and positions.