Defining Transparency in Personal Care

Our team recently attended a Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) event titled The Institutionless Consumer. Foreboding, right? It depends on your glass-half-empty/half-full ideology as a marketer.

To me, the underlying theme – transparency – was invigorating. Invigorating, because for years we’ve encouraged our clients to harness the integrity that comes from unabashed honesty, as it’s embraced by younger and future generations.

Hearing today’s personal care consumer is “institutionless” shouldn’t be discouraging. If anything, it shows that our target buyers are giving us a shot (be it one, or max two) to prove ourselves.

However, “transparency” can simply sound like jargon. There are a few ways personal care and beauty brands (and others!) can put it to work:

Stand strong on those issues and become a dialogue driver, not a passenger.Click To Tweet

Personal Values – Instead of consumers aligning with YOUR values, vice versa is now the standard. A company’s values and mission statement have greater meaning than ever, so brush those puppies off and modernize them. At Padilla, we invest in target audience research to understand pain and passion points. It helps our clients determine which issues are most important to their audiences. Finally, stand strong on those issues and become a dialogue driver, not a passenger.

How It’s Made – Product transparency doesn’t require immediately adding 100% natural products to your innovation pipeline. Though, it does mean advocating for truthfulness in how your products are made and what’s in them. Take P&G for instance. If the behemoth can register 3,500+ products on the SmartLabel system and aim for fragrance transparency by 2019, achievable steps are possible for smaller personal care brands.

Myth Busting – If the Truth anti-tobacco campaign taught us anything, it’s that education is empowering. And sometimes that means truthfulness about your own industry. Supergoop is a great example. They’ve tackled touchy subjects in suncare that other brands won’t, including high SPF, ingredient safety, vitamin D deficiency and application misconceptions. Even better? They’ve done it on social – making it honest and relatable. They’ve also smartly tapped CEO Holly Thaggard as the face of their #sun101 effort.

Transparency can be scary when we don’t think through its different forms. But that’s why we’re here to help. For 10 years, we supported Coppertone in its efforts to lead the industry as a changemaker and educator. And we’d love to help you too!

Check out our 10-year case history right here and below, and reach out with questions.


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