“Natural” Personal Care Product and Cosmetic Marketing: An Ideographic Analysis on Product Marketing
The discussion of the word “natural” in product marketing and its power to persuade consumers is not often discussed. Research on consumer behavior surrounding “natural” products is compelling due to the current lack of research on the topic and true meaning of the word. Without any legal guidelines for the marketed use of the word “natural” in the sale of personal care products and cosmetics, consumers’ perceptions of the “naturally” marketed items are subjective. Additionally, brands identify with the word “natural” in different ways, using the word as an ideograph to suggest brand enhancing associations to consumers without legally needing to support these associations.
The following thesis is a creative project that looks at all facets of the “natural” personal care product and cosmetics industry. This includes the origin, history of use, regulations, and consumers’ understanding of the word “natural” in marketing, as well as the identity of the word “natural” as an ideograph. In addition, this project illustrates in-depth analyses of the three major consumer segments of this industry. These analyses uncover each consumer type’s perceived connotations of the word “natural” in personal care product and cosmetics and their characteristics and buying behavior. Lastly, this project features a plan for a digital marketing campaign to showcase this research and incite discussion that raises awareness surrounding the word “natural” in the beauty space.