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What We Can Learn From Lush Cosmetics

The best way to understand how to develop an effective marketing strategy is to learn from other successful brands. Today, we're talking about Lush Cosmetics, a popular, global cosmetic ethically-conscious brand selling fresh, handmade cosmetics including skincare, haircare and personal hygiene products.


Why are we talking about Lush Cosmetics today?

Lush Cosmetics has undoubtedly gained its customers' loyalty and market share by staying true to its brand purpose and values, making it a great marketing strategy example. In the world we live in today, customers are more likely to engage with businesses that contribute to the greater good of society. That's what purpose-based branding is all about.


So, what's Lush's brand purpose?


"To make a difference in the world with the choices we make as a brand, by creating more than just fun, gorgeous products for the bath, body and shower."


Lush has not only lived up to its brand purpose, but have infused their purpose into everything that it does. All business decisions have been made to make a difference in the world, and that's how Lush disrupted the cosmetic industry.


From the products, to the storefront, to Lush's philanthropy, Lush Cosmetics has used its purpose and values to guide all aspects of the business Let's take a look at how Lush has done this below.


1. Tagline


Lush's tagline "Fresh Handmade Cosmetics" stands out from all the other cosmetic brands as it goes against how people define cosmetics, which are typically pre-packaged, chemically processed and animal tested products. The words "fresh" and "handmade" were carefully chosen to not only differentiate Lush from its competitors, but to also change the world's perception of what skin and hair care can be made of.


2. Products


With the aim to make a positive difference in the world, Lush works directly with small-scale producers to source its ingredients. Additionally, the Lush team evaluates the potential impact of its purchase decisions on the environment and labour involved, before making the final purchase. This gives Lush the opportunity to live its purpose, supporting sustainable initiatives and local small businesses.


Additionally, Lush has made an immense effort to avoid animal testing at all costs. Fighting animal testing is one of Lush's biggest focus as a brand and most of Lush's customers are aware of this. Lush invests a lot time and money in ensuring that no animals are harmed in the product development process, and initiatives that support this. It has successfully grown its brand equity and loyalty by investing in efforts that align with its brand purpose and values. It's all about staying true to your brand purpose.


80% of consumers say when they buy a product from a purpose-driven company, they feel like they are doing their part in making a positive impact (Study done by Porter Novelli and Cone).


Is your business making a positive impact on the world? Does your brand reflect this?


3. Packaging (or lack there of)


If you've ever walked into a Lush store, you'll most likely remember being greeted with a strong scent of delicious fragrance. That's the positive aftermath of Lush living its purpose and values.


Another one of Lush's brand values is to reduce landfill waste. To stay true to this value, Lush has eliminated all unnecessary packaging so customers can take products right off the shelf, similar to taking a freshly baked homemade croissant off the shelf! Lush has used the same bakery concept with their fresh, handmade cosmetics while effectively communicating to their customers their stance on excess packaging.


For the Lush products that require packaging, like liquid shampoos or soaps, all these products are made of 100% post-consumer plastic which means that it's all recyclable. To spice it up, Lush includes a neat "made by" sticker with the date it was made to further emphasize its product authenticity:


Many businesses claim that its 'sustainable' and 'eco-friendly', but not a lot of businesses have evidence of what they claim. Lush has made a tremendous effort to live by what it preaches, and that's what has made it so successful.


4. Advertising


Leaning right on Lush's purpose to make a difference in the world, 'Naked!' is easily one of the most out-of-the-box advertising campaigns that it has ever ran. This campaign had one objective- to educate customers on excess packaging in efforts to influence consumers and retailers to play its role in eliminating waste.

By taking the literal meaning of 'naked,' the campaign involved people wearing only lush aprons with their bare skin. As a result, Lush gained international media attention, creating buzz (and awareness) on the streets, getting people to talk about excess packaging.


TIP: When you're making business decisions, always refer back to your brand purpose and values to ensure that your decision aligns with it.


5. Philanthropy


Lush Prize is a contest that Lush Cosmetics holds every 2 years, awarding Science, Training, Lobbying, Public Awareness and Young Researchers to continue their work developing and supporting new animal-free initiatives.


Aligning with Lush's 'Fighting animal testing' value and brand purpose to make a difference, the Lush Prize is an excellent example of a business living its brand, actioning on its values. Making conscious efforts to support safety testing for consumer products with alternatives to animal testing speaks volumes to Lush's customers on the positive impact the company is looking to make in the world. As we have come to learn, customers love businesses that are driven by do-good brand purposes.


To summarize...

Everyone can claim that his/her business believes in *insert value* but it doesn't actually matter unless it's actioned on. How many businesses can you count on your fingers that claim they're all for eco-friendly products and sustainability, but don't actually do anything that reflects that? Probably a lot.


Having a successful brand is about practicing what you preach, and that's what has brought Lush to where they are today. The one key takeaway that we can learn from Lush Cosmetics is to stay true to your brand identity and let it drive every aspect of your business to gain the trust and loyalty of your consumers.


Want to learn more about why creating a good brand is important, read here.


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