the unwash: social impact
Consumers are hungrier than ever to cultivate connections with their favorite brands but are brands able to deliver the level of authentic connection people are craving? More than ever the power has been put into the consumers’ hands. Brands that are founder-led have skyrocketed into popularity and have had an innate ability to not only create a connection with their audience but also establish trust. Ultimately, consumers are just wanting brands to keep it real and when they don’t – the windfall is steep. Overall, there’s a large yearning for depth, not just a recognizable logo. Consumers are turning to brands that are creating a community culture, not just selling great products.
Over the past few years, authenticity has risen to the forefront of consumers’ minds – a drastic shift from a world where big marketing schemes, billboards, and tantalizing commercials ruled the industry. In the age of social media people don’t need large-scale advertisements that were once needed to be able to sell a product. The ability to share individual experiences with a product is at our fingertips, whether that be for better or worse. Perfection is no longer the goal. Brands are leaning into the curiosity to pull back the curtain and show what happens behind the scenes, something that larger brands are typically unable to do successfully in a way that feels authentic for viewers. The ability to create a level of realness around a brand is a daunting task, especially in a hyper-critical age but, people more and more are being drawn to something that feels relatable.
“There is a much bigger opportunity to have founder-led brands rather than corporate-led ones so that we’re getting brands with values. There is a clear interest from consumers on that. We can democratize beauty in a way.” – Megan Graham, Ries Founder
The availability of knowledge in the media age also creates a demand for transparency. Can brands keep up with the need to be able to walk the walk? There’s no more room for too-good-to-be-true claims or greenwashing marketing gimmicks. Consumers are wanting to know that what they’re buying is worth it as awareness of the greater impact of our purchases is becoming more apparent. Smaller, founder-led brands have seen increased success with taking a ‘hide-nothing’ approach by being honest, even about their flaws. Skincare brand, Dieux is the ultimate example of this and is something the brand credits its success for. There are always ways to be doing something better. There’s always a more sustainable option or a more ethical way to produce a product but these might not be readily available or feasible for a newer brand but honesty keeps the sales growing.
Community is driving sales and consumers want to be connected. Currently, consumers are more inclined to buy products and invest in brands that align with their values. The digital age has opened up the floodgates for consumers to connect with like-minded individuals and bond over their favorite products or brands in a way that hasn’t happened before. The need for authenticity creates a unique bottom line for brands. Emerging and household brand names alike have to fulfill these needs and be able to meet the new standards that have been set. Giving an occasional behind the scene look, vague sustainability metrics, and a one-off inclusion marketing bit is no longer acceptable.
DedCool places a lot of its focus when creating new products on usability in the day-to-day. Instead of solely purchasing a perfume that you spray on yourself, your clothes, or around your apartment, their product range allows the consumer to have versatility with their signature scent through their detergent, home fragrance, and car fragrance products. The brand’s fragrances are genderless and come in various scent families.
Klur, a skincare brand focused on optimal skin health is rooted in values of inclusivity and ethical product sourcing. The Los Angeles-based brand takes a scientific approach to formulating products that deliver long-lasting results while being inspired by nature. Klur’s motto is being an ‘eco-inclusive’ brand that they live up to through their low-impact practices. The brand’s skincare products give streamlined solutions for various skin needs that are inclusive for all.
The brand credits its vastly growing audience to Dieux’s authenticity. The founders keep it real with their consumers and have no interest in marketing gimmicks but are determined to sell high-quality products that pack a punch. Their concise yet impactful product line focuses on protecting the skin barrier and locking moisture in. Dieux is helping consumers buy less because their products are ‘dieux-ing’ more.