The woke generation shaking up beauty, holding brands accountable through everything they do.
Written by Isabel Woodrow-Young for Almighty
For Happy Naturals, kind, safe and ecological ingredients have been at the heart of their brand since they launched back in 2015. And although their evidenced 97% natural formulations are impressive – and certainly a step in the right direction – with todays ever more competitive market, that alone was no longer enough. They returned to Almighty with a more ambitious sustainability strategy aimed at a new target market.
Gen Z, otherwise known as the woke generation, are shaking up the future of beauty. Their growing concerns surrounding environmental and geopolitical issues are heavily influencing purchasing decisions – demanding brands step up their game and align with these conscious values, or otherwise risk being left behind.
Knowledge is power, and Gen Z have done their homework, so there’s no pulling the wool over their eyes. The rise of technology has led to consumers having more and more information, on any given subject, at the touch of a button. Subsequently this has meant that there’s nowhere for businesses to hide. From product reviews and price comparisons, to evidence and advice from trusted professionals, we’re in a society where instant purchase gratification is expected. We seek reassurance that we’re making the best, informed, decision possible before buying into a product, there’s a lot to consider. It’s not just the price of a product, nor its pure functionality that comes into play, but the presentation, communication and relationship between the consumer and a brand that’s really important – what they’re offering in means of enhancing or improving our lives.
The competition is high, so first impressions count. Brands need to be up front and deliver their message quickly, so information is absorbed fast leaving no room for second guessing. Transparency is arguably a brand’s most powerful asset, but within today’s ever more competitive market, that alone won’t win the attention of our younger consumers – there’s a lot more at stake.
So, let’s talk about Happy Naturals opportunity…Traditionally, natural, more eco-friendly brands focus less on appearance and presentation and rather on fact and function. This is of course successful, but to a smaller, generally more mature audience. But the same approach won’t work with aesthetic obsessed Gen Z, whose relationship with consumerism has become ever more built around social media platforms like globally dominant Instagram. The now leading source for their inspiration, influence, and education. It has become a one stop destination for consuming and creating trends, engaging with brands and movements, connecting with one another, and now even shopping without ever leaving the platform – why would you go anywhere else! This means it’s of utmost importance the way a product looks and how it is presented. Brands need to be ‘Instagramable’, creating experiences and standing up for their beliefs.
With the rise of technology, we’re now seeing global influence on industry trends. A current, notable shift seen across the UK, and in more western cultures, is the inspiration from Asian beauty standards. This is largely evident in the way consumers are now interacting with the environment; for brands, making their beauty products more sustainable and conscious. While this is a relatively new trend here, for countries like Japan, this consideration for the environment has always been a focus in the industry. A driving force for the emergence of countless, natural based, more sustainable ingredients and innovative technologies, that were reaping the benefits of today.
Not only are we seeing influence in terms of ingredients, but seemingly, in the skincare sector especially, brands are taking inspiration from the Korean derived, K-Beauty aesthetic as well. And who is obsessing over this aesthetic more than anyone else? Gen Z of course. In South Asia, this skincare term is used for products that focus on health, hydration, and glowing skin. Again reflecting this new direction in the industry, moving towards more self-acceptance and embracing natural beauty. With the ‘Body Boom’ movement on the rise now, Happy Natural’s seized the opportunity bringing this playful aesthetic into the hair and body care space.
Almighty brought this strategy to life, through a dreamy new colour palette that challenges generic natural based brands. The bright pastel line up makes Happy Natural’s products fit for a ‘shelfie’ spotlight. This social media trend, of sharing perfectly envy-worthy arranged beauty
products, in colour blocked or complimentary shades, is still storming the internet, with pastel shades dominating the scene. Smile at the ready – Happy Naturals are ready for their close-up.
Happy Natural’s name already speaks for itself, connoting positive associations with the brand’s key focus and purpose. To further communicate this message and appeal to the brand’s new, younger audience, Almighty designed the addition of a smiley logo mark – a globally recognised symbol for good. Full of personality this emoji face was designed to work both in isolation, and in harmony with the brands wordmark. This icon balanced with chosen, timeless Gill Sans font, creates a fun, yet sophisticated, modern logo.
The way in which a brand communicates with us and how it makes us feel, is ultimately what makes us purchase a product. Like touched on earlier, consumers are unlikely to buy a product merely on its functionality or value. Think of it instead like picking a best friend or partner, this is a relationship and you’re surely looking for a lot more than two ticked boxes! Is this product the right fit for me? What do we have in common? Do I trust it? What are other people saying about it? How will owning this brand make me look?
Happy Naturals tagline ‘A daily dose of positivity, for you and the planet’ encapsulates the brand’s key values and mission. This statement aligns with Gen Z’s environmental and geopolitical concerns, offering a respected status and a deserved sense of pride in connection with the brand. It also nods to the benefits associated with self care and its positive effect on mental health, and in Happy Natural’s case, without any compromise. Call it unselfish self-care. This mood boosting tone of voice is carried through all their key messaging, capturing a feel-good pampering experience. The products ‘directions for use’ promote body positivity and encourage self-acceptance, offering friendly advice on how to enhance one’s natural beauty.
During intimate ‘me’ time, whether it’s a wakeup shower or a wind down soak in the bath, we all seek an uplifting experience to escape, reflect or rejuvenate from our busy lives. Happy Naturals delicious smelling, silky feeling formulations are almost good enough to eat. Their sustainably sourced sweet pineapple, creamy coconut and refreshing aloe vera will hit your nose, taking you on a tropical trip. While enriching textures bubble, scrub, or soak your skin or locks, leaving it squeaky clean and baby soft. No matter what mood, you’ll be left smiling. Feeling good while doing good; the brand has proudly carried a 97% commitment to ‘clean beauty’ since 2015. This tag refers to beauty products that are ‘clean of harmful ingredients’ tending to favour more natural formulations that cause less harm to the environment. There has been a lot of debate surrounding the term, but Almighty made sure Happy Naturals accountability can be seen loud and proud to avoid any questioning.
Happy Naturals are also devoted to cruelty free testing and vegan friendly formulations. To highlight the brand’s dedication to all these environmental and ethical stands, Almighty designed a bespoke collection of icons, full of character. These roundels act as an extension of Happy Natural’s logo, following the same fun graphic style inspired by ‘emoji’ caricatures. Backed with informative statistics, mean consumers know exactly what they’re getting, without having to search the small print. Instant gratification. Almighty even created a playful diagram, illustrating how to recycle every part of the packaging, making this a large feature to highlight sustainability as an integral part of the brand, while also advertising their commitment to the circular economy. But, who would want to part with these bottles anyway?!
Gen Z are not afraid to speak their mind. This straight-talking generation are much more aware, engaged and invested in making our world a better place. And who can blame them, it’s their future. We could all benefit from some of their spirited determination to do our bit in helping the cause. With brands like Happy Naturals, we can take steps towards better beauty. For us and the planet.