By Terry Johnson, President of the SEOS Committee and Director World Heritage Program
On one hand, natural essences, including natural perfumes and natural essential oils, have had positive effects on human health for thousands of years. Additionally, there have been hundreds of scientific studies confirming and reconfirming the many benefits from natural essences for a significant number of human wellness issues.
On the other hand, for decades synthetic perfumes have prompted serious concerns among many health professionals.
There are now “perfume-free zones” throughout the US and Canada where perfumes are prohibited in almost every doctor’s office, dentist’s office, business office, school, and hospital due to the widespread recognition that synthetic perfumes have contributed to a significant number of allergic reactions among the population.
Yet despite these facts, synthetic perfumes have maintained a 99% market share of the perfume business for years.
One reason for this disparity may be that many in Natural Perfumery and Aromatherapy haven’t yet picked up on the fact that health and wellness are high priorities affecting consumer purchasing decisions. We simply cannot be shy about engaging consumers and their communities about these wonderful natural perfumes and oils that are so important to their health!
Here are some tips to successfully sell the wellness benefits of natural essences:
1. Target sales to consumers who can purchase more
One important Sales Principle: “Not all customers are equal. Some are more equal than others.” This Principle refers to the fact that you can spend about the same amount of effort selling to a customer who can only purchase $100 in a year than one who can purchase $1,000 per year! This means identifying and targeting those consumers in your market community that have annual household incomes of $100,000 and up. These high-value consumers also have the advantage of being least affected by current economic conditions.
2. Become a wellness expert in your community
Natural Essences are an important part of the wellness industry, and because of this it is vital to first educate yourself properly by constantly learning from instructors with expertise, such as those found in the Teacher’s Academy. This education will give you the confidence to engage your community, seek out interviews in local news , conduct workshops, and find other methods to get your message out.
3. Protect your customers and yourself
The essences we sell are valuable but can be misused, making it necessary to teach customers safety and proper usage of natural essences at the points-of-consumption. Your website should also include statements on safety and legal disclaimers. Liability insurance is also a must.
Emphasizing wellness benefits give everyone in natural essences a great opportunity to sell their strengths and differentiate themselves from synthetic competition.
Terry Johnson is also teaching Business and Marketing at Natural Perfumery Teacher's Academy
By Terry Johnson, Chairman Essential Oil Standards International Committee (SEOS)
"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
It was Thomas Kuhn who first defined the term “paradigm shift” as the phenomenon where one conceptual world view is replaced by another.
In other words, it describes a major shift from one way of thinking to another– a transformation that doesn’t “just happen” but is driven by Agents of Change.
Anyone carefully examining the significance of our current market dynamics should reasonably conclude that the market for Natural Essences is certainly in the midst of a transformation, suggesting a paradigm shift could indeed be well underway.
And what are the Agents of Change for Natural Essences?
The first Agent of Change involves retailers and consumers increasingly looking for assurances regarding environmental sustainability and social responsibility in the practices employed in the production and handling of Natural Essences. As with many other products, retailers and consumers want to purchase Natural Essences they can trust and have confidence in.
The second Agent of Change is the fact that the pandemic has focused consumers on their health and well-being at transformational levels, noticeably affecting consumer purchasing behaviors. This shift has created unprecedented potential opportunities for the Natural Essence Community to attract millions of new consumers who are becoming more aware of and very receptive to the many benefits for their well-being from sustainable, High-Value Natural Essences.
Opportunities, however, do not happen automatically, and three factors must be considered before the Natural Essence Community can benefit from these profound changes:
To gain and keep consumer trust and confidence, the Natural Essence Community must commit to having the highest standards possible. Adopting Sustainable Essential Oil Standards (SEOS) can be one of the key catalysts propelling us forward towards this paradigm shift.
No consumer should expect superior performance from Natural Essences that are not superior products to begin with. Sourcing and purchasing of High-Value raw materials and sustainable packaging, therefore, is vital in achieving future market successes.
The quote by Eric Hoffer above highlights the importance of developing superior knowledge and understanding of post-pandemic markets, rather than depending on pre-pandemic retail strategies and previous consumer purchasing behaviors that no longer exist. This need for the highest levels of understanding should encourage everyone in the Natural Essence Community to develop market- effective expertise by continually educating themselves and others within the Community utilizing up-to-date information available through courses offered by the Teacher’s Academy.
By Terry Johnson, SEOS Committee Chair and Business and Marketing Teacher
for IPF Teacher's Academy
In 30+ years of supply chain marketing I have never seen greater opportunities ahead for those who are Natural Perfumers, Natural Aromatherapists, Herbalists, Natural Candle Makers, Natural Skin Care Artisans, or those who want to be.
Every community in the world benefits from products made from sustainable and natural sources, yet consumers within these communities currently have substantial market loyalty to giant perfume brands and billion-dollar essential oil retailers, leaving the Natural Essence Community with less than 5% market share.
Changing the trajectory of current market dynamics and re-capturing market shares for High-Value Natural Essences necessitates Natural Artisan Retailers to improve market strategies to reflect current business, social, and economic realities, and then engage with the communities they operate within.
Engaging local communities and households within those communities is not just a good idea; it is a requirement in a post-pandemic market.
For Natural Essences Retailers, the best way to engage a community is by becoming an Expert in and a Teacher of the many benefits of Natural Essences to consumers, their families and even their pets.
Of course, the knowledge of what Value Elements you can successfully teach is up to you and what your Value Proposition contains.
Here are a few suggestions to help you add the value you need to properly teach and engage your community:
Do you want to know more, enrol for a 8 week Business and Marketing online course with Terry Johnson