If you’re building a beauty brand, welcome to the wild west of marketing. We’ve got hot data from Forbes showing us an activated audience of millennials and Gen-Z consumers, and we know they care more about the environment than any other generation before them. The good news? You can make just about any claim with the top buzzwords surrounding sustainability. The bad news? Consumers are wising up — they’re craving specifics when it comes to building trust before purchasing. There’s a tall tower of words to consider when it comes to sustainability and clean products, but today we’re looking at the top 3 weak words beauty brands should avoid and how to recharge that marketing language with fresh energy.
All of the information we’re about to hand you should be viewed through the lens of looking for a concrete, research-backed angle. In building product trust with millennials and Gen Z, sharing specifics backed by credible research catapults brand trust. When you proactively offer transparency in product brand communication, the consumer feels like they are getting in the know with buying from a brand they can believe in.
First up, the word sustainable. Seen on products and packaging throughout the retail world, it’s lost so much power when it comes to consumers because it feels vague and it’s uncertifiable. Our recommendation? Ditch this word and replace it with showing the features and benefits of the sustainable aspect. If part of your packaging is recyclable or reusable, emphasize that and share about your brand’s commitment to do better as more options become available.
Next, let’s address the word natural. An original buzzword going back to the birth of health and wellness marketing, its obvious flaw is that not all natural things are good for you. There’s also a growing awareness that some natural aspects of a product or packaging are harvested unsustainably, leading to very real damage to the environment. Our recommendation? Keep this away from product integrity claims and instead pair it with the current trend of how it makes the consumer look. Dewy, undone, and fresh are all big motivators in current beauty looks, and there’s so much room for marketing the natural take on appearance. This will give your audience the subliminal message that if they wear this product, they will feel healthier.
Finally, let’s come clean with the word toxic (often thrown in the phrase, “free from toxic xyz”). Relentlessly overused, it is completely uncertifiable and just plain misleading. Toxic has been touted in the beauty industry to share that products are free of those “horrible” chemicals. The scientific plot twist here is that all matter is composed of chemicals. Technically, we’re all walking, talking bodies of chemicals that are breathing, eating and drinking chemicals. The very toxic chemicals that many brands claim not to use are often simply relabeled because they’re actually not toxic and essential to the product’s formula. Wild, right? (For breaking news on the rampant abuse of the word toxic, be sure to tune into @charlotteparler on Instagram.) Our recommendation? Remove this language completely, and instead focus on highlighting the unique aspects of your brand’s approach or product formula and how verifiable studies show a benefit to consumers.
Ultimately, strength lies in specifics. We’re scratching the surface with these top 2 weak words beauty brands should avoid, but there are so many more in circulation that holds brands back. When it comes to a powerful litmus test for weak words, always ask if you can get more specific with a word or claim — it’ll take you even further when it comes to consumer trust.
P.S. Looking for a copywriter for your product brand? Let’s talk!