Anyone who has delved into the booming natural products market knows the search for natural deodorant that actually works is frustrating, if not impossible. Portland-based startup Schmidt’s Naturals set out to change this perception that natural=ineffective, and it’s working. They are getting millennials to embrace chemical-free deodorant in droves, and taking market share from not only other natural deodorant companies, but from major players like Secret and Dove.
How does Schmidt’s Naturals successfully captivate millennials?
The company started as a hobby, cooking up natural bath and body products in the kitchen and selling at local craft festivals and farmer’s markets. This is the kind of brand story that millennials relate to and feel comfortable putting their money behind. Schmidt’s Naturals started off selling their products in local shops, which led to immense local support that would help them gain brand recognition and strong word-of-mouth support.
Millennial consumers have a thirst for knowledge and desire for transparency in any company they support. The demographic is also extremely health conscious. Schmidt’s Naturals highlights the natural ingredients on the cap of their deodorant, and lists all the harsh chemicals they’re formulated without. Some scientists have suggested there’s a link between aluminum and breast cancer, so promoting Schmidt’s Naturals products as aluminum-free has proven effective because of this negative association. They highlight that ingredients in conventional products can be problematic to your health, and promote their brand as more than just deodorant, but “underarm health.”
Banking on Boredom
Founder Jaime Schmidt saw opportunity for growth in the “boring” deodorant industry. She recognized that there was space for a new and exciting brand. The scent choice for Schmidt’s Naturals deodorant mimics a perfume line more than a conventional deodorant line. Scent choice includes tea tree oil, juniper, and other scents paired together in unconventional ways. The limited-edition release of scents for winter or summer induce a collector’s mentality, and retailers like Urban Outfitters place Schmidt’s Naturals alongside trendy fragrances and body lotions. This positions them in a fun and trendy light, unlike the traditional baby powder deodorant you grab at the grocery store.
“We heard natural deodorant never works, so we made one that does.”– reads the opening page of the Schmidt’s Naturals website. The brand amplifies their immensely positive consumer feedback, promoting consumer testimonials and online reviews to alleviate the idea that natural deodorant doesn’t work. The digital word-of-mouth of online reviews essentially built the company. As of today, 20,000 online reviews exist on third-party websites alone. On their own site, they feature testimonials from celebs like Alicia Silverstone and media outlets like Allure and Goop.
Read more at Fast Company.