February 4, 2010
Natura is an interesting company because it manages to operate in a transparent and sustainable way despite its size . Its core business is the production and manufacturing of cosmetics, perfumes and personal hygiene products. Think make-up, suncream, skin cream, shampoo,..
Their main brand is Natura with slogan bem estar bem (good to be good). They sell different product lines such as Sève, Ekos or Amor América, but the main brand building (on the products, billboards outside reseller points) activities are focused on the natura brand.
The company tries to balance between the economic, environmental and social parts of its operations.
Financially it is doing well. In one year the company's turnover increased 17,7% reaching US$2 billion and becoming one of the most valuable brands in Brazil. It is a publicly traded company and in 2008 it performed 61% better performance than the index of the São Paulo stock exchange, the Bovespa.
Natura is the market leader in Brazil with Brazilian O Boticário and American Avon as number two and three. Other markets of the company are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and France. With plans for expansion to the United States.
The environmental attention of the company is what makes the company different from its competitors. They use natural ingredients for their products with respect the biodiversity of Brazil. This includes no product testing on animals.
Yearly they release 198 000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and their aim is to be a carbon neutral company. They achieve this through all sorts of compensation programs such replanting trees, investments in biomass research, providing energy efficient stoves for people in remote areas. A more detailed list can be found on their website (Portuguese).
It further tries to reduce waste. It monitors closely and reports water and energy usage in its annual report. Also, they were also the first company in its industry in 1983 in Brazil to try and limit the waste on the consumer side by encouraging product refills. The package also functions as a way to inform the consumer by featuring an environmental table on it. This lists all the ingredients used in a certain product, similar to a nutritional table on food items.
The third part of the balancing exercise is the social aspect. Natura is selling its products via direct selling. For this the company counts on its reseller network that consists of 850 000 resellers at home parties, in beauty saloons or hair dressers. Making sure these people are well trained and taking care of them is important as they represent the company to the consumers. The quality of the sale is important to them, making sure the personal touch is involved. Further they can use this network to find out about new customer preferences or test the reaction on new products.
Natura uses social networks as an R&D tool, to monitor and test out new ideas. They have Brazilian and a French blog, a Portuguese Twitter profile an dozens of inactive profiles on the network site. On Orkut, a social media network popular in Brazil, they have a page with 54000 members. Facebook, more popular in the rest of South America, has a popular page for their presence in Spanish countries.
Follow this link to discover more Brands of Brazil.