Kudos To Lush Cosmetics
As reported in BEAUTY | PACKAGING, skin care and beauty brand Lush Cosmetics has announced it is deactivating its social media accounts. It’s not a “blackout” day—it’s a full-on disconnect, and it may be for good, it seems. The brand says it created its new social media policy, with “consumers’ mental health in mind.”
Lush Cosmetics says it will deactivate its Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts, so Twitter and YouTube both seem to be safe, for now. The new social media policy goes into effect on November 26th, Black Friday. It will go into effect in 48 countries.
Jack Constantine, chief digital officer and product inventor at Lush, says, “As an inventor of bath bombs, I pour all my efforts into creating products that help people switch off, relax and pay attention to their wellbeing. Social media platforms have become the antithesis of this aim, with algorithms designed to keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing.”
Putting People Ahead of Profit
Lush Cosmetics states that the move is an effort to address consumers’ mental health challenges, and the beauty brand’s global presence across these platforms “will remain deactivated until these platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users.”
Mark Constantine, OBE, Co-Founder, CEO and Product Inventor at Lush, adds, “I’ve spent all my life avoiding putting harmful ingredients in my products. There is now overwhelming evidence we are being put at risk when using social media. I’m not willing to expose my customers to this harm, so it’s time to take it out of the mix.”
Lush is riding the wave of companies putting people ahead of profit. Today’s value-led consumers and communities expect brands to have an impact beyond their immediate category benefits. Profit has been replaced by purpose, and consumers are looking to brands to stand up and deliver larger benefits for people and planet.
As cited in this other Trajectory post, 68% of US consumers (according to Forrester) say that a company’s social responsibility reputation has at least some influence on their purchasing with that company; while 41% of US consumers want to buy from a company with social, political and environmental ideals.
Stepping Up To Address Mental Health
As reported by Welltodo, a resource for global wellness industry news, insights and trends – mental health has planted itself as one of the major pillars of consumer’s relationship with their overall wellbeing. And increasingly, it is being considered more broadly as falling into a growing sub- category of mental wellness.
Quoting Welltodo – byproducts of a modern society underpinned by tension and conflict, living through an era of hyper-connectivity and economic instability and dealing with a growing feeling of disconnection, it’s no shock that millennials and Gen Z are regularly defined as ‘generation angst’, ‘having reached peak burnout’ and ‘among the unhappiest generations ever’.
Public data appears to support this view. According to The 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, conducted both before and after the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has served to exacerbate stress related to the welfare of peoples’ families, day-to-day finances, career prospects and longer-term financial futures. Today, 44% of millennials say they are stressed all or most of the time, while 72% of Gen Z say managing stress and mental health has become their most important health and wellness concern.
And according to research from MTV, it seems our mental wellness has decreased by around 37% since the coronavirus began to take hold back in March 2020. As such, experts warn that a growing mental health crisis could become ‘the second pandemic’ we’re set to face as COVID-19’s aftershocks continue to cause destruction.
Where Does Lush Go From Here
This pivotal event by Lush somewhat reminds me of when CVS decided to no longer carry tobacco products in any of their 7,600 stores back in October 2014 (though the impact on CVS was far greater). Removing these products from store shelves cost the organization about $2 billion a year or about 3% of overall sales.
On the one hand, I’d expect this effort by Lush to help cultivate and build loyalty. But Lush does need to reconsider how it will reach and engage prospective and current customers in the absence of key social media channels – though Twitter and YouTube will still remain active.
How will it create experiences that are more meaningful within the context of peoples’ daily lives? How can it authentically evolve services and its overall brand experience to truly speak to specific social and cultural needs? And how can the beauty brand help specific demographics rebound from the current mental wellness crises?
But one step at a time. Kudos to beauty brand Lush for delivering on its purpose and taking a stand for customers and society.
Any thoughts to share? We’d love to hear.