According to Google trends, searches for “self-care” have steadily increased during lockdown – with results ranging to everything from homespun beauty regimens and workout routines to preventative health treatments (Google trends, 2020).
This has translated to an FMCG boom, IRI data indicates over the counter sales of products to support immunity have been on the rise. At the same time, recent social inequalities and unsustainable consumption habits have prompted brands in the B2C arena to adopt pro-social messaging in their marketing.
Indeed, many brands have been faced with the challenge of reverse-engineering a social conscience into their marketing briefs. Not so for Kynd, founded by Matthew Stenmark, around socially and environmentally sustainable objectives – and the belief that consumers want more from wellness.
The concept for Kynd came to me while I was travelling overseas with my wife. We were spending time in communities dealing with nutrition-based health crises. In these areas, children might have enough food to keep them feeling full, but not enough variety to keep them from being malnourished. I had started my career in health, and I felt that some of the products readily available in the West could be used to address these issues. Then I travelled to Asia, where I saw pollution and waste at a vast scale, knowing that we face many of the same issues at home. I started thinking about the market for health products. I didn’t see products that harmonised consumer’s pursuit of personal wellbeing with environmental concern and the desire to have a positive social impact. I started to think, “Wow, I’ve been in the health industry for almost ten years and we’re still not getting it!”. The wellness industry encourages consumers to take care of themselves, but it doesn’t allow them to participate in community care or sustainable action. Increasingly, this kind of participation and connectedness is part of consumer wellbeing and what they want from their brands. I felt like this was a space I could have an impact.
When you’re starting a brand from scratch, it’s essential not to try to be all things to all people. Our priorities were a sustainability consciousness and an “other-person” centredness. We were able to deliver on sustainability, with our packaging in a glass bottle and bamboo cap, and we are currently implementing a plan for our 1-for-1 donations scheme. Many brands feel that something like sustainability is a “nice to have”, but cost, both to the brand and the customer is a prohibitive factor. When I was trying to establish what the market was for low-impact supplements, I actually looked to the beauty sector, where there’s been enormous innovation. The vitamin market was lagging – it hadn’t caught up with where the consumer headspace was.
All of the data aligns with the fact that consumers, particularly in the wellness, beauty, and lifestyle industries, are prioritising sustainability in their purchasing decisions. Consumers overall are choosing these sorts of products with a low environmental footprint. You need to keep that market orientation in mind when undertaking an initiative like this, because it can be tough to execute. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome trying to create a health product with sustainable packaging. We’re a heavily regulated industry in Australia. That means if you want to innovate with your packaging, you need to pass a lot of tests that ensure shelf-life and product stability. For us, it was a long process to find sustainable packaging that met the high-quality standards of our category, but I am so happy with the result. We’ve taken a big step for not opting for the conventional plastic cap and going with our bamboo cap. The market indicates that this is what matters to consumers, so that’s what we’re delivering.
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We also wanted to be a brand with a social conscience. Currently, there’s an onus on brands to give back. My view is that, to do that authentically, it’s important to play to your strengths. For Kynd, we specialise in nutrition. So, we will be introducing our one-for-one donations scheme. We will be supporting people in need and using our strengths to help those in need. We would also love to raise awareness for groups that may not be the most discussed, for me, that’s Australia’s homeless, a vulnerable population
I think another aspect of socially conscious branding is being accountable.
We’ve all been in that situation where you donate your $100.00 and have no idea where it goes. What we wanted for Kynd was some form of consumer reassurance. So, we’ve built a tool where customers receive a unique code with every product, that can be entered into the website and easily tracked. We want consumers to feel confident in our commitment. The social outlook isn’t just part of our marketing strategy, it’s fundamental to KYND. Transparency and accountability are where you establish real brand DNA.
To enable Kynd to reach as many people as possible, Kynd leverages the national distribution network of iNova Pharmaceuticals – so it’s conveniently located at Coles.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.
A range of health and beauty supplements that empower you to show kindness to yourself, to others and to the planet.
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