Premium Beauty News - Natura Brasil is not much present outside South America. Do you consider getting more aggressive to conquer global markets?
Thierry Aubry-Lecomte - First of all, it is essential to understand our philosophy. Since the very beginning, Natura’s raison d’être has always been to remain humble while contributing to the creation of a better world. We do not advocate growth at all costs. Our economy is based on social and environmental commitment. This is the actual backbone of our group. We make sure we work with small producers using environmentally friendly practices, and we get involved in education, training, and land renewal. As for products, we started developing refills as soon as 1983, our packs are ecodesigned and they all bear environmental labels. Now, at the level of the group, we have been carbon neutral since 2007 and we aim at having a positive impact.
Everything we do is intended to improve our footprint, and we have worked on that for over 40 years now, in accordance with our bem estar bem philosophy – well-being and being good – which aims to combine personal well-being and emphatic well-being with others, nature, and the world.
Premium Beauty News - So what is the current position of the group on the global level?
Thierry Aubry-Lecomte - We have been present everywhere in Latin America and France for ten years. And we are now on various continents, as Natura recently purchased Aesop, an Australian brand in perfect symbiosis with our values. This position helps us observe the different markets, which we will try to enter at our own pace. Aesop also made it possible for us to integrate the retail expertise into the group. We greatly value words like humility and wisdom: they make us connect with the rhythm of the Earth and take shape on a sustainable basis.
Premium Beauty News - Why did Natura choose France?
Thierry Aubry-Lecomte - When we arrived in France in 2005, we aimed at learning from a mature, extremely competitive country. We were willing to face difficulty and get the richest experience from it. That is when we set up a research laboratory and opened the store located Place Michel Debré in Paris.
Premium Beauty News - What about it now?
Thierry Aubry-Lecomte - The laboratory does not exist anymore because we have switched to open innovation: research is spread over several sites and often carried out in partnership with universities of all continents. The store in Paris is our only physical point of sale in France for now, but there might be more of them in the future. Besides, we have set up a network of 2,000 direct-selling advisors throughout the French territory. This network counts 1.7 million people all around the world (mainly women), including 1.2 million in Brazil, and the rest in Latin America. This is where the brand’s hub lies, because it guarantees a unique customer relationship, and it also represents an essential social pillar.
Direct-selling is not anchored in the French culture, so we are proud of this network, as it contributes to convey Natura’s principles and product quality, again, thanks to our customer relationship.
We aim at uniting digital technologies and advisors. That is why this network has been supported by an e-commerce site since November 2014: people can contact an advisor in their own region and get personalized tips or buy directly from the website. Online selling is a way to conquer new customers, but also to make our advisors’ work easier and improve their turnover. This coherent model was developed in France and might prefigure the evolution of Natura’s distribution in the world.
Premium Beauty News - You have no icon, and you never launch any campaign in the media. How could you make Natura more famous among French women?
Thierry Aubry-Lecomte - That is true, there is no Natura icon, because we consider beauty cannot be personified, it lies within each and every one of us. Besides, even if we do not appear much in advertisements, we are actually very active on social networks. For example, our Facebook page counts almost 9 million fans around the world, including 28,000 in France. It takes time to communicate such a meaningful message as ours, and that is why it is essential to have a good contact with consumers. Once they have got familiar with our products, they are very loyal to us. They are attracted by transparency, quality, and our commitment. And Brazil makes them dream!