The future of a Natura-Avon beauty powerhouse?

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Our aspiration is to build not just the best beauty company in the world, but the best beauty company for the world,' says Natura & Co group CEO Roberto Marques (Getty Images)
'Our aspiration is to build not just the best beauty company in the world, but the best beauty company for the world,' says Natura & Co group CEO Roberto Marques (Getty Images)

Related tags: Natura & Co, Avon, direct-to-consumer, cruelty-free, Sustainability, Amazon

Natura & Co has finalised its Avon acquisition, creating a global pure-play beauty giant and direct-to-consumer leader – a mega-business it wants to use to fight the climate crisis, champion cruelty-free, female empowerment and local communities.

The Brazilian major’s acquisition of Avon – finalised at the beginning of this month – will see Natura & Co hold leading positions on and offline, with over 6.3 million consultants and representatives; hit combined group gross revenues of more than €8.9 billion (US$10bn); and expand its footprint to over 100 countries worldwide.

Not only does the acquisition create an important Latin American multinational​ in the personal care and beauty space, Natura & Co said it also marked a “major new step”​ in building a purpose-driven group.

A purposeful approach as Avon amplifies Natura & Co’s global reach

“The combination of Avon, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop significantly amplifies the reach of a multi-channel, multi-brand group that will be an unparalleled leader in the direct-to-consumer space, bringing beauty to over 200 million consumers across the world anytime, anywhere, every day through multiple channels, touchpoints and iconic brands,”​ Natura & Co said.

The company said key priorities moving forward would be advocating for causes like female empowerment, fighting the climate crisis, cruelty-free cosmetics and developing strong ties with local communities, all of which were part of its belief in a better way of doing business through positive social, economic and environmental impact.

Roberto Marques, executive chairman of the board of directors and Group CEO of Natura & Co, said: “Our aspiration is to build not just the best beauty company in the world, but the best beauty company for the world. With the addition of Avon, we have created a family of companies with unrivalled direct-to-consumer reach and a formidable platform for growth. I am looking forward to working together to drive further our triple bottom line approach and write the next chapter in our journey.”

Significant opportunity for ‘amazing customer experiences’

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Hannah Stacey, brand and product marketing director at retail marketing specialist Ometria, said there would also be plenty of opportunities for Natura & Co to drive Avon into high-growth areas like digital and personalised beauty but success would rely on Avon’s ability to identify and understand loyal and potential customers.

“Health and beauty is a vertical that’s ripe for data-driven disruption – the opportunity to create amazing customer experiences through personalised marketing based on tastes, preferences and data points like skin or hair type is vast,” ​Stacey said.

There was also great scope to push forward with sustainability, she said, particularly given so many of Avon’s products were already replenishable. Back in September, Avon UK launched its first vegan eco-friendly skin care line ‘Distillery’,​ following several years of scientific research.

“The brand will have the chance to engage customers again and again to increase the sustainable revenue it makes from repeat purchasers – the trick is being able to predict when a customer is likely to want to repurchase,”​ she said. Working with artificial intelligence (AI), for example, could do the legwork in this area, she said.

Digital do’s and don’ts – Amazon and influencers

Hannah Symons, beauty and personal care analyst at Euromonitor International, said there was a clear first port of call in the coming months for Natura & Co – “prioritising building a stronger Amazon strategy”​ for Avon.

This, Symons said, would be crucial given how Amazon was becoming an “increasingly lucrative marketplace”​ for beauty brands both in the mass and luxury space.

Stacey said whilst there were clear opportunities for Natura & Co with Avon in its portfolio, it would have to be careful not to solely rely on a pure influencer model, replacing physical sales representatives.

“A successful digital strategy requires brands to not just have an influencer strategy but a cross-channel approach that improves each customer’s overall experience,”​ she said.

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