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Aromababy - Case Study (tertiary teaching - marketing)
21 February 2013
Aromababy is an Australian-made, natural brand of baby skin-care products,which was launched by Catherine Cervasio in the mid 1990’s. It was when she was pregnant with her first child that she discovered the niche market opportunity for natural and organic baby skin-care products. At that time, all the baby-care products on the market had added colour, preservatives and petro-chemicals, which were potentially associated with eczema and skin irritations in some babies.
The products were formulated to be high in quality, utilising pure and organic ingredients that are kind to the skin as well as to the environment. They are made from natural ingredients and uniquely are based on neonatal research. The business also seeks to avoid the use of ‘senseless packaging’ and relies on recyclable and/or recycled materials wherever possible - and encourages its customers to do the same.
Aromababy® is now a market leader in natural/organic skin-care for mothers-to-be and babies in Australia. Aromababy® can be found in the homes of the rich and famous and is linked to celebrities with young children such as Princess Mary, Jamie Oliver, John Travolta and Kate Moss. Kelly Preston is the latest in a long line of celebrities who provided a glowing testimonial for the brand. The product range is targeted at both mother and child. In the world of celebrity, pregnancy is a time when women pamper themselves and celebrate impeding motherhood, even to the point of posing naked while pregnant. Whether it's the model Adriana Lima posing naked on the cover of Pirelli, or Miranda Kerr looking her svelte self after the birth of her baby boy, being sexy and maternal is in vogue. Being endorsed by celebrities was a milestone for Cervasio and as a result the company received a good deal of media coverage.
Cervasio has various qualifications that are ideally suited to her role as guru in health and well-being. As a former model and mother of two sons, she is comfortable being the ‘face’ of her brand. She is a well-respected speaker in both the ‘women in business’ and ‘organic’ circles. These engagements are a bonus for a company that deals with beauty products. She has honed her publicity skills from dealing with the media for around 20 years and these skills set her apart from her competitors.
Aromababy® is also targeted at everyday parents who have a ‘nothing but the best’ approach to baby skincare. The target market includes well-off, professional, working mothers, sometimes referred to as the “yummy mummies”. Because they are busy, they take advantage of the internet to shop from home or from the office. Many people learn about the product through word-of-mouth and organic searches, for example on Google. The product also appeals to environmental activists, mothers and fathers who embrace the philosophy of sustainability and animal cruelty free. Aromababy® has also been endorsed by some health professionals and is used in select hospitals across Australia and overseas, including those that deal with unwell/prematurely born babies.
The premium price of the product range reflects the products’ certified organic ingredients and the fact they have to undergo testing before being released for sale. However, the high price tag of some of the products hasn’t hindered sales - in fact, it has helped to position Aromababy® in the top end of the market. The product can be found in select baby boutiques, department stores and luxury hotels and resorts. It is attractive in markets with a low birthrate, such as Japan, where parents don’t count the cost when it comes to obtaining the very best product for their much-loved child.
Cervasio is well known as the ‘pioneer’ of her industry. Today, she is faced with countless copy-cat type brands sold in more mass market channels including grocery and discount chemist chains. She is confident that her brand can withstand this competition in part as she opts not to sell to discount stores and supermarkets. Today, the product is sold in export markets mostly across Asia including Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. Cervasio writes for magazines, is an industry consultant, runs workshops and presents for parenting tv shows. Her company, Aluxe, owns several other brands including Pure Spa, LUXE and Abbi.