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The Brand Council case studies: Aveda

Originally published in 'Cool BrandLeaders', August 2002. The book reviews the UK's strongest cool brands as judged by the independent Brand Council Judges.

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Case study provided by The Brand Council.

For more than two decades Aveda has worked to expand the boundaries of beauty and business, developing product made from plants and creating a company with a conscience. Aveda, which means 'knowledge of nature', takes an ethical approach to business. It supports the rights of indigenous peoples and is also strongly against animal testing.

Plants are the starting point for virtually everything Aveda does. Its research and development team is continually seeking new uses for plant resources and more sophisticated means of manufacture. It goes to great lengths to ensure the authenticity, integrity and quality of its plant ingredients, searching the globe for wild-harvested plants or those grown without petrochemical fertilizers, insecticides, or herbicides.

This clear philosophy is based upon the principles of Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda. From humble beginnings in his Minneapolis kitchen, Horst has become a world-renowned guru of well-being. To reach this pinnacle, he has pursued the study of wellness, its origins in Eastern and Western science and philosophy, and its relationship to the essences and elements found in nature.

Horst is also a style leader in the hair care and the beauty industry as well as a hair stylist, artist and entrepreneur.

He has drawn on his wide ranging expertise to direct the Aveda brand to encompass a total body approach - enhancing both internal and external well-being. Aveda products range from hair and skin care to aesthetics, makeup, massage and total body wellness. The brand also goes beyond just selling its products. Education is an important part of the brand's DNA and a global network of Aveda Institutes were founded to pass on Aveda's principles and knowledge. Under Horst's leadership, the Institutes have become internationally acclaimed centres of learning for professionals in cosmetology, hairdressing, manicuring, spa body care and massage.

In addition, Aveda Concept Schools have grown into a worldwide network of successful schools, educating students to become future leaders in the field of total body well-being. Aveda's Environmental Lifestyle Stores are a showcase for Aveda's flower and plant Pure-Fume aromas, skin care, hair care, makeup and lifestyle products - demonstrating Aveda's belief that businesses must utilise natural resources in a sustainable and responsible way.

Aveda do not advertise in the UK, but differentiate the Aveda brand through the concept of 'Aveda Experiences' which are complimentary in all of its stores. 'Aveda Experiences' are holistic services that can take up to 10 minutes. They include Stress-Relieving Experience -- a de-stressing massage, focusing on the scalp and back using balancing compositions and 'purescription' products; Hands-On Experience -- consisting of a hand massage using Aveda aromas; Makeup Finishing Touch -- a consultation with a professional makeup artist, designed to give a comprehensive lesson in the art of beauty; Sensory Journey -- an experience which finds the best aromas and products to suit an individual.

Aveda's philosophy is also carried through to its head office in Minneapolis. Set in 65 acres surrounded by wetlands, most rooms receive direct sunlight via picture windows and skylights -- even in the manufacturing and warehouse areas. During lunch, employees are free to take walks through the nearby wetlands, workout with a personal trainer in the corporate wellness centre or eat at Organica, a natural foods restaurant that is also open to the public.

© 2002 Superbrands Ltd

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