Health has officially become a lifestyle. With the pandemic, worry up and household savings are down. As a result, wellness ranks among the top concerns in a majority of U.S. households .
This is more than a trend, says to Larry Berg, the founder of CEO of CBD Marketing Hub.
“Forward-leaning brands that have wellness front and center in their positioning are well-poised for growth,” says Berg, who counts the CBD brand Asutra among notable market leaders.
Focusing Asutra on the self-care space was a logical move to its owner and CEO Stephanie Morimoto, who successfully repositioned her brand that features on trend ingredients such as CBD, essential oils and magnesium in 2018.
Morimoto’s focus on pure, clean ingredients was a risky one at the time, but was the right one, according to the CEO recognized by People magazine as one of its Best Beauty Launches alongside widely known brands within hair, makeup, skin and beauty products.
Skincare products have become a Cinderella story of sorts, with skincare sales skyrocketing as a result of the pandemic, as lipstick and blush got kicked to the curb.
Skincare is in, according to Digiday, which reports that second quarter skincare sales increased a whopping 317 percent over first quarter sales.
EYECATCHING BRAND WON TARGET’S ATTENTION
The Asutra brand promise now is bold, eye catching and beautiful, everything Morimoto wants its customers to feel and express when they use her products, she says. People magazine saw it. Chief Brand Officer Venus Williams saw it. And, most recently, Target Corp. saw it and decided to stock it, Morimoto says.
“When we overhauled the brand, we came up with the mission of active self-care,” Morimoto says. “Everything we do around that mission is intentional – we want everybody to notice it. We want people to know that self-care is an acceptable thing.”
The Target partnership launched this summer, and Morimoto and her team are focused on making it a success, highlighting it on Instagram, in its newsletter and in customers giveaways. Target.com now sells a variety of Asutra’s products, including Dream the Night Away lotion with melatonin, Mist Your Mood aromatherapy spray with lavender and chamomile and Melt Pain Away revitalizing Magnesium body butter.
This kind of attention is especially important to Asutra in part because it has focused well-being, self-care and the latest in CBD products. Its messages focus on Asutra’s natural, safe and price-accessible products that Venus Williams herself uses. It’s a big mission to fulfill, Morimoto says. But it is one that her company is ready for and excited to grow.
“Our mission is active self-care,” says Morimoto.“We want everyone to take care of themselves on purpose so they can do anything.”
Asutra and its messages that focus on how self-care is the ultimate gift to each individual that practices it resonates with everyone, according to Morimoto, who notes it is particularly important for women, especially those who are in the caregiving parts of their lives.
“With 97 percent of Millennial Moms reporting that they are more stressed than ever and women of all ages taking on even greater caretaking responsibilities as a result of the pandemic, Asutra’s messaging is spot on,” says Berg.
“Our products serve everyone but at the same time we know our messaging, our packaging and our chief brand officer particularly resonates with women,” says Morimoto. “Our best customers are women from the ages of 45 to 65.”
“Why that age group? Because they are the ones who are focused and at the same time never quite done with all of the work they take on every day,” says Morimoto.
“These are women who may over work. They Don’t take time to rest. They don’t take care of themselves,” says Morimoto. “They are moms, daughters, business owners running companies. They are used to taking care of everyone at the expense of themselves.”
But that work ethic can come at a cost, notes Morimoto.
“If you’re doing to do your best, you have to take care of yourself intentionally,” says Morimoto. “That is something Venus knows and is teaching others. You have to take care of yourself to stay at the top of your game. She lives that as a tennis player and entrepreneur.”
Morimoto knows professional burnout well – she has experienced the highs and lows of working 18-hour days and running at what feels like a thousand miles per hour. Her goal with Asutra is not only to boost her own self-care but to show how a woman-led business can change the world, one great night’s sleep or one self-care treatment at a time.
For example, Asutra’s Chill the Night Away combines CBD, melatonin and magnesium in one product. This sleep-focused lotion and its companion product, Chill Away Pain, brings together a light, unscented lotion with pure CBD as well, Morimoto said.
Many people turn to Asutra and CBD-based products like it for pain relief as well, something that Morimoto takes very seriously.
“People want alternative solutions. They want natural solutions to getting a better night sleep rather than popping a pill,” says Morimoto.
“If you are healthy, you are less susceptible to disease. We want people to recognize the importance of doing something before it’s a problem,” Morimoto adds. “Plus, it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to take care of yourself well. We want to provide a nice range of items and nice range of prices. That way, people can afford different things and take advantage of (our products).”
What also has boosted Asutra’s reputation is its new partnership with Target Corp. Its female buyer loved the products, Morimoto says, and highlighted the look, feel and packaging of the rebrand as something Target really wanted in its stores.
The packaging comes from the desire to give people something both joyful and trustworthy, according to Morimoto.
“Yes, the products work. But they also are beautiful to look at and use.
“We like that our products stand out in this category. That’s a statement in and of itself,” says Morimoto. “As a small business, we have to blast all of the different channels and get that all-important word of mouth. We have a great platform with Venus, so that helps get the word out there. But we also need to get our messages out via social media, our website, magazines and conferences. We want people sharing Asutra with their friends and family.”
Asutra is woman-owned and women-led. What makes Morimoto especially proud is that 73 percent of the company’s staff are women of color, and 100 percent would recommend Asutra as a great place to work, she says. Having Williams as the Chief Brand Officer also testifies as to the culture created at the company.
All of this leads back to the importance of intentional self-care, paying attention to your body and focusing on your health, according to Morimoto.
The bottom line for Morimoto and her work will always come back to this: Love yourself as much as you love your business, your family, your friends, your community.
“You’re your best self if you’re taking care of yourself,” says Morimoto. “Elevate your routines. Make them pleasurable and joyful. In some ways, it’s a little radical, I guess, but it’s telling women that it’s okay to give yourself that love and that time. It’s not frivolous. It’s important.”