Why green is best for Bondi Sands

Having sustainability in its DNA means the skincare brand can put its green credentials front and centre with any new product range

Bondi Sands knew the Australian Open (AO) was the best platform to launch its new sunscreen range.

“We thought what better way to showcase our sporting products, than at an iconic Australian sporting event,” Bondi Sands CMO, Alexandra Peek, told CMO. “It’s the ideal place to promote the quality of the product on the athletes and also something that we could do that was consumer facing."

The AO sponsorship is a three-year deal, giving the brand two more tournaments to cement its positioning as a sport sunscreen product to bigger crowds in future years. “There’s been a Covid impact this year and the AO isn’t at full capacity, but it’s a long sponsorship so we know it’ll be bigger and better in the next years,” she said.

Launching the new SPF range was a “natural progression for the self-tanning brand with the iconic name. “When we first launched a couple of years ago, we saw an opportunity to provide that really advanced sun protection to those who are living a really active and healthy lifestyle. And that's where the latest range was born,” Peek explained.

While the sunscreen market is a crowded one which has legacy brands, Bondi Sands nevertheless eyed an opportunity to have a solution that would appeal to its Gen Z Millennial customer base. “There are those heritage brands, the ones you grew up with, as competitors, but we saw as a real opportunity that customers might be looking for something a little bit different,” Peek said.

“What we wanted to create, when we started, was that lifestyle suncare range. Something that looks fun, smells good and that also has that serious education behind it, and that people could buy into knowing it a high-quality product.”

Building with sustainability in mind

And at the same time, while dealing with the challenge that is COVID, Bondi Sands has continued to launch in new markets globally, including in Target in the US. It's also expanded into new products. One of these is a new ‘Pure’ range, extending the brand’s ethos of a sustainable approach to lifestyle products. The Pure self tanning range is packaged in ethically sourced, 100 per cent recyclable packaging to limit the impact on our environment.

“We pride ourselves on being in touch with our customers, the Gen Z Millennial, and their values and beliefs. It's no surprise these consumers are actively looking to purchase sustainable products, and live more sustainably, and they want to see more from a brand than just a product that works,” Peek explained to CMO.

“Research was showing us consumers are interested in sustainability. They seek to purchase sustainably; however, they don’t want to compromise on the ultimate end result of the product.”

“We did spend a lot of time crafting a range our customers could buy into knowing we've taken care of the hard work. They can simply pop the container straight into their curb-side recycling once it’s finished, but they can still achieve the results they have come to expect from the brand and they weren't compromising anything.”

Peek sees this continuing to evolve as technology evolves and there are more packaging options and ingredients and other things available to improve sustainability.

The drive to improve sustainability goes beyond just packaging and into supply chains and sustainable processes. “What are their beliefs? What are they doing to offset their carbon emissions? We're making smarter decisions to distribute our products globally,” Peek continued. "And if you’re going to really live that, you’re going to align yourselves as a company with suppliers and other that also live that value of sustainability

“That's certainly something we've been actively exploring for the past few years just to make sure our partners also hold the same value because we are serious about sustainability. And we want to continue to incorporate it at a deeper level in our business.”

"And we need to be working with people that are on the same page. And across the board companies are very aware now of the expectation and if changes aren’t made, they will get left behind.”

When it comes to making environmental claims, the brand aims to be transparent about its product ingredients and packaging and to avoid vague terms like ‘clean beauty’ or ‘natural’. “We aim to be completely transparent with our customers,” Peek said.

“On the package is an ingredient and in brackets next to it is exactly what that ingredient does. There aren’t just these words that a consumer mightn’t understand. And if they want more information, we have purposely built additional pages into the website, where there's more information that can be found.”

The next step is to launch a sustainability hub on its website which will feature all the things it’s doing, both consumer facing and behind the scenes, so is customers want more information they can freely get it.

"Brands need to be mindful that consumers can get to the bottom of claims and words very quickly with an online search. So there's no point trying to mislead anyone. The more honest you are, the better. We want full visibility for our customers,” Peek said.

Nurturing and listening to customers while also staying on top of changing behaviours and new trends in the market, means innovating is part of doing business. Priding itself on being a leader in innovation, the brand has another new product launch planned in the next 12 months. And while the last year has been disruptive, it also meant embracing new, digital ways of doing product launches and just making the most of being a digital-native brand.

In keeping with the sustainability focus, there’s a new product launching later this year. “And as a brand, we'll be making some pretty clear goals and commitments on sustainability that consumers will be aware of and will make us accountable to them over the next few years, which is really exciting,” Peek added.

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