Why it works series - Lush’s Brand Values - Matchstick Creative
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Why it works series – Lush’s Brand Values

Since their humble beginnings back in 1995, Lush has been ahead of the game when it comes to standing out in the cosmetics industry. They’re a company who are known today for their extensive range of amazing, natural cosmetics products. But, what I want to talk about in this post is what it is that’s at the core of the brand and what has made them who they are…and that all stems from their brand values. For me, Lush will always come to mind as a standout company in terms of really nailing (and actively sticking to) brand values, and there are a number of reasons for this. But before we get onto why Lush works, let’s look at what their values are shall we?

Lush’s Six Core Brand Values

For Lush, it all comes down to six core brand values, and they are: 

  • Freshest Cosmetics
  • 100 Percent Vegetarian
  • Ethical Buying
  • Handmade
  • Naked (yeah that’s right, naked)
  • Fighting Animal Testing

But what exactly do they all mean?

It’s clear from their values that Lush’s initial focus is entirely all about their products. More specifically, bringing natural, ethical products to their customers. Not only that but with their values surrounding freshness, ethically-sourced materials, vegetarian products AND avoiding animal testing, it’s obvious that they’re all about doing their bit for the environment and the greater good. However, what I think makes them stand out against their competitors when it comes to their values alone, has to be their other two values: ‘Handmade’ and ‘Naked’.

Now, you can’t deny that ‘Naked’ as a brand value definitely attracts your attention. It’s a seriously unique value. It’s also a value that really gets you thinking “what do they mean by ‘Naked’ exactly?”. Before you think it…no, their staff aren’t all rocking their birthday suit to work. Their ‘Naked’ value is actually all about the products themselves, and Lush’s commitment to offering packaging-free products. In fact, over 40% of Lush’s products are completely packaging-free. Which is something that not a lot of large scale companies can say. 

Another standout value of Lush is the ‘Handmade’ aspect of the company. As such a huge company, it’s incredible that they can list ‘Handmade’ as one of their main values, and genuinely follow through with that promise in their products. One of the ways that they do this is by adding  customised stickers to their products saying who made the product, when it was made and when it should be used by. The stickers alone bring together both their ‘Freshest Cosmetics’ and ‘Handmade’ values. Then, when you add that to the fact that all of their products come with an ingredient list, they’re putting their ‘100 Percent Vegetarian’, ‘Ethical Buying’ and ‘Fighting Animal Testing’ values to practice as well. Five out of six company values covered in just two stickers, pretty impressive right? 

Lets Talk Online Values

So, we’ve established that Lush is absolutely killing the game when it comes to getting their values across in their products. Now let’s look at how they do it on their website. 

It all starts with their ‘Our Values’ page which lays out the six core values that we’re now all familiar with. They even go into more detail about what each of their values mean on their site, rather than simply stating ‘these are our values!’. After reading them you instantly get an idea of exactly what the company is all about. But it doesn’t stop there. Lush is also highly committed to sharing exactly how they go about practicing their brand values. Which is something that they do through on-site articles. From highlighting the ethical suppliers that they love to support, to explaining how to use their packaging-free shampoo bars for anyone who’s a bit of a ‘packaging-free product novice’, it’s all there on their website. 

Community Matters

Lush’s Instagram is an excellent example of a thriving, ethical community and shows how much Lush appreciates their people. Whether it’s celebrating their community through sharing images of real Lush customers using their products, or highlighting important causes that they know their community are interested in across their Instagram stories…Lush understands their community. They’ve established themselves as a real ‘values first’ brand, and that clearly translates through when it comes to their people. 

We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on the products and making our mums proud.

They’re Scheme-y too

Just when you think Lush can’t possibly understand their people more…enter their incredible schemes. Lush is a brand that loves to give back to their staff, customers and important causes, which is why a huge part of their company includes reward schemes. Their two main schemes are the ‘Five for a Fresh Mask’ and the ‘Bring It Back’ schemes, both of which are focused specifically on their customers. 

‘Five for a Fresh Mask’ encourages customers to return five full-sized Lush pots to their local store in exchange for a free fresh face mask. Lush then recycles the old pots for you. The ‘Bring It Back’ scheme works in a similar way although instead of exchanging pots for products, customers receive 50p per pot off their purchase. 

What can we learn from Lush’s approach to brand values?

There are plenty of things to take from the way that Lush approaches brand values, but if there are two key points to keep in mind they’d be: 

  1. Values attract value – When you know what your values are, and practice them in everything that you do, you’ll attract customers that both value and feel passionate about what it is that you’re doing as a company.
  2. Care about your community – Understanding what your community wants and giving back to them is the best way to show that you care. Not only does it allow you to reward your supporters but it’s also another opportunity to put your brand values into practice. 

Want to explore another brand whose values we think work? 

Then you might want to check out our post all about why we think Timpson’s is nailing their brand values.