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Brief Published: 14 Sep 2016

The Ordinary: Honest Beauty Business

The Ordinary

“Clinical formulations with integrity” is the tagline of new cosmetics brand The Ordinary. Its disruptive ethos is firmly planted in candour and fairness, offering honest pricing for effective, advanced beauty products.

Owned by results-driven Canadian beauty conglomerate Deciem (which boasts beauty drink brand Fountain and blogger-favourite skincare brand Niod on its books), The Ordinary’s USP centres on honest pricing, acknowledging the dishonesty in price versus value that is rife within the beauty industry. “Commonplace technologies are referred to as groundbreaking and insensible pricing strategies confuse the audience, disguising commodity technologies as advanced,” said the brand. Products are priced between £4.90 and £12.70 ($6.50 and $17) for a 30ml vial.

This strategy is smart, considering the savvy beauty consumer’s increasing awareness of and demand for honesty. For more, see Transparent Beauty: Valuing Best Practice.

Another honest strategy is employed in the product’s naming policy. Each item forgoes flashy, descriptive (and potentially misleading) naming, and is instead identified by its key ingredient and percentage strength. For example, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 contains an impressive 2% hyaluronic acid for improved moisture, and Vitamin B5, which similarly aids surface hydration. Similarly, the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil offers exactly that. 

Meanwhile, the somewhat more conventionally named Buffet is marketed as a “multi-technology” peptide serum, which combines a potent cocktail of anti-ageing hero ingredients. In Future Beauty: Accelerated Anti-Ageing, we encourage brands to develop more complex formulas that target multiple signs of ageing (such as this) to attract consumers confused by mixed anti-ageing messages.