When I first learned about the benefits of using aluminum free deodorant I went to the drug store, where I usually buy antiperspirant, to find a new option that was aluminum free. To my surprise, there were no options available at the time for women. After trial and error with testing some of the options I was able to find in stores, I went to my next option, which was to shop for deodorant online, which was foreign to me for a product I can usually just pick up with other routine items. But I discovered Schmidt’s Naturals after a quick google search and bought it online, to soon discover it’s sold at Target!
By the looks of it, aluminum-free deodorant seems to be a trendier topic now and new brands are popping up all over -- so how did Schmidt’s beat the competition and end up in Target despite all the other new brands, and expand their product line to more than just deodorant?
After earning a business degree at Michigan State, the founder and CEO Jaime Schmidt was living in Portland, OR where there was a large community of “makers.” She wanted to get involved but wasn’t sure what her passion was until she was pregnant and knew she needed to invest in products that were safer to use. She took a few soap DIY classes and learned a ton about ingredients and decided to join the #makermovement, too.
Schmidt’s Naturals started in 2010 by Jaime Schmidt who was selling her original deodorant recipe to friends and family and at farmers markets in Portland, OR. Her line started with deodorant, sunscreens, soaps, and lotions until she decided to focus on the product that was most important to her -- deodorant. The deodorant was originally only sold in jars (at first in mason jars, very DIY) until consumer demand kicked in and Schmidt’s Naturals was then available in stick form, too.
The brand is named “Schmidt’s Naturals” because it was named after herself which keeps the founder in the vision for the brand. “Naturals” emphasizes the brand’s vision for incorporating as many plant derived ingredients as possible into all of the their products.
There are two taglines that the brand tends to use, and they are “The New Face of Natural” and “Which Scent Will You Choose?” To me, “The New Face of Natural” is about debunking old stereotypes about natural products. Some stereotypes being that they don’t work, smell bad, or are only for hippies. “Which Scent Will You Choose?” implies that you’ve already chosen to buy Schmidt’s Naturals, meaning, it is not a question of if you’re going to switch but rather, which of the irresistible scents will you buy? It also emphasizes the ingredients because the scents are sourced naturally.
A big differentiator for the brand are the scents they have which all smell beautiful and have lovely names that roll off the tongue: Lavender + Sage, Ylang Ylang + Calendula, Cedarwood + Juniper, etc. The packaging for each scent stands out with bright colors and illustrations of the plant-powered scents. The product line is now more than just deodorant and has expanded into soaps and toothpaste, which follow the same branding guidelines when it comes to packaging.
There are more options at the store now, for example I heard Native will be sold at Target soon too, and a new brand called Love, Beauty & Planet, which is owned by Unilever is now displayed right next to Schmidt’s Naturals at Target. It seems like Unilever started to take notice that consumers are interested in aluminum-free deodorant but didn’t want to change the formula of Dove in order to save the integrity of that brand. On that note, Unilever actually announced that they have acquired Schmidt’s Naturals in December of 2017.
In terms of advertising I’ve only seen ads for Schmidt’s Naturals deodorant when they have a new scent released for a new season. So far I’ve noticed they have limited edition scents for the seasons like “Waves” for summer and holiday scents for the winter. Usually I seen these ads in my Instagram stories.
Although I’ve been targeted specifically for the advertisements because I’m already a customer, I don’t believe I’m the only demographic for this brand. Out of all the natural brands for bath products, Schmidt’s Naturals was the first to be in stores where anybody could find it. When Unilever noticed that they made sure to catch on so they could own that part of the market. The reason Unilever was successful in their acquisition was because the main goal of Schmidt’s Naturals is to make healthy bath products accessible to everybody.