Building a ‘Pure + Simple’ relationship with their suppliers

isabel.p    July 9, 2017

There is no better feeling than having your skin hydrated, cared for and clean while using products that support a value, cause or lifestyle you align yourself with – organic, natural, environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, ethically responsible, or all of the above.

Pure + Simple, truly a Canadian brand

Pure + Simple is a Canadian company based out of Toronto, Ontario that hits all those criteria. They sell natural and organic beauty products and consider themselves to be the “curator of truly natural skincare products.” They recognize that not everyone’s skin is the same and requires a different set of steps and ingredients to care for it properly.

“Our skincare philosophy is based on Ayurveda, a holistic health modality from India that emphasizes the relationship between our mind, body, + spirit. We trust that our belief systems, along with our behavior + actions, greatly influence the state of our health + physical appearance. That’s why we strive to live holistic, healthy lives, which positively affects our skin!” – The Pure + Simple Difference, 2017.

This is where the importance of supply chain management is key.

Knowing there are so many skin type and various skin needs, Pure + Simple has equipped themselves with 22 brands, including a handful of their own, that their customers can choose from. The relationship Pure + Simple has with its various product suppliers is seemingly pretty strong, and from my monthly store visits, I get the sense that if the company wasn’t happy with a certain product or brand they wouldn’t be afraid to stop carrying it.

According to the Waterloo store co-owner, there is quite a bit of research and testing that goes into the products and companies Pure + Simple aligns themselves with. More on that below in the interview section. With that in mind, this helps to establish a trust foundation between Pure + Simple and their suppliers. If their suppliers know there is a team of dedicated Pure + Simple people conducting their own research and background checks on the products or ingredients that they could potentially be promoting, those suppliers would be then more inclined to not hide anything and be transparent.

Key Performance Factors for Pure + Simple

Cost – Yes, the costs of their products are a bit higher, if you are comparing a product such as face wash or cleansers with any other brand. But the reason for that is the ingredients are being harvested and purchased from places they trust – they are natural, sometimes organic and possibly rare. If you’re looking for a higher quality, ethically conscious product that does the job you are looking for it to do, you will need to sacrifice cost.

Speed – Currently, the locations of the Pure + Simple stores are within an hour to an hour and half of each other and their head office, so ordering or shipping products can be done faster, more efficiently than a company bringing their products from overseas or the states. It is also convenient that a lot of their suppliers are Canadian and located in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This helps cut down on shipping costs and reduces the time a customer might be out of their favourite product.

Quality – As mentioned above, automatically the quality of Pure + Simple products are much higher than other store brand or large chain companies because they aren’t filled with chemical fillers or ingredients to help with mass production and cost reduction. Their product promise, found under their About section of their website, states that “every product you see on our shelves is free of harmful ingredients like parabens, petrochemicals, silicones, phthalates, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances + dyes.”

Pure + Simple on Social Media

Pure + Simple is very active on their social media channels. Not only does the overall brand have its own accounts, but so does each store location. This strategy is a great way customers can follow their favourite brand and the location they frequent most. I see having multiple brand accounts as a type of supply chain management system, but for communication. The head office (@PureandSimpleCA) for the most part shares overall company information – product updates, events, special offers, tips – that is relevant and general for all its followers and customers. Then, the location accounts (i.e.: @PureAndSimpleKW) can either choose to share that top-down information their specific audience and location easily with a share or retweet, or generate its own content in a way that is unique to their location.

Another way Pure + Simple supports its suppliers is by hosting interactive pop-up events or offering fun contests. For example, since they are a proud Canadain company, typically around Canada Day they run a Canadian brand awareness campaign. Not only does it help promote both companies and generates conversations about the brands, but they use this opportunity to have product experts weigh-in on customer questions either via social media or in-store and reinforces their support for Canadian company and brands that share the same green, clean philosophy.

This year, they are hosting a week long #FreshCanadianBrands17 social media campaign – a lot of great promotions, contests, and special information panels happening online and at all their store locations.

Co-Owner Pure + Simple Waterloo Interview

Kate De Sousa, who I call a miracle worker for clearing up my skin, was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about Pure + Simple and some of their product production processes. She, along with her sister-in-law, own the Waterloo, Ontario Pure + Simple location. Here is what she had to say:

KP: Are the ingredients used in Pure + Simple products grown and produced in Canada, or are they from various other locations?
KD: We source our ingredients from Canada, the U.S., and some European countries.

KP: Where are the Pure + Simple manufactured?
KD: They are manufactured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

KP: Does Pure + Simple have a value statement?
KD: Yes. Pure + Simple is an all-natural skincare + wellness spa for customers seeking products + services that are consistent with their healthy natural lifestyle.

KP: When comparing the cost of SATTVA PURE’s Sea Salt & Sugar Scrub, for instance, that Pure + Simple carries but is not your product, I noticed if I were to buy online from either site the prices are the same. Shouldn’t the price for Pure + Simple be higher because you need to make up shipping costs?
KD: We swallow that cost because we know our customers wouldn’t buy from us if they could get it cheaper elsewhere.

KP: Who buys/researches the ingredients Pure + Simple uses?
KD: There is a team of people at the head office in Toronto, Ontario that is responsible for researching and buying ingredients.

KP: Who then manufactures the Pure + Simple products – your employees or another company
KD: We also have a manufacturing team at head office that makes our products. It’s all done in-house, locally, just an hour or so away.

KP: To your knowledge, has there ever been anger or protest towards any of your products or suppliers?
KD: No, not to my knowledge.

KP: Lastly, is there someone within your company that monitors all products and companies that Pure + Simple sells and supports to make sure they align with your company’s mission?
KD: Yes. The ingredients, products, and companies we bring in, other than our own, are tested and researched thoroughly to make sure they are a good fit for Pure + Simple.

(K. De Sousa, personal communication, July 5, 2017).

Connect with Pure + Simple Waterloo location on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Tell them Kylie sent you!

Lessons for Others

  • Don’t be afraid of loyalty programs or referral rewards. Incorporating that into a greater social media strategy could lead to more retweets or shares of your content among your followers or brand ambassadors. For example, if a customer shares their favourite product of yours to social media and tags you and/or the other company you supply – don’t be afraid to reward them. Not only have they just increased your exposure and possibly started a conversation, but they’ve also probably increased the profile of one of your supply companies. It’s a win-win for everyone!
  • Do a Facebook Live or Periscope event when you have invited one of your suppliers into your store for a product demonstration or launch. It’s a great way to show collaboration and an opportunity for your customers to meet a person behind their product and ask questions.

Organization: Pure + Simple
Industry: Beauty Products
Name of Organization Contact: Jean Eng

Authored by: isabel.p

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


References

  1. spaatpureandsimpleca. (2011, January 5). Pure + simple 2010 RBC Women of Influence Nominee Video [Video]. Retrieved July 9, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuxHhiFfb4g
  2. About Pure + Simple: The Pure + Simple Difference (n.d.). Pure + Simple. Retrieved July 9, 2017, from https://pureandsimple.ca/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=8.

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