Alessandro Carlucci didn’t need many numbers.
Just a single slide with a handful of data points running down the side described the image the chief executive officer wanted to present of his company, the Brazil-based Natura Cosméticos S.A. With sales of $3 billion last year, Natura is the biggest cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries company in the country, by his estimation. But instead of discussing statistics, Carlucci chose instead to bare the company’s values. “To be number one is a consequence of the things that you do,” he said before launching into the summit’s theme of “metamorphosis.”
Like many of its product ingredients, Natura’s values also seem to derive from the Amazon rain forest. Carlucci began his sometimes soulful presentation by asserting that society is suffering from what he described as the sickness of alienation and a cure is definitely being sought. Over the centuries, man has been taught to exist in a fragmented state — “to forget that mind, heart, soul and body are only one thing.” He added, “Typically we refer to nature as something that is in the forest, but we are part of the nature. There is a huge opportunity…how we can reconnect with ourselves and reconnect with the world.”
An obvious connection with nature is through products, like Echoes, created through Brazilian biodiversity “to invite the customer not to forget that we belong to the forest.” The company also attempted to enhance family connections with a 1993 mother and baby line, complete with an oil product that can be used when mothers massage their babies. Carlucci noted that when there’s physical contact, babies sleep well and eat better. Another search is for true beauty, such as when the company launched a skin-care line using a 67-year-old model. “The truly beautiful woman isn’t about age, she is about life,” Carlucci said, quoting the brand’s manifesto. “She lives her time and changes with it.”
His speech concluded with a video and a voice-over: “Harmony creates harmony. When we are all well, we affect those around us, we connect, one by one, creating a great network of happiness and pleasure at being together. And as if by weaving an invisible, irresistible, sustainable thread, the feeling of well being well gradually involves everything around us.”