Arran Sense of Scotland launches Arran Naturals vegan wellbeing range to appeal to younger customers

We find out more from their head of marketing

Those who holiday on the Isle of Arran will know that a trip to the island isn’t complete without a pilgrimage to the Arran Sense of Scotland base. (Well, that and a pitstop at Wooley’s bakery). It’s here, at Home Farm in Brodick, that they still manufacture the soaps and bubble baths, perfumes and shampoo that make up the familiar range.

As soon as you enter the shop, with the factory out back, you’re hit with their classic After the Rain sandalwood fragrance.

This brand was originally set up by local couple Janet and Iain Russell, who launched Arran Aromatics at the Royal Highland Show back in 1989, and their sons are still involved, with Andrew Russell as sales director and Duncan as head of operations

Claire Logan

It was re-branded from its original name back in 2016, though the subsequent years have been a bit of a rollercoaster.

They went into administration in 2017, but were acquired by private equity firm Endless LLP. Since then, their online sales have risen and their toiletries continue to feature in many Scottish luxury hotel bathrooms.

Now, they’ve released a new Arran Naturals range, to appeal to a younger demographic.

This vegan and environmentally friendly collection is quite a different direction for the brand, with the focus on wellbeing and an ‘island time’ concept. Claire Logan, Arran Sense of Scotland’s head of marketing, tells us more.

Arran Naturals Calm range Pic: Gail Kelly

Why the new collection?

We’ve been around for 30 years, first as Arran Aromatics and now as Arran Sense of Scotland, so we’ve got a wealth of experience in creating products that help our customer connect with nature. Our Arran Sense of Scotland collection has a wide and varied audience but we wanted to create something that engaged a new younger audience and so Arran Naturals was born.

It’s been crafted with three core values at its heart – sustainability, nature and wellbeing. Post pandemic, people were far more in-tune with wellness and fully understood the benefits of well-being. We wanted to use our expertise and natural resources from the Isle of Arran to help make well-being part of everyday life via our Arran Naturals products.

The collection is uncompromising on sustainability and is 100 per cent recyclable, which is why we’ve opted for aluminum bottles, recycled bottle tops and cardboard packaging. The journey started with the packaging: we wanted it to be very clean and natural, just like the product, but also something that was different to our core, Arran Sense of Scotland brand, and could be tailored to the three different product expressions, Calm, Mindful and Awaken. Our product development team spent months finding the best packaging and our marketing team developed an engaging brand look and feel to ensure we created something that truly resonated with our new younger audience.

Arran Naturals soaps Pic: Gail Kelly

How did you come up with the scents?

At Arran Naturals we are focused on functional fragrance, meaning the fragrances do exactly what they say on the tin. So rather than starting with the scent, we started with how we wanted the customer to feel and then found the best fragrance to fit. For example, for our Calm expression we use lavender and chamomile, both of which are widely known as natural stress relievers, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Similarly, our Awaken expression features mint and eucalyptus, which are naturally energising. Once we’d identified those ingredients, it was then up to our expert product manager, Robin Fisher, to balance those ingredients to get the perfect blended scent.

Who is your core customer and was there a need to attract younger ones?

Arran Sense of Scotland has a very wide customer base. We have multiple ranges, all of which appeal to different types of people. For example our best-selling After the Rain collection is particularly popular with women over the age of 50. We also have a men’s collection which has done extremely well since launching a few years ago and our Glen Rosa collection sells well with younger women. Just like every business, we are always looking at ways to grow and evolve and the introduction of Arran Naturals has allowed us to reach a new customer who perhaps weren’t aware of our existing collections.

Arran Naturals Balm Pic:Gail Kelly

Are all the old collections continuing and what are the bestsellers?

Yes the original Arran Sense of Scotland collections will very much continue as normal. The best sellers are our After the Rain shower gel and new Shea Body Butter.

Will the new range be appearing in hotels/spas?

We are at the initial stages of speaking to hotel and spa partners via our wholesalers. Feedback so far has been very good, so we are hopeful to see Arran Naturals in venues before too long.

How did lockdown affect the brand, as well as the current energy price rise and cost-of-living crisis?

Like the majority of businesses around the world, lockdown was a challenge for us. However we took it as an opportunity to pivot the business and focus almost solely on our online offering meaning the business has now taken a completely new shape. We are also feeling the effects of the energy price hike but we are absorbing all costs until at least January 2023 to keep life as comfortable for our customers as we can.

Home Farm

Any new shops/other collections in the pipeline?

We have no new shops in the planning, however we have a whole programme of product development in place until 2024, including a new range for Arran Sense of Scotland and two new fragrances in Arran Naturals.

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