Royal Siam’s new “Charter of Confidence” is a document containing six sections, in which the company makes a number of very specific commitments to customers, and sets out clearly the things Royal Siam wishes to be accountable for.
The sections cover product guarantees and replacement terms (including a ‘no questions asked’ full money back guarantee if for any reason a customer is not satisfied within three months of purchase), commitments regarding use of ingredients containing human tissue, animal testing, ethical trading, sustainability, data privacy, transparency of ingredients, accuracy in product claims, and a number of other key areas of commitment.
The need for such a clear written statement became evident when customer reaction to Royal Siam’s general commitments relating to these issues was muted, and research into this issue revealed the fact that consumers generally believed most companies had a similar approach so there was really nothing unique in the way Royal Siam’s consumer commitments differed from the industry norms.
“Consumer perception that most companies offer the same sort of commitments and they really only alter at the margins is completely false,” says Royal Siam’s head, David Christensen. “There are no consistent commitments across the industry; some things that most consumers would consider mandatory are notably absent even from some of the multinational manufacturers;
Mr Christensen cites the research his company conducted into the commitments to customers made by around 30 of the top skincare and anti aging products manufacturers around the world. “There was a lot of consistency on the areas that are covered by specific regulations, such as data privacy and compliance with the mandatory codes of consumer conduct and product licensing, labeling and promotion within specific markets to ensure that the minimum legal requirements are adhered to, but practically nothing – and certainly nothing consistent – on anything that is not mandatory. And these of course are the things consumers are most interested in.”
The result of this research was the decision to create a single document that brought together all of the various areas of customer commitment and made them highly visible and very specific. “We wanted to get away from vague statements and words with woolly definitions and be very concrete,” says Mr Christensen.
The outcome, which Royal Siam terms their “Charter of Confidence” attempts to provide an objective benchmark on matters that are often open to subjective interpretation. “So for example we have used adherence to the United Nations ‘Earth Charter’ as the best way to commit to sustainability issues, and the US ‘Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’ as the best way to commit to ethical conduct” he says.
“In terms of product ingredients we have committed to full transparency so the consumer knows exactly what they are buying - and that stance is well ahead of industry normal practice and the regulatory minimum for cosmetic or non-drug products in most markets which allow quite a lot of freedom in what is not declared,” he states. “We have also made a commitment not to use terms like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in a misleading way which is unfortunately commonplace within the industry,” he comments.
Royal Siam is hoping their “Charter of Confidence” achieves two outcomes. Firstly, they are hopeful that consumer response will be positive and that will translate into increased sales. But of equal importance Royal Siam wants to act as a catalyst to improve the way the skincare and personal care industry relates to consumers.
“I know there are a lot of ethical producers out there who have the same set of principles as we do, and we are hoping they will take our lead in articulating their commitments in a similar way – in fact they are welcome to copy all or part of our Charter if they wish. Because the more companies that are explicit in terms of what they stand for the better informed consumers will be, and the greater spotlight will be on those who continue to brush aside this accountability”
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Royal Siam’s “Charter of Confidence” can be obtained in full at https://www.royalsiam.asia/
The Charter’s Six areas of commitment are:
1. Money back guarantee
2. Product ingredients
3. Ethical and sustainable business practices
4. Business principles
5. Product claims and transparency
6. Data privacy and security