When I first started JOON, a natural health and body care brand for 6 - 12 year old girls, I realized that I had a lot of work to do to understand how young girls think about beauty and, more specifically, healthy beauty. It has been a long long time since I was that age (I prefer not to reveal my age!). So, the first thing I did was held several focus groups with girls. We had a blast! You'd be surprised how willing girls are to talk about themselves and interesting topics when they're sitting on a comfy couch surrounded by their friends. It was as if I (and my camcorder!), didn't even exist.
I was told by so many people that the JOON logo and our color scheme was way too "young". "These girls aspire to be like their older sisters." "They see things in magazines and that's what they want." Hmmmmm...really? What I learned was that these girls are pretty happy with who they are and where they are at this stage in their lives. They're not trying to be a pre-teen...not at all. They still consider their parents and soccer coaches role models. Of course, they're into Hanna Montana, but at this age, they don't see her through the same lens as a pre-teen or even adult would. They see a young girl wearing cute clothes who having fun.
At one point in the discussion, I placed the words "healthy beauty" on a big piece of paper and had the girls, without first discussing it, go up and write down words that they believed fit their idea of "healthy beauty".
Comfortable. Strong. Powerful. Pretty. Smart. (after some discussion, one girl said, "well, I guess for some you'd have to add popular to this list, but not for me." "No, not for us either," another commented.) These were some powerful words coming unsolicited from the mouths of babes. I was impressed.
We conducted several more groups and even held a few groups with the moms of the girls. Their responses were consistent.
The JOON brand is reflective of who these 6 - 12 year old girls are. JOON celebrates being a girl and the unabashed joy that comes along with that. We celebrate the freedom that they have of being who they are and starting to figure out who they want to be. JOON encourages them to make better choices for themselves and to be a leader among their peers. Comfortable. Strong. Powerful. Pretty. Smart. That's who they are and how they manifest healthy beauty.
As adults, we have preconceived ideas of what young children are about because of what we hear or things we read. My preconceived ideas quickly disappeared and were replaced by a new and amazing perspective. I'm not so sure I'd want to repeat my teenage years, but how great it would be to be a young girls again. If you think back, I'm pretty sure you'll recall some great and innocent moments.
visit the JOON blog to learn more about JOON and join in the conversation about Natural and Healthy Beauty. www.itsjoon.com/blog