The Body Shop

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The Body Shop (TBS) has developed 2500 stores in 60 countries with a range of over 1,200 products in approximately 30 years, and is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world. After the first TBS's outlet founded in 1976, the company has experienced rapid growth and with expanding rate of 50% annually. When its stock first obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange, its price increased by more than 500%. In 1999, TBS was even voted as the second most trusted brand in UK by the Consumers Association. The founder, Anita Roddick had received numerous awards including Dame Commander of the British Empire for her contributions. (Roddick, Anita Lucia - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Anita Lucia Roddick, Social and Economic Impact). TBS's success is hard to observe from the extrinsic value but the ethical value which make the success of TBS so legendary and inspiring.

Anita Roddick, founder of TBS first entered the industry by using £4,000 to open a small stand-alone shop of natural ingredient cosmetics and skincare products. Through her early travel experience, she had seen the potential of those natural ingredients being produced as cosmetic and skincare products commercially. Due to the budget constraint, Roddick used the urine sample containers purchased from local hospital as the containers of her products. The shop's walls are painted with dark green to cover the damp. To save cost on advertisement, Roddick spread aroma in front of her shop to gain attention of the patrons. The strategy pursued was a huge success and another shop was able to be opened before the first year ended. In its second year, the company started to franchise the operation and by 1984 TBS already had 138 stores while 87 of them were located outside UK. The development of the company continued to soar when it went public in 1984. At the same time, Roddick started her efforts to encourage and contribute to social and environmental problems such as campaign of issues against animal testing in cosmetic and recycling.

In 1987, TBS's Trade Not Aid program started. It was aimed to help sustaining third countries' people livelihood. (Roddick, Anita Lucia - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Anita Lucia Roddick, Social and Economic Impact) Besides, TBS's charitable activities included aiding communities close to home and various donations. Roddick was strongly persistent with her own singular vision, that business could be a force for good, and that profits could be made without compromising principles which corresponding with TBS's mission statement, "To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change." In 1990, TBS Foundation was launched to give financial support to pioneering and frontline organizations that aim to achieve progress in the areas of human and civil rights, environmental and animal protection. (TBS values & campaigns) The website of TBS was launched in 1995 to keep pace with IT revolution. In 2002, Roddick stepped down as the co-chairperson of TBS International PLC but remained back as non-executive director. In 2006, TBS was purchased by Loreal which is not against animal testing. This move has raised a huge controversy around the supporters of TBS, however the company clarified that it is operated independently within the Loreal Group. Until now, TBS is still the icon of ethics business for many people.

These are three well-known policies that TBS taken as their core values of products:

Against animal testing

TBS is approved by the internationally recognized Humane Cosmetic Standard which is against conducting or commission cruel tests on animal for cosmetic ingredients and products. In 1980, animal tests were popular among cosmetics brand. Later, these numbers dropped gradually and companies bowed to public opinion and in 1999 there were none in Britain. While TBS is among one of the leading forces to object these not humane experiments, they always emphasized that they have never and will never test their cosmetic products or commission others to do it.

Support community trade

Most multinational corporate are just searching for cheap labour force in undeveloped countries while TBS has pioneered a program called 'community trade', not only about charity trade, but to achieve economic development and empowerment which provides opportunities for disadvantaged producers, especially women and indigenous people. The value chain to the advantage of producers is reconfigured, often via reducing multiple mark-up inefficiencies and cutting out exploitative middleman. TBS realized that without development of the community, any development in the community will be ineffective. (Allen R. ) As a result, the company introduces fair trade by buying the ingredients and resources they demand in the production of their products from those people with higher than market price. One of the examples is the purchase of cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo Company in Ghana, which is a fair trade cooperative with over 30,000 small-scale farmers.

Protect our planet

The 3R concept which represents reuse, recycle, refill has been utilized well in TBS. The company encourages the consumers to return the containers of their products after use to their outlets. From early 2008 onwards, 100% recycled plastic bottles and paper bags were introduced. TBS organized campaigns to raise conscious of people about the responsibility being a citizen of earth to protect the environment.

Discussions

Innovation and entrepreneurship are linked by a common concern for the creation of new phenomena, whether new organizations operating in increasingly competitive markets, innovation is often a condition of simple survival. For public sector organizations, ceaseless cost pressures and increasing public demands are compelling constant innovation and even new kinds of entrepreneurship. Before the company is established, European have just started to talk about "green" and nobodies have linked this concept with business while Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is still a new term to the industry. As firms are always pursuit profit maximizing target, bringing ethical values in may create a dilemma between these two objectives. However, having the reputation as the most fearless and passionate female entrepreneur in the history of cosmetic world, Anita Roddick refused to separate her strong personal sense of social responsibility from the company values. TBS has taken so much risk to bring new concepts into the production and the marketing strategy. This strong commitment has given the company strength to gather loyal consumers who share common values. Eventually, TBS has proven the validity of CSR by showing a tremendous success.

TBS saves a huge amount of money by not advertising but to put more efforts in social activities than other mainstream cosmetic brands, which gives it a same effect of publicity. It is an alternative way to generate mass publicity for the company without throwing big money to capture rosy commercial advertisement. A very good example of this is TBS's first major campaign in 1986 which is alliance with Greenpeace in UK, 'Save the Whale'. This campaign has helped to promote the new product line of TBS which is using jojoba oil as the ingredient to substitute the whale spermaceti.

In the cosmetics market that time, the business models are already standardized. TBS has focused on the business level strategy to obtain and sustain differentiation and advantage on competitors in the same industries. Not like other cosmetic brands which highly advertised the artificially created beauty and expensive ingredients, the products it offered provided no miracle effects other than cleaning and protecting. The usual finely designed bottles were also replaced with simple containers which are made from recyclable materials. The company also set up its own store while most of the cosmetics brands were locating them inside the shopping centre. TBS has highly concentrated on developing a drastically different image which is more focused on the ethical value and natural quality in it. The company has succeeded in challenging the accepted value curve of luxury cosmetics and beauty products to create one based on more ethical values. The social activism approach that taken by TBS has created a whole new group of consumer which is ethical living oriented. This is a very smart step taken by TBS, not only building customer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values, the company itself also benefits from gaining a high reputation and fame for environment friendly and contribution to the public. This unique positioning of TBS also made itself more invulnerable from price cutting wars. The company has presented such a distinct motive compared to other profit oriented corporations. Consumers choose products of TBS based on the conscience that generate naturally by their own judgments.

Conclusion

TBS has shown an exceptional entrepreneurship and achieved high recognition by creating a different corporate culture in its industry. Entrepreneur defines a person who is willing and capable of converting a new idea into a successful new product or service, while taking risks all along the way to get there. (Entrepreneurial Thinking: The Story Of Anita Roddick From TBS, 2009) It is a truly risky move as the company has to overcome the high uncertainty to implement such novel thing to the world, which later also created a whole new market that never existed before. When the company is founded, there is still no precedent of bundling ethical values together with cosmetic and skincare business, TBS is the first company to emerge this idea and adapt it into reality. TBS has the advantage to develop the market for natural ingredients made cosmetic and skincare products. The key branding has been so successful as the term 'green business' and 'ethical shopping' has already became its brand identity. On a range of surveys, ethically sensitive consumers are no longer a small, if vocal, pressure group: rather, a third of the public now see themselves as "strongly ethical".The eccentric and ethical style of the company could generate fierce loyalty. (Gerry Johnson, 2008) As these concepts like fair trade and green business is now in the mainstream in many countries with increasing levels of public awareness and multinational company involvement, TBS is able to retain the enthusiasm and commitment from their workers and generating stable growth.

References

  • Allen, R. (n.d.). Beyond timber: social, economic and cultural dimensions of non-wood forest products in Asia and the Pacific - TBS experience. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from FAO Corporate Document Repository: http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5336e/x5336e0h.htm Allen, S. (n.d.). Anita Roddick - Redefining Business As We Know It. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from About.com.Entrepreneurs: http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/famousentrepreneurs/p/anitaroddick.htm Andrew Crane, D. M. (Ed.). (2007). Corporate social responsibility Vol 3 : Corporate social responsibility in global context. London: Sage. Entrepreneurial Thinking: The Story Of Anita Roddick From TBS. (2009, February 20). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Professional Online Publishing: New Media Trends, Communication Skills, Online Marketing - Robin Good's MasterNewMedia: http://www.masternewmedia.org/entrepreneurial-thinking-the-story-of-anita-roddick-from-the-body-shop/ George R. Goethals, G. S. (2004). Encyclopedia of leadership Volume 4. Sage Publications. Gerry Johnson, K. S. (2008). Exploring corporate strategy : text & cases. Financial Times Prentice Hall ; Pearson Education. Joe Tidd, J. B. (2005). Managing Innovation. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Maltoni, V. (2007, September 13). Innovation: Value-based Customer Service is not Lip Service. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/fast-company-staff/fast-company-blog/innovation-value-based-customer-service-not-lip-service-0 Roddick, A. (n.d.). AnitaRoddick.com. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from About Anita Roddick: http://anitaroddick.com/aboutanita.php Roddick, Anita Lucia - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Anita Lucia Roddick, Social and Economic Impact. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Online Encyclopedia: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/6347/Roddick-Anita-Lucia.html Roy, S. (2008, September). "Business as usual": A case study on TBS. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Journal of Applied Case Research: http://www.swcrahome.org/Cases/Body_Shop.pdf Staunig, J. (n.d.). Design Driven Innovation - Collection: TBS. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Design Driven Innovation: http://www.designdriveninnovation.com/ddicases/DDI-Collection_BODYSHOP.pdf Swann, G. P. (2009). The Economics of Innovation - an introduction. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. TBS International plc Company History. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec 3, 2009, from Funding Universe: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/The-Body-Shop-International-plc-Company-History.html TBS INTERNATIONAL PLC Values report 2009. (2009). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from TBS INTERNATIONAL PLC: http://www.thebodyshop.com/_en/_ww/values-campaigns/assets/pdf/Values_report_lowres_v2.pdf TBS values & campaigns. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from TBS : http://www.thebodyshop.com/_en/_ww/values-campaigns/index.aspx? Vidhya Alakeson, C. S. (2004, July). Innovation for Sustainable Development. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Forum For The Future: www.forumforthefuture.org/files/Innovationforsd.pdf
  • Writing Services

    Essay Writing
    Service

    Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

    Assignment Writing Service

    From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

    Dissertation Writing Service

    A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

    Coursework Writing Service

    Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

    Dissertation Proposal Service

    The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

    Report Writing
    Service

    Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

    Essay Skeleton Answer Service

    If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

    Marking & Proofreading Service

    Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

    Exam Revision
    Service

    Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.