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MKT1002 Marketing Communication Plan Assignment
The Body Shop was established in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, a human rights activist and environmental campaigner (Thebodyshop.com 2018). The brand is concerned with the production and manufacture of skin-care cosmetic products. The fact that differentiates its products from those of its competitors is that its products are made from natural ingredients and are cruelty-free, being sourced ethically. It is regarded as the first cosmetic brand that had strictly prohibited animal-testing. The present report aims to illustrate how The Body Shop, through its campaigns and programs, had been able to set up unique market business strategies that communicated its plans to its target customers and retained their loyalty (Global Cosmetics News 2018).
The Marketing Communication Campaign for The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a brand that believes in “Beauty with heart”. This motto was heavily reflected in its market strategies that included several Human Rights, Environmental Protection and CSR focussed campaigns. Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, had a vision to reach out to its customers by means of unique communication channels. These campaigns appropriately served that purpose. Few of those campaigns were:
The Body Shop began its social activism “Save the Whales” in 1986 in partnership with Greenpeace (Global Cosmetics News 2018). Through this campaign, the brand was able to introduce the concept of Fair trade as a prime proposition in retail industry.
In collaboration with a non-profit organisation, Cruelty Free International in 1996, The Body Shop had launched its infamous campaign “Forever Against Animal Testing” (Global Cosmetics News 2018). This global campaign was aimed at banning the process of testing cosmetic products on animals also raising awareness about using natural ingredients in cosmetics. Amidst the 2006 controversy regarding L’Oreal, a company renowned for its involvement in animal testing, acquiring The Body Shop, the company managed to actively continue with its “Forever Against Animal Testing” in 66 markets across the world (Global Cosmetics News 2018). This gathered more support when the new owner of Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos managed to acquire The body Shop back from L’Oreal. Soon after, the brand its first environmental campaign aimed at stopping the burning of rainforests in Brazil. It was successful in mobilising the citizens, millions of whom signed petition signature which were taken up to the Brazilian President (Global Cosmetics News 2018).
As stated by the brand’s officials based in Canada, Jessie Macneil-Brown, the Senior Manager of International Campaigns and Corporate Responsibility and Jayme Jenkins, the VP of Marketing and Corporate Responsibility, The Body Shop had gathered exceptional popularity in Canada where people acknowledged their effort of ethical branding in response to various global issues (Chesters 2018).
It is a common knowledge that a customer takes interest in a product or service when they can relate their own perceptions and beliefs with those of the brand. The Body Shop strategically aligned its marketing channels such that it is able to communicate its core ethics and values to the customers (Urde, Baumgarth and Merrilees 2013). The five core values that make up The Body Shop comprise of:
Prohibition on Animal Testing
1. Ecological Stability- By Manufacturing Natural and Environment-Friendly skincare products and focussing on efficient waste management. In 1995, the company made an effort to raise awareness against petroleum dumping in the Niger Delta which was the homeland of the Ogoni Tribe. The campaign continued actively till 1998 (Thebodyshop.com 2018).
2. Community Fair Trade- By spreading the message that looking and feeling good can be achieved simultaneously with protecting the planet against hazardous practices. A magazine called “The Big Issue” was launched to make people aware of the plight of Homeless people and also to help them through The Body Shop Foundation Project (Thebodyshop.com 2018).
3. Human Rights- With active support from the Dalai Lama and Amnesty International, a campaign called “Make your Mark” was started on the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to raise Social Awareness and achieve Economic Development through it (Thebodyshop.com 2018).
4. Self-Esteem and Women Empowerment- It is one of the most important aspect in achieving high brand value by providing financial stability of women who can fulfil their own needs. The brand was successfully able to incorporate this core belief into practice by creating a doll called Ruby who challenged all kinds of beauty stereotypes. It mainly focussed on how female have skewed perceptions of their body image because of those stereotypes laid down by the society (Chesters 2018).
From its very inception, The Body Shop had clear intention of establishing itself as the most ethical and sustainable global business. The brand’s founder, Anita Roddick, was the pioneer of the idea that a successful business in beauty and aesthetics can run simultaneously with bringing about positive changes in human perceptions and the environment at large. Therefore along with the environmental campaigns, the company was associated with certain noticeable efforts in conserving human rights such as the Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign, that delivered a support of around seven million signatures to the United Nations and altered the legislative processes in more than 20 countries across the world and the Stop Violence in the Home Campaign that was launched in 2003 to raise global awareness against domestic violence and accumulate fund to help the victims of such violence (Thebodyshop.com 2018). It must be mentioned here that its environmental campaigns were not limited to saving wildlife and forest but as a whole, choosing renewable sources of energy to maintain the ecological balance. Energy is an integral source for the survival of all enterprises. Hence it was imperative to conserve it for future generations. Around six million people had supported this cause of The Body Shop and had submitted their petition to the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (Global Cosmetics News 2018).
Marketing Communication Mix
The four Elements in its marketing communication mix include:
1. Products- The Body Shop has a wide range of skin care products that cater to women of both younger and older ages. It has a diversified product portfolio that not only limits itself to skincare but also hair care and well-ness products. It also has a range of products included in categories such as face treatment, make-up and fragrance (Chesters 2018).
2. Places- The Body Shop is headquartered in the West Sussex in the United Kingdom. The Brand approximately has around 3049 self-owned as well as franchisee outlets and a huge international presence in Belgium, Italy, Saudi Arabia, France, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Romania, Finland, Japan, Canada, Korea, Bangladesh and Hungary (Chesters 2018). The company has the advantage of a strong distribution network from sourcing of raw materials till its delivery in well-designed outlets with peaceful ambience. It marketing and communication system is also facilitated by a multilevel retail network.
3. Price- The Body Shop is a natural care and luxurious brand and having positioned itself so, it has identified those women as their target customers who are health and beauty conscious and belong to a relatively higher income group. The annual revenue by the end of 2018 financial year was 1.4 billion US Dollars (Thebodyshop.com 2018). Very recently, it has shifted its target towards men, manufacturing products for them too.
4. Promotion- The Body Shop makes use of several promotional strategies to communicate its product to its target customers. These include social media marketing, online marketing from its own website, and tie-ups with other shopping portals. Other than that it has the advantage of several celebrity collaboration which helps it to enrich its advertisements. Apart from that, The Body Shop, ever since it had been founded, had been engaged in several environmental and social campaigns that equally accentuates its rand value, image and accessibility to its target customers.
Social Media Marketing of The Body Shop
Promotion is one of the most important too or aspect in a marketing communication strategy. In order to communicate the knowledge about a product or service, companies make use of several types of promotional strategies including Sales Promotion, Personal Selling, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Sponsorship, Advertising and Social Media Marketing. The Body Shop has religiously taken to social media marketing in order to reach out to its target customers. It has put a lot of investment and resources to strengthen its online media channels, especially because in a global scenario, it is always trickier to understand consumer preference. Through its campaigns, it was able to deliver a message rather than a product. People all over the world had supported the environmental and social concerns raised by this brand. Digitalisation helped in accelerating this whole process where groups of such customers, from all cultures and backgrounds, could come together and discuss these issues along with the products delivered by The Body Shop, in an interactive forum brought about by social media (Chesters 2018). This engagement further helped to enhance the brand’s popularity. Interested customers made use of social work listening functionality offered by the platform to share their insight on the product’s effectivity and such content helped the company to take appropriate measures with respect to service delivery.
Budget as an important Communication Vehicle of The Body Shop
In order to have a clear knowledge regarding the effectivity of its communication strategy that is campaign or social media marketing, The Body Shop makes a clear outline of its budget plan and the cost effectivity of that plan (Chesters 2018). This knowledge gives it the idea about all such objectives that were met and thus aids it to move towards future planning.
The Body Shop has been able to establish well defined strategies which had competently kept its customer base actively engaged in its products.
1. First of all it had clearly laid out how its products were tested if they were not being tested on animals. The company uses a special; laboratory based technique called EpiSkin, grown from human skin that conduct all the safety check on cells (Thebodyshop.com 2018).
2. Secondly, the company had always ensured that its 4P marketing strategies were strengthened to the core that will keep their base of loyal customers intact.
3. Thirdly, it was considerably focussed at improving and modifying its public relations skills which kept the inertia of social engagement afloat.
The Action Plan
In order to increase the customer engagement with its products, The Body Shop has implemented a wide range of approaches like re-evaluation of its SEO Strategies, improving the staff engagement programmes so that they become more motivated and customer-focused, it has restructured and modified the designs of most of its stores through LED lighting and non-toxic paints and packaging styles (Chesters 2018).
In its social media platform, it has launched new visuals and videos that put their campaigns and causes at forefront and aligns them with its product utility. It has extensively restructured most of its content. Furthermore, the company has also been active in Instagram and Snapchat to keep itself updated on consumer preferences.
Such action plans have been introduced by the company to its customers as its mission for 2020 under the philosophy of its new campaign ‘Enrich not Exploit’ (Thebodyshop.com 2018). Another initiative taken by the company is the ‘Bio-Bridge Project’ that aims to reconnect displaced communities with its Bio-Diverse Habitats (Thebodyshop.com 2018). The Body Shop has made sure that its customers are well-aware of its core manufacturing value of using natural ingredient with sustainable energy resource that focusses on reducing fossil fuel exploitation. Through such philosophy it has been able to establish itself as a commercial product that strives to achieve a purpose beyond profit.
Post Testing and Campaign Tracking
As a result of its commercial reputation of being a beauty and cosmetic brand that is relentlessly fighting against animal testing and environmental exploitation, The Body Shop has received a huge amount of support from various celebrities across the world including top models like Bar Rafaeli, Nykhor who was the former face of Louis Vuitton and actors like Adrian Grnier. Common citizens, inspired by such support of the celebrities had joined hands with the company to sign petition against cruelty on animals. This accounted for around 8 million signature which foi=und its place in UN General Assembly in 2018 (Thebodyshop.com 2018).
The Body Shop had also made a mark in European Union ban in joint collaboration with its long term campaign partner, Cruelty Free International to uphold prohibition of animal testing, a practice that is still vehemently continued by most cosmetic industries in different parts of the world (Chesters 2018). It celebrated when the campaign was successful in banning sale of all imported animal tested products in Europe.
The only recommendation that could be suggested for improvement of its product sales is differentiating its products range to cater to the middle income group. As Body Shop mainly caters as a luxurious products for only the high income group, much of the population are not able to attain the benefits offered by a beauty brand that is not animal tested and completely natural. The company, by restructuring its budget plans can achieve the cost effectivity associated with such aspect.
In conclusion to the above report it can be suggested that The Body Shop has been able to establish its marketing Communication Strategies successfully by means of noteworthy campaigns in fundamental global issues. Through such measures, it has not only been able to create a niche market for its customers but also raised awareness among them about serious global issues like wildlife extinction, ecological imbalances, disruption in biodiversity and exploitation of fossil fuel. Through such attempts it has been able to create a more responsible world for tomorrow.