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A Study On Body Shop Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3235 words Published: 29th Mar 2016

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Body Shop aims to achieve long term corporate growth through the exploitation of a differentiation strategy in satisfying customer needs in terms of beauty products supporting a relaxed, natural and healthy life style. In addition the Body Shop seeks to contribute to society by holding campaigns including ones against animal testing, on environmental issues as well as support for domestic violence help hotlines.

  • Product:
    To provide varied ranges of high quality natural and/or environmentally friendly products to the public.
  • People:
    To build good relationships with interested parties including shareholders, employees, customers and the general public.
  • Branding:
    To create and maintain a strong brand name for the Body Shop in terms of high levels of awareness and recognition in the market for quality products and superior service.
  • Organisation:
    To achieve organisational growth over the long term.
  • Social responsibility
    To encourage community trade and in turn to develop solid relationships with suppliers who provide natural ingredients.
    To consistently oppose the testing of products on animals.
    To focus on the protection of human rights such as in actions against child labour.

2. Competitive and Brand positioning

As one of the most famous beauty products brand the Body Shop is positioned as a natural ingredient cosmetics producer and provider. A core image of the brand is that it seeks to improve the quality of people’s life through sourcing and producing environmentally friendly and natural products. In adding to this element of the brand the strong promotion of corporate and social responsibility through supporting various campaigns further strengthens the brand’s positioning as an internationally ‘Green’ company.

3. Marketing Strategic Objectives for 2006

The marketing strategic objectives are based on the corporate aims outlined for 2006 which are focused on different areas including product, people, branding, organisation and social responsibilities.


1. Offer high quality beauty products sourced from natural ingredients based suppliers.

2. Offer products which are able to improve quality of life including both cosmetics and home goods ranges such as home fragrance products.

3. Offer a high level of professional customer service through motivated and trained customer care and beauty consultants.


1. Provide superior and professional customer services based on high quality products and high standards of employee training.

2. Maintain a stable relationship with employees in order to fulfil effective work performance in terms of customer service.

3. Satisfy the corporate board by achieving financial goals including increasing sales and profit returns in 2006 and achieve organisational growth through securing a 10% market share.


1. Improve brand awareness through an effective marketing and communication mix.

2. Maintain brand images reflecting core business principles

3. Improve sales performance supported by branding strategy.

Achieve organisational growth.

1. Secure organisational expansion in the next three years in the UK and Irish regions.

2. Achieve a 10% growth rate in 2006 and 5% in the following two years.

3. Achieve market leadership in the natural beauty product retailing industry.

4. Maintain effective organisational controls through intranet and supporting team work between different departments.

5. Maintain good relationships with suppliers in order to obtain cost advantage and logistical efficiencies.

Social responsibilities

1. Continuously express concerns with protecting animals and advocate against testing products on animals.

2. Improve public awareness on protecting the environment.

3. Improve performance in supporting protections of human rights.

4. Contribute to healthy industrial growth through supporting small natural ingredient suppliers and local fair trade produce.

4. Segmentation – Target Markets

Market segmentation is able to provide the basis for the selection of target markets which for the Body Shop’s targeted customers are general members of the public at all ages who seek natural and healthy beauty products. Additionally people who have an awareness of particular social issues which concern them such as animal testing and environmental protection are also targeted as potential customers. Firstly the Body Shop provides natural beauty product ranges including cosmetics for both women and men and home range. In this sense the general public from all age groups can be seen as potential customers. Secondly the most important variable in defining possible segmentations is based on psychographic characteristics namely lifestyle which will be discussed in detail in the next section. In additional the Body Shop brand is a quite famous national brand for beauty products in the UK and its brand image is closely linked with the campaigns it pursues in light of its corporate social responsibility objectives.

5. Target Characteristics

Customer segmentation for the Body Shop is strongly associated with psychographic variables namely lifestyle ones with one of the major characteristic of customers being growing levels of awareness over health and social issues Additionally another characteristic of beauty goods customers is that they are concerned with brands to a high degree. This is to say people prefer products which are both perceived as being healthy and which have a strong brand image linked with beauty products. Of note also is that along with traditional media forms the emergence and growth of new media channels in the UK such as the Internet represent new challenges and opportunities in targeting customers. According to research by BT it is forecasted that 90% of the country will have some type of Internet connection by 2010 with a large proportion being on high bandwidth connections such as ADSL which is suggested as being the basis for a new integrated communication and information environment (Kitchin, 1998). Arguably then the wide use of the Internet has become a vital characteristic of modern customers which the Body Shop needs to address.

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It is undoubted that the female customer group is the most important and major source of customers and that due to increasing pressures resulting from the growing role of women in the workplace there is a growing demand for lifestyle linked products. A healthy lifestyle has become a key expressed principle in modern life which is linked with people becoming more concerned with the environment and social issues. The Body Shop’s strong social responsibility programs in this area represent a significant advantage in targeting these customers which can be leveraged further.

6. Marketing Messages by Segment

The Body Shop cosmetics product ranges are mainly based on natural ingredients which is able to respond to the requirements for better levels of product quality exploiting an image of namely the more natural the better the product will be. While the strong brand image of the Body Shop generates competitive advantages in the natural beauty product market its association with the protection of animals, environmental issues and human rights allow it to respond to the changing preferences of customers in terms of supporting ethical and socially responsible companies. In response to the use of the Internet the online corporate website will play an increasing role in communicating with customers as well as the creation of new customers through effective web based communication.

7. Channel / Media choice a Justification with Indicative Costs

Public Relations

Haywood (1991) offers the definition of public relations as an organised two-way communication between an organisation and an audience. This definition is similar in implications in many respects with Jobber (2001)’s observation about the critical and essential role of public relations in management. Smith & Taylor (2004) argue that public relations is a vital tool in communication mixes during the marketing process it is though much more than simple communication but is engaged in before strategic decision making stages. This is to say that effective public relations must be planned and organised (Harrison, 1995). They should also be part of an integrated communication mix as well as a strategic tool to support other communication vehicles.

Against Animal Testing

It is arguably clear that good public relations practice will help companies to identify actual and potential customers. Thus the campaign run by the Body Shop in supporting alternatives to animal testing and refusing to sell products which have been tested on animals will help and establish a communicative acceptance and cooperation between the public and company in terms of brand image. While public relations itself is a growth area in the UK particularly in relation to news and media production its plays an increasingly vital role for the Body Shop in seeking to maintain its particular band image (Kitchen and Proctor, 1991). Stokes and Reading (1999) suggest that any active organisations seeking to be well-known by citizens have to focus on occurrences and actions within important cities. Therefore major campaigns should be held in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. Rough budget on this campaign is planned as being 500,000 GBP in light of design and printing cost of leaflets and notebooks as well as operational costs.

Protect Our Planet

In order to improve the level of awareness with environmental issues as well as raise funds for the protection of the environment the Body Shop should seek to design badges either with a charitable organisation engaged in environmental issues as a partner or a coalition of these. From the price of the badge a fixed amount should be diverted towards the charitable organisation. The sales force will be responsible for communicating with customers about this campaign and encourage them in raising funds for the charitable organisations supported in protecting the environment. A well designed badge with a predominant green background similar to the brand logo of the Body Shop is not only stylish but will be able to communicate with customers who are aware of and concerned with environmental protection issues. The cost budget for this campaign is estimated at being 300,000 GBP to cover promotion, design and production costs.

Direct Marketing

Direct communication tools are one of the most important marketing instruments in communicating with customers on a number of levels. This is because the sales force is able to communicate and respond to customers in a face to face context and the in store environment is also able to contribute to creating a customer friendly shopping experience. Professional customer service teams are not only responsible in consulting and providing full information about products but also in responding to special requirements and requests from individual customers looking for particular products and services or for information on these. Product samples will be available in stores in order to promote new or essential product ranges with costs here being estimated to be 5% of the overall product costs. Big in-store sales in support of these sustained promotional efforts are planned to be run twice in 2006 namely during the summer and during the Christmas period. Particularly the Christmas sales are designed to achieve the objective of satisfying customer demands for high quality yet good value for money Christmas gifts while the summer sales will be used primarily to promote new product ranges. The promotional related cost for sales are planned to be 500,000 GBP with other costs dependent on mark down percentages on products being offered at sales prices.

8. Indicative Timings

The communication events in public relations related to the sale of charity badges and social responsibility campaigns will be run over a period of one year with regular monthly events at different store locations. This is because public relations activities require a longer time to build up their effectiveness and also these activities seek to foster long term awareness of core brand related images.

The communication mix based on store catalogues and leaflets is planned to be delivered over a three month period and follow up measurements in the ensuing two months will be carried out in order to test the efficiency of this communication tool.

The direct marketing communication strategy will also be a year long strategy with the two critical events being the summer sale to be held in the month of June and the Christmas sale during the month of December. Staff refresher courses prior to the promotion of products will be held in the month preceding the sales in order to ensure employees are sufficiently prepared in communicating with customers in terms of the product ranges being marketed and promoted.

9. Internal communications plan

While communication with customers is an essential part of the strategic communication mix however internal communications between different organisational levels and departments as well as subsidiary stores are of equal importance. In improving inter-store awareness a competition between all stores in different regions in the UK and Irish areas will be held in order to improve sales performance. Rewards in terms of financial and other forms such as the title of ‘The Best Body Shop’ will be given to the winners nationally and regionally with internal promotional literature highlighting best practise at these stores being distributed to all outlets. Secondly in-depth interviews will be carried out at both management level and sales teams and results communicated in internal literature to further strengthen the identification of best practise at successful stores. This communication process is based on a questionnaire based interview which aims to examine the capabilities of stores in achieving customer needs and corporate goals. Additionally monthly management meetings will be held in 2006 at local, regional and national level in order generate awareness of latest performance figures and opportunities and threats in and to the business operations. Examination of performance in the form of sales will be helpful in assessing linked problems and outcomes of competitive advantages.

10. Qualitative and Qualitative measures of success

The analysis of financial reports including weekly sales, monthly sales as well as detailed figures on best selling product ranges and single products will provide useful information in looking at the efficiency of the marketing communication plan. Bearing in mind the communication strategy both internally and externally to the company a sample for a questionnaire based survey will be drawn from four major groups within the company these being sales personnel, human resource personnel, line management and executive management. The questionnaire will seek to collect attitudinal and behavioural data which is able to be utilised in conducting a market orientation assessment of the company (Hooley et al, 2003, see Appendix). This data in terms of analysis will be framed in a manner exploring how well human resources are strategically exploited and how well in tune employees in the organisation are with the demands of its customers. Matching an analysis of these with sales data will also for a quantitatively informed assessment of strong and weak areas of the marketing function.

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Following on from this survey qualitatively based research will be undertaken. Focus groups and semi structured interviews will be conducted both within the organisation and with the company’s customers at a sample of good and poor performing stores. The use of semi-structured interviews will generate in-depth data and provide a ‘thick’ explanation of identified reasons for good or poor performance (Gubrium & Holstein, 2002). The focus groups will be drawn from the Lovethebody club and employees in order to collect data related to the themes and issues related to perceptions of changing customer needs. In particular here is seeking to explore different responses to these themes at various levels of employees within the company. As well as seeking to collect data in this regard the internal dynamics between employees at similar levels or functions within the company is aimed at exploring the effectiveness of flatter communication channels and flatter hierarchical management structures employed by the company in its deployment of a corporate intranet. This is a particularly useful means of generating data on how well management mission statements concerning customer needs are communicated and also how customer needs can be translated into effective training schemes for sales personnel (Fern, 2001). A final source of data will use the corporate website in hosting an online questionnaire which will explore the issues already discussed but also examine how effectively the corporate website is communicating the marketing message to online customers, (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996).


Coffey, A. & Atkinson, P. (1996) Making Sense of Qualitative Data, Sage, London UK.

Fern, E.E. (2001) Advanced Focus Group Research, Thousand Oaks, Calif USA.

Gubrium, J.F. & Holstein, J.A. (2002) Handbook of Interview Research: Context & Method, Sage Thousand Oaks, London UK.

Haywood, R. (1991) All About Public Relations: How to Build Business Success on Good Communications 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK) Limited, UK.

Harrison, S. (1995) Public Relations: an Introduction, Routledge, London UK.

Hooley, G.J., Saunders, J.A. & Piercy, N.F. (2003) Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning 3rd edition, FT Prentice Hall, London UK.

Jobber, D. (2001) Principles & Practice of Marketing 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, London UK.

Kitchen, P.J. & Proctor, T. (1991) The Increasing Importance of Public Relations in Fast Moving Consumer Goods Firms, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 7 Issue 4.

Kitchin, R. (1998) Cyberspace: The World in the Wires, Wiley, Chichester.

Smith, P.R. & Taylor, J. (2004) Marketing Communications: an Integrated Approach 4th edition, Kogan Page, UK.

Stokes, J. & Reading, A. (1999) The Media in Britain: Current Debates and Developments, Macmillan Press Ltd, UK


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