The initial brand strategy
According to Kapferer, a brand is a name that influences buyer. The body shop experienced huge increase from its first launch in year 1976, at the rate of 50% annually, by differentiating itself as champion of human rights and fair trade
At that time, those well-known cosmetic companies are strongly advertising their outstanding high tech applied in their products and emphasizing how much beauty, youth and lovely images their band products can bring to consumers, especially female consumers. These bands put a lot of efforts and money on super models or stars endorsements, color page ads magazine, media advertising in order to build their beauty creator myth. They also spend a lot of money on bottles and package designs to support their luxury prices.
The body shop succeeded in differentiating itself as anti glitz, anti waster, and natural ingredients according to its five core brand values:
- Against animal testing – Every one of The Body Shop products is animal cruelty free and vegetarian. In fact they were the first international cosmetics brand to be recognized under the Humane Cosmetics Standard for our Against Animal Testing policy.
- For trading fairly– The Body Shop believes in fair trade to such an extent, that over 20 years ago we set up our own fair trade program, called Community Fair Trade. They believe this level of commitment to trading fairly is unique in the cosmetics industry. Community Fair Trade now works with over 30 suppliers in more than 20 countries, providing over 25,000 people across the globe with essential income to build their futures. Most of The Body Shop products contain Community Trade ingredients.
- Defend Human Rights – The Body Shop believes that natural rights, including freedom of speech, life and property security, and expressed as a practical action to support and maintenance of basic human rights. They commit ourselves to help victims of domestic violence and child abuse.
- Activate Self-Esteem – Through propaganda, activities to support gender equality, against discrimination, and encourage everyone to accept natural appearance and quality, not grandiose propaganda packaging to sell their products.
- Protect our Planet – Long-term commitment to environmental protection work, thoroughly implement the 3 r: Recycle, Reuse, energy. We introduced environmental empty bottle recycling action, raising consumer environmental protection consciousness, and support research and development of « renewable » and « green » energy.
It won the heart of many customers by making them look and feel good. The Body Shop became world famous as it was the first cosmetics brand that did not test its products on animals, and developed and supported all sorts of campaigns to support animals and fight for their rights. It was also unique that the retailer was only selling its own label in its own store, being a pioneer in mono brand retail.
The re-branding in Year 2012
After The Body Shop encountered enormous performance decline due to economic downturn from year 2010, it started to plan re-branding itself and launched the re-branding in year 2012.
Because of economic situation, customers became more price sensitive. Also, as more and more cosmetic brands entered in the niche market with nature and healthy images, the body shop was facing the problem from growing competition.
By understanding their customer and own situation, The body shop decided to reinvent itself in front of consumers as beauty credentials and product innovation, and focus on positioning the brand for the new generation so they understand what the brand and products stand for. It was a new start of a beauty movement called “Beauty with Heart”.
Of course all these transformations were based on commitment to its consistent ethic values which brand loyalty was build upon. According to customer research, 64% of their loyal shoppers are ready to pay more for an ethical product. The comparable figure is only 45% for less regular customers. And while 83% are more likely to choose retailers that take social and environmental issues seriously.