Body Shop Brand: Repositioning to Target the 'Masstige' Segment and Impact of its Acquisition by L'Oréal

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG181
Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2000-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Body Shop International Plc.
Industry : Beauty care / Cosmetics
Countries : Europe, USA.

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

In 1970, Roddick (then Anita Perella) and Gordon Roddick (Gordon) saw a store called "The Body Shop" in Berkeley, California, USA, selling cosmetics like shampoos, lotions, body creams, etc. The store was run by two entrepreneurs, Jane Saunders (Saunders) and Peggy Short (Short), who sold these cosmetics on the 'care for the environment' plank...

Building the Brand through Societal Marketing

During the initial years, TBS adopted a marketing approach that was different from other traditional retailers of cosmetic products. The products were promoted through offbeat brochures. Roddick's social and environmental activism was also central to the company's marketing strategy.

Her views about business as a model for social change and her rhetoric against standard corporate practices soon attracted a lot of media attention. Roddick had said, "There is no more powerful institution in society than business. I believe it is now more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership."...

Re-Positioning the Brand to Target The 'Masstige' Segment

In the early 2000s, some analysts felt that the marketing approach of TBS had become no better than that of the typical retailers as it had gone soft on the activism agenda. Following poor financial performance, the management was changed and Roddick relinquished her position as the co-chairperson in 2002...

Marketing Initiatives in 2005

In 2005, TBS took forward its strategy to consolidate its 'masstige' positioning by launching new products and various campaigns. The aim was to drive sales by providing customers with an improved shopping experience. The focus was on launching an innovative range of personal care products, new store design, and customer service programs for sales associates and TBS At Home consultants. As a part of product development strategy, various innovative products were launched that aimed to encourage multiple purchases and higher transaction values (Refer to Table II for new products launched in 2005)...

Criticisms Faced Over the Years

Though the company was widely considered as a pioneer in corporate social responsibility it also had its fair share of critics. Since the 1990s, TBS had to face increased scrutiny from many quarters. For instance, Jon Entine (Entine), a business ethics expert, was one of its fiercest critics...

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