The Body Shop International plc, normally referred as The Body Shop is a U.K cosmetics as well as a skin care firm that is owned by L’Oréal. The company was established in 1976 (Chakraborty, 2016). Since its establishment, the company’s range of products has swelled. According to Dawood (2016), it now has more than 1200 products, selling in more than 2605 franchised stores, in more than 61 nations. The company is located in Littlehampton, West Sussex. Currently, the company deals with body, home, hair and face products. The company claims that its products are inspired by nature. Other products produced by the company include Body Butters, Men’s skin care, Fragrances for both men and women, hair care products and bath products that include solid soaps and shower gels. However, the company has not yet reached the pinnacle of its growth and it is determined to grow its product line, market share, and customer base. To realize the perceived growth, the company has to come up with various strategies and tactics that will ensure customers trust its products, ensure increased customer base and realize expanded product and customer base.
- To be the leading retail beauty company in the United Kingdom and around the globe in offering high quality products
- To be highly renowned for offering excellent customer care services, in timely manner
- To be the global brand in production of products meeting ethical standard
- Markets and customers: the company aims at increasing its markets share, customer base, growth in sales, product delivery and reliability
- To ensure employee reliability at work, through ensuring high degree of training and ensuring diversity
- Economic Performance: the company aims at ensuring increased cash flow, increase in return on assets, increased operating margin and expansion of investment levels.
- Environmental policy: The Body Shop aims at ensuring increased environmental conservation through better ways of disposing waste,
- Production: The company aims at reducing the manufacturing cost of its products through employment of new innovations, increasing flexibility and increasing production capacities
Company Marketing Strategy
Benefits of marketing
Marketing is very important to any business. Effective marketing ensures that the target customers get a clear understanding of the products and services that the customers deals with including their quality, precautions of use and other factors. In addition, effective marketing ensure brand recognition (Hernandez, Wright & Ferminiano Rodrigues, 2015). Through marketing, many people get clear details about the brand and ways of differentiating it from the competitors’ brands. Through marketing, the brand is instantly recognizable through many factors including slogan, brand name, and symbol. Moreover, marketing leads to increased sales of a product. When managed correctly, marketing leads to increased sales of products and services. This mainly results from increased internet traffic that is generated by different marketing means, including email campaigns, traffic resulting from business blogs, online and offline product launches, and traffic resulting from business blogs (Van Meir, 2016). Marketing leads to saving of the cost of production. With peaking of sales and increase of brand awareness, marketing efforts lead to savings of costs with decline in the marketing expenses (White & Peloza, 2009). The Body Shop is not an exception. It is aiming to realize these benefits in the next five years.
The 4 Ps marketing Model
The body Shop deals with beauty products including different types of perfumes and fragrances. The products include shaving, hair, body care, face care, accessories and Eau de Toilettes (The body Shop, 2015). In coming up with the products, the company conducts yearly research on the correlation between products and market demand. The various products come in packages, most of which are considered to be big. In overall, customers are not given the opportunity of choosing from a wide range of products since the products are not diversified.
However, for the next five years the company is determined to reap big through its products. To begin with, the company is planning to exploit the expanding make-up market for many. The company is planning to invest in scientific research to come up with make-up products for men. This will include skin products, hair products and fragrance products mainly made for men. Most of the existing men products in the company are unisex. However, the company is now fully determined to introduce products only made for men. It is worth noting that skin is different between men and women and the company is now planning to focus on the needs of men’s skin. The target group of the Body Shop is based on the beneficial segmentation since its product is only for the men having acnes on their faces. Unlike some couple of years back when men seemed not disturbed by sports on their faces, the trend is different today. Men are spending immensely on their faces through buying of lotions and other beauty products aimed improving their looks. For this reason, targeting the men with acnes on their faces is a sure market for the company. To meet the needs of this group, the company will invest heavily on research to come up with different products for this problem to avoid cases where some users of the products are allergic to the products or are negatively affected by the products. The company will conduct a market research on the affordability of the men make-up products to make sure that the products are affordable by large number of men. In addition, the research will also help in realizing the age group that is highly likely to purchase more of the products.
Moreover, most of the customers have been complaining about the packaging of the company’s products. Unlike most of the competitor companies that package in a manner to attract a large range of customers, the Body shop seems to only target customers buying large amounts of its products (Hobbs, 2015). However, in the next five years the company plans to increase its customer base through the introduction of small packaging targeting the low-income customers. Unlike in the UK where most of the customers are financially stable, customers in other parts of the globe are low-income earners and therefore the need for the company to come up with strategies to serve these customers. Ensuring small packaging seems the best option for the company to increase its market share and customer base.
In addition, in the next five years the company plans to introduce low price products and services mainly targeting some parts of Africa and Asia. Considering the poverty levels in nations from these areas, introduction of new products at cheaper price will earn the company new customers from these areas. For example, the company is targeting the poor population in India. In realizing this, the management is planning to increase its annual R & D budget. This will ensure that its researchers have enough money to finance different research activities geared at finding cheaper ways of manufacturing beauty products that target the low income customers.
According to Bui Trung (2016), price is the attached value for a product or service. Many customers view the company as one that only targets the high and middle-income customers. Body shop prices are high because of the high degree of differentiation and nature of branding, which is both ethical and environmental friendly. The big packaging of its products is another reason for the high prices. For this reason, the target market for the company has been the financially stable people in the society.
However, for the next five years the company is determined to subsidize the prices of its products to ensure they are affordable by the majority in the society. Moreover, for these five years the company is planning to increase its market segments to serve more people. To begin with, the company is planning to introduce small packaging. The small packages will be sold at cheaper prices. The target for these packages is the low-income customers in the society who, for the long time have not been able to afford the products. Considering that the company is planning to expand its market to some parts of Africa and Asia, which have large population of poor people, the strategy of introducing small packages will serve the company well. The strategy will ensure that most of its products are accessible and affordable by majority of population in these areas. Moreover, for the next five years the company is planning to invest huge amounts of money on research to come up with new methods of producing products at reduced costs compared to the current production costs. In addition, the budget will be used for employing experienced researchers and professionals as the research team for the company. The team will help in innovating new production approaches that will help the company to cut down its costs of production.
Since the company is planning to enter into new markets, it has to come up with new pricing approaches while entering the new markets. Market-penetration pricing will be the new strategy of the company while entering new markets for the next five years. While entering new markets mainly in Africa and Asia, the company will set relatively low prices for its products in order to attract many customers as well as get feedback from the public. Using this approach, most of the target customers will likely buy the products from the Body Shop. After most people get used to the product, the company will consider gradually adjusting the prices of their products.
In marketing, place refers to the distribution or the means of taking the product to the customers (Kapustina & Mosunov, 2014). According to Kapustina & Mosunov (2014), the placement strategy helps in assessing the channels most suited to a certain product. In addition, the means of accessing the product by the end user is part of the placement strategy. The Body Shop majorly sells its products in its numerous outlets, over the internet and at the Body Shop Home Scheme. Currently, most of the products are sold through physical stores located in different parts of the globe. Most of the company’s physical stores are located in UK. Most of the stores are located in the busy towns where the company is likely to get majority of the customers.
Considering the increasing access to the internet among people of different demographic segments, the company is planning to expand its online stores. In the next five years, the company aims at having a large virtual presence. The online distribution channels will help the clients shop for products more easily and efficiently.
In addition, in the next five years the company will start franchising to ease the access to its products. According to Saraswati (2015), franchising is an arrangement whereby one party, the franchiser grants another party, the franchisee the right of using its trademark or the trade name and other business systems and processes to produce and market a good or service as per particular specifications. In this arrangement, the franchisee normally pays certain amount of one-time franchise fee in addition to a certain percentage of sales revenue in form of royalty and gains. The fee is compulsory because the franchisee benefits most from this form of arrangement. To begin with, the benefits from immediate name recognition, sell of tried and tested products, use of standard building design as well as décor, clear techniques for running as well as promoting the business. In addition, the franchisee benefits from using a recognized technique of employee training and continuous assistance in the promotion as well as upgrading of its products (Saraswati, 2015). The Body Shop will greatly benefit from running franchise compared to selling its products directly to the customers. Since the franchises will be buying directly from the company, they will act as customers to the Body Shop. For this reason, the company is assured of ready customer from the franchise. In addition, franchising requires reduced expansion capital compared to opening of new physical stores. Since the franchisee will pay to buy outlets in the Body Shop, the company will grow the number of locations where its products can be accessed without having to tap much of its capital or having to request for financial requests from banks and investors.
In marketing, promotion is the approach used by the company in increasing awareness about its products and services (Saraswati, 2015). Promotion helps in generating sales, as well as in creating brand loyalty. To realize increased sales and customer awareness of its products, the Body Shop has been involved in a number of promotion activities. The promotion of the company’s products is done through monthly advertisements, in numerous periodical, targeting men. Moreover, the various men products are advertised throughout the year on Google ads as well as other promotional sites that have high viewing among men. In addition, the women’s products are advertised using flyers in addition to other channels that have high female audience in the entire year. In addition, promotion is done through presents and gifts to the specific females four times in the whole year (Vizard, 2014).
In the next five years, the company is fully determined to realize the record high customer base and market share in different parts of the globe. One of the methods to realize this is through massive promotion of its products. To begin with, the company will give out sample products randomly for customers who follow and like their Facebook and Twitter page. This approach will ensure that the company has a high following on different social media platforms. Considering the ease of turning these social media followers into customers, the company is likely to get an increased customer base with time.
The company will run an online video promotional campaign. In this promotion, people will upload a video of their reaction after using the company’s products. They will upload the video clips on the company’s social media platforms and the owner of the video with the most likes will be rewarded with both cash and beauty products of their choice from the company. This approach is highly effective because it will ensure that many people test the company’s products.
The Body shop is planning to use a number of tactics to realize increased sales and customer base. Some of the tactics that the company is determined to use to ensure the realization of its objectives include massive advertisement, introduction of small packaging, and introduction of small-priced products.
For massive advertisement, the company is planning to employ many advertising including use of TV commercials and the social media. These two advertising approaches are gaining viewership with the dawn of every day and their use will guarantee the company and increased awareness of its products among customers and therefore probable increase in the sale of its products. On the other hand, introduction of small packaging will help in serving the low-income earners particularly in the target areas of Asia and Africa. The tactic will help the company serve a new market segment in the market. What is more, introduction of small-priced products is also meant to serve the low-income customers in different parts of the globe. This tactic will increase the company’s sales among the low-income customers in the different markets and the target markets for the company.
Implementation & Control
|1st year||2nd year||3rd Year||4th Year||5th Year|
|Introduce small packaging|
|Introduce cheaper products|
|Target the men beauty market|
|Expansion to Asia and Africa|
|Massive advertising through social media platforms|
In conclusion, the Body shop is determined to realizing increased sales, expansion of its customer base and expansion of its market share in different markets around the globe. In doing this, the management is determined to ensure that the company is guided by the highest level of ethics. To realize the various objectives, the company has set out a number of tactics to use. The company aims to realize the various objectives through introduction of small-packaging, introduction of low-priced products and ensuring massive advertisement of its products. Through massive advertisement, the company aims at ensuring that many customers and target customers have a clear picture of the products offered by the company. The company is fully determined to increase utilize the increasing membership in the different social media platforms. In addition, for the next five years the company is determined to use TV commercials and other electronic media to ensure increased awareness of its products among the customers. On the other hand, the company is determined to introduce small packaging for its products. For a long time, the company has been targeting the financially stable people through its large packaging. However, in order to curve another market for itself, the company is introducing the small packaging that will serve the low-income earners in different parts of the globe. What is more, the introduction of low-priced products is meant to ensure that the company sells its products among the low-income customers particularly in Asia and Africa. Even though women are the main targets for the company, for the next five years the company is fully determined to serve men through the introduction of men products.
Various models and theories were considered by rejected in the process of drafting the strategic plan for the Body shop. Even though these models could fit well in the development of the strategy, other strategies could help explain the strategy of the company better. Among the rejected models is the Segmentation Targeting Positioning (STP). However, the 4ps met the bar and was selected to help in the development of the strategy. Various reasons led to the selection of the model and rejection of other models.
To begin with, the model is inclusive of almost all the elements of the company and helps to show how the company can utilize innovation to ensure the realization of the company’s goals in the different aspects. To begin with, the model helps the company to review the various properties of its products. Considering the different customers, the company has to ensure that the products meet the needs of the different types of customers. The firm can only realize and ensure customer satisfaction through constant review of its products to ensure that they have the required features. In addition, the review helps companies to realize the different approaches through which they can increase the value of its products. For the body shop, the review of the product properties helps the management to defining how innovation can help in redefining the product and introduction of new product in the market. In addition, this review will help the company to come up with innovation to come up with low priced products that meet the needs of the low-income earners.
Secondly, the 4ps model helps companies in reviewing the current pricing of its products and introducing new pricing strategy aimed at increasing sales (Gordon, 2012). For the Body Shop, the 4ps will help the company in coming up with new pricing strategies aimed at serving the low-income customers in different parts of the globe. For the next five years, the company is planning to introduce its products to both Asia and Africa regions. According to Wang & Elliot (2014),these regions have large population of low-income customers. The company will introduce low-priced products and small packaged products targeting these people.
Moreover, the model helps in deciding the distribution of products to ensure that customers can easily access them. Depending on the location of the customers and the access to the areas, cost of transporting the products among other factors, businesses can chose different methods of distributing their products and ensure that customers can access them with ease. For example, after reviewing its distribution channels, the company is planning to increase its online presence through selling its products through its online stores. This distribution approach is of great importance to the company considering the location of customers in vats locations. With this approach, customers from different parts of the globe will be able to access, review, and purchase the products. This approach is better compared to the physical stores that only serve limited customers-those within the locality.
Finally, the model helps firms in designing the best promotion techniques and approaches. Considering the many methods of advertising, companies should decide on the best advertising approaches that reach the largest population of customers. For example, after reviewing the Body Shop, the company is planning to invest on social media and TV commercials. Considering the increasing membership in the different social media platforms, effective utilization of the social media will earn the company a massive following, which can later be turned into real customers.
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