The Body Shop in China: Market Feasibility Research and Strategy Design DU Yuping 1,2, Mai Jinger2 School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University 2 School of International Trade and Economics Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, P. R. China, 510420 1
Abstract: The well-known British brand, the Body Shop, is a strong advocate of environment and human rights. In recent years, it has accelerated its global presence by its naturally inspired, ethically produced beauty and cosmetics products. However, it has no market share in China yet. This paper provides an insightful perspective on this company and its products, as well as its competition that it may encounter in the future. The authors also point out the necessity of its impendent entry into China, supported by theoretical and practical evidence. Then, using sampling questionnaire survey, the paper explores how the Body Shop should choose its target market with detailed marketing strategies in China. Keywords: The Body Shop, China, marketing strategies
The Body Shop is a global manufacturer and retailer of naturally inspired, ethically produced beauty and cosmetics products. Founded in the UK in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, they now have 2,133 stores in 55 countries; with a range of over 1,200 products in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia and Africa. However, so far the Body Shop has not entered the China market. It takes a strong position on activism, ethical business, human rights and environmentalism in a global perspective.The Body Shop is banned in China, because cosmetics sold there have to be tested on animals, according to Roddick. However, things dramatically changed in 2006 when it was bought by the French cosmetics company L’Oreal, which is a big player in China. China has launched scientific developing strategy for sustainable future since 2006. The Body Shop’s values, culture and marketing approaches coincide with the same values as the current policies of advocating Scientific Development Concept to build a harmonious society in China.  Hence it is the perfect time for the Body Shop to enter China market. However, prior to that, as an independent member of the L’Oreal family, the Body Shop has to make decisions on differentiation marketing strategies, market segmentation, and market positioning.
2 Theory of Societal Marketing Concept and the Body Shop Corporate Values 2.1 Theory of Societal Marketing Concept Marketers in the twenty-first century are increasingly recognizing the need to have more complete, cohesive approach that goes beyond traditional applications of the marketing concept. A whole set of forces that appeared in the last decade call for new marketing and business practices from “the holistic marketing concept” perspective. Holistic marketing incorporates social marketing and understanding boarder concerns and ethical, environmental, legal, and social context of marketing activities and programs. The cause-and-effects of marketing clearly extend beyond the company and the consumer to society as a whole. New terms “humanistic marketing” and “ecological marketing” are suggested, but Kotler, et al. propose calling it the societal marketing concept. The Societal marketing concept holds that the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being. A number of companies—including the Body Shop, have achieved notable sales and profit gains by adopting and practicing a form of the societal marketing concept called cause-related marketing.  Pringle and Thompson define this as activity by which a company with an image, product, or service to market, builds relationship or partnership with a 441
“cause,” or a number of causes,” for mutual benefit.  2.2 The Body Shop’s Unique Corporate Values The...
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