THE BODY SHOP– GOOD LUCK OR GOOD MARKETING?
The Body Shop may have grown rapidly in its early days, but its founder, the late Anita Roddick publicly dismissed the role of marketing. Roddick ridiculed marketers for putting the interests of shareholders before the needs of society. She had a similarly low opinion of the financial community, which she referred to as ‘Merchant Wankers’. While things were going well, nobody seemed to mind. Maybe Roddick had found a new way of doing business, and it she had the results to prove it, who needed marketers? But how could even such an icon as Anita Roddick manage indefinitely without consulting the fundamental principles of marketing? By embracing ethical issues, she thought she was way ahead of her rivals in understanding the public mood, long before the major retailers piled into Fair trade and ‘green’ products? Or did the troubles that the Body Shop suffer in this century indicate that a company may publicly dismiss the value of marketing while the going is good, but sooner or later it will have to come back to earth with good old-fashioned marketing plans? Roddick had been the dynamo behind the Body Shop. From her first shop, which opened in Brighton in 1976s, she inspired the growth of the chain of familiar green-fronted shops, which in 2006 comprised 2,100 stores in 55 countries around the world. She was the first to introduce socially and environmentally responsible business onto the High Street and was talking about fair trade long before it became a popular corporate buzz-word. Her pioneering products included naturally based skin and hair care preparations, such as Fuzzy Peach Bath and Shower Gel and Brazil Nut Conditioner. Her timing was impeccable, coming just at a time when increasingly affluent consumers were becoming concerned about animal testing and the use of chemicals in cosmetics. She had not gone down the classic marketing route of understanding