The Body Shop is an English-based cosmetics and skin care company which markets its products throughout the world. Its success and marketing focus centers on its commitment to using products that are not tested on animals, and it is an organization which encourages political activism among its consumers. Although the company markets beauty products, it emphasizes a "natural" approach to cosmetics which does not play on the glamour appeal traditionally associated with this industry. Despite this apparent contradiction (a beauty products company that does not emphasize beauty), the Body Shop has had considerable success during its history and has garnered additional publicity because of its stance regarding animal testing. This research considers the company's marketing approach and notes where the company has been successful and where improvements might be made.
The Body Shop offers a complete line of make-up and skin care cosmetics as well as fragrances, hair care products, aromatherapy products and products designed especially for men. An essential feature of all of its products is a minimum amount of animal testing (according to the company, the complex nature of the industry renders it impossible for any company to be completely free from animal testing) and a high level of "natural" products in its product mix.
The company's dedication to not using products which are tested on animals takes precedence over its commitment to using natural products. Its White Musk fragrance, for example, uses synthetic musk, an ingredient which the company has deemed ethically preferable to natural musk. This choice reinforces the company's central claim that its products are "cruelty-free" even when that policy means that the company must use artificially created products and ingredients.
Because the Body Shop produces a broad range of products in the healthcare and beauty line, it competes against an equally broad range of competi...