Case Study of the Body Shop Company and the Use of Social Media in Marketing

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Middlebury College
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Case study
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Overview of company

The body shop is a British international company that was founded in 1976 by a human right activist come business woman Anita Roddick (SER, 2015). Anita was also known as an environmental campaigner with tremendous contributions towards environmental conservation. The body shop majorly deals in cosmetic products that are more natural and ethically made. The company began as a small outlet in Brighton; at that time, it was dealing in 25 products (Wheeler, 2013). However, the company has with time grown to become one of the biggest multinational organizations across the world. Being an environmental activist, the founder created a culture of recycling within the company making it one of the key principles that the company uses. In essence, the customers are on many occasions advised to recycle their used packaging materials in a bid to not only save on cost but also help in environmental conservation (Zadek, Evans, & Pruzan, 2013).

Over time, the company has grown tremendously and currently dealing in over 900 products that consist of; body care, hair care, aromatherapy, and body butter among other products. To disperse these products to all its clients across the globe, the company operates more than 2500 stores in over 60 countries worldwide (Unicef. (2014). Due to its massive inroads into many countries and investment in many products, the company has become the second largest cosmetic .company in the world. Additionally, the company operated online platforms as a basic means of reaching out to many clients thereby making a lot of profits which was its primary goal alongside spreading the message of environmental conservation (Nor, 2015). Due to the love for natural and conventional products, the company gained a lot of publicity that was also influenced by its online marketing strategies. Among many other achievements, the body shop was one of the first companies to place a ban on the use of animals in tasting their products. The company also becomes the first organization to introduce a fair trade within the beauty industry (Butler, 2013). These among many other achievements made the company to be a darling of many, and therefore gained a lot of trust on the part of clients and other stakeholders. However, the company was later acquired by LOreal at a sum of the sum of 652m; a company which still owns it up to date (Rosethorn, 2016).

Despite being acquired by the L'Oreal Group, the Company has maintained its values and identity making it one of the unique companies within the same group (Cornelissen, & Cornelissen, 2017). Therefore, the company has maintained its United Kingdom headquarters and continues to operate in many countries that it used to operate as before. The body shop management, therefore, reports directly to the chief executive offices of the L'Oreal Group (Hashim, 2013). It is, therefore, notable that the company brought with it a unique sense of management system that the group has found unnecessary to do away with. Also, it is notable the company is in itself a significant asset to the group both in terms of personnel, brand as well as revenue collection due to its well-defined strategy of dealing with both clients and products (Brockway, 2015).

Social media use, objectives and effectiveness

Social media is a significant mode of information transfer and interaction that is not only used by individuals but also other companies that are more interested in increasing their market base (Ricci, 2014). Most people in the current generation use the internet and social media to interact with each other through the various platforms. In essence, the use of social media has led to serious globalization and by extension reduced the world into a global village (Rubiyanti, Widodo, & Yulianti, 2015). This means therefore that many people can interact on these social media platforms at the same time thereby giving organizations an opportunity to interact with them too. The body shop was one of the companies that took advantage of the internet and social media to interact with its customers and create a large support base that would later lead to its tremendous development (Achar, 2015). The company has for a long time embraced the use of social media both as a platform for marketing, advertising their products and interacting with the clients and other stakeholders. In essence, the company has saved a lot of finances and also gained a lot of resources that would otherwise be used in mainstream media adverts and straight talk shows that many other companies have engaged in (Poon, 2016). moreover, the company has also saved on the cost that would otherwise be used in paying marketing agents. At the present state, the company does almost all of its marketing and advertisement programs online where their few agents can interact with many clients across the globe. Moreover, the use of social media has also increased the level of accountability within the organization since much of its operations are shared so that the clients and other stakeholders can also read through these platforms (Celmo, & Addison, 2015). Therefore, the use of social media has not only been used to enhance sale but also ease communication and engagements among the members of staff.

Among the many social media platforms, Facebook has been of major help to the company. Through their Facebook account, the company can reach many people from all corners of the globe thereby increasing its popularity day by day (Ashraf, Ashraf, Azhar, & Anam, 2015). The company has to that effect invested on both the security and branding of their Facebook site to enable clients to access it easily without many problems. Unlike many other social media platforms, the use of Facebook has been significant since it allows for sharing of bulky information which may not be possible with other platforms ( Oates, 2014). On the other hand, the company has also invested in twitter which is one of the fastest ways of passing information to clients. On their twitter account, the company often makes a short clarification on controversial issues as soon as they arise. Therefore, Twitter has also been of great help to the company and has also increased the number of clients that currently follow the company's products. Instagram being a pictorial platform has also enabled the company to post pictures of their products on a regular basis, a phenomenon that Has also increased their selling rates. Many of the clients are able to follow these products on Instagram, contact the necessary personnel and finally order for their products through the home platform. The company uses many other social media platforms to reach out to many clients who might not be aware of the companys existence.

Therefore, it is notable that the body shop has made a lot of steps based on its ability to use social media to the largest extent. In its bid to use social media in its operations, the company seeks to maintain its clients as well as attract many others in a simultaneous manner that does not in any way influence its operations (Crane, & Matten, 2016). The major objectives of the company in dealing with social media are to increase its popularity while reducing the number of finances spent on the same. Though it comes with it many other challenges, it is worth noting that the use of social media has not only been effective on the part of the company but has also been efficiently undertaken over the years. It means therefore that the company has made tremendous steps in managing its operations through the use of social media.


Though the body shop has made good use of social media in marketing its products and increasing its popularity, it is worth noting that a lot more needs to be done. The company has not considered a SWOT analysis system to be able to know the effectiveness of its use of social media. The company has over the years given much attention to Facebook which may not have given the best yield as other alternatives would do. It is important for the company to categorize their products and use appropriate social media platforms for different products. Makeups, for example, are more effective if advertised through Instagram where a majority of ladies interacts. On the other hand, other body cosmetics that are used by elderly men can be advertised through twitter. In this way, different products will reach the different target groups effectively and the company could make more sales compared to what it has been making. Additionally, the body shop can consider using social media adds both on Facebook and on other platforms to increase their popularity thereby increasing their market base everywhere across the globe.



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