A Case Study Approach
Edited by Christine A. Mallin
Chapter 3: Sticking to Core Values: The Case of The Body Shop
Bert van de Ven, André Nijhof and Ronald Jeurissen INTRODUCTION From the outset, The Body Shop attracted much publicity with its social commitment. This publicity proved to be an extremely effective way of increasing awareness of The Body Shop name. The Body Shop was able to pass through its first phase of expansion with none of the extravagant advertising campaigns that are common in the cosmetics sector. Although the reason for doing without advertising was Anita Roddick’s lack of funds at the start, it has now become part of the corporate image. The Body Shop really is different; it is not a case of business as usual. But how different can a company remain as it grows from a small shop into a franchise chain with branches on every continent, and is now part of a major publicly listed company? THE BODY SHOP: FROM ECCENTRIC SHOP TO SOCIALLY COMMITTED MULTINATIONAL The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick as a means of providing income for her family while her husband Gordon took a sabbatical year in America. Gordon’s sabbatical used up most of their savings, so that the first Body Shop had to be financed from extremely limited resources (Roddick, 1991, p. 71). Various Body Shop characteristic features were born of this financial necessity. To start with, there is the unusual type of product that The Body Shop provides. Anita Roddick made a virtue out of a necessity by basing her soaps and lotions on natural ingredients, such...
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