Our group has chosen to present on The Body Shop in our Social Media Research Project. A brief history of Body Shop – it was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 after she had visited a shop of the same name in Berkeley, California selling naturally-scented soaps and lotions. Since then, The Body Shop has experienced exponential growth and now has 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide.
The Body Shop has branded itself as a socially-responsible organization. In fact, its corporate mission is “to dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change”. Causes which the organization stands for include being against animal testing and emphasizing fair trade. However, controversy arose when Body Shop was sold to French cosmetics giant, L’Oréal, in March 2006. Activists called for a boycott of Body Shop products as they had strongly opposed L’Oréal’s policy of testing cosmetic ingredients on animals.
Fast forward to today, our group believes that Body Shop has been struggling to uphold and preserve its original image of being an ethical organization, even though its parent company, L’Oréal, has explicitly stated that it now no longer tests its products or ingredients on animals anywhere in the world. Consequently, positive impressions of Body Shop have waned in recent years.
Thus, herein lies our research question: How can The Body Shop use social media to revitalize the brand, specifically in Singapore? We have decided to focus on the Singapore market because it is more practical in that we understand the market well enough to come up with viable and objective suggestions. In addition, we believe that Singaporean consumers are confused as to the values that Body Shop embodies. As such, our group project is based upon the premise that Body Shop can leverage on the use of social media to spread brand awareness and subsequently, engender a stronger brand identity here in Singapore.
To provide answers to our research question, we intend to conduct social media tracking of Body Shop’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and compare the results to that of its more notable competitors, Lush and L’Occitane. We also intend to carry out a survey to gauge sentiments and perceptions of Body Shop among Singaporean consumers. Using the data collected, we hope to be able to propose workable, yet creative, solutions and strategies that Body Shop can adopt to communicate brand awareness and values to Singaporean consumers.
We are excited to share with you our project proposal in the coming lesson and look forward to any ideas that you want to share. Thank you!
Dasuki, Yu, Nicole, Shermaine & myself