One of the popular cosmetic franchises in the world, The Body Shop has launched a new brand direction which encompasses a new campaign, new additions to its product portfolio as well as launching a more premium packaging for one of its best selling products.
The new brand expression ‘Beauty With Heart’ has been launched globally, including India and revolves around the key value propositions of look good, feel good, and do good. This campaign renews focus on not just the brand’s naturally inspired and ethically produced beauty and cosmetics product range but also on its social campaigns and activist movements so as to strengthen its core identity of being more than just a beauty brand.
According to Shriti Malhotra, COO, The Body Shop India, the reason behind such a movement is to highlight the activities that The Body Shop has been engaging in. “We want the customer to know that every time they are buying our products, they are giving back to society. There is someone else who is benefiting from the purchase,” she says.
With many other cosmetic brands taking to using natural ingredients and increasing competition from other popular brands like Forest Essentials, this new brand direction is perhaps an attempt to have a more youthful appeal. According to Malhotra, however, this is not a change in the brand’s positioning, but is in essence changing with time to better suit the needs of an evolving consumer.
With this intention of providing an ‘experience’ to customers that goes well beyond the products, the brand has also set up a new Pulse store. The experiential store, the first one of which has been opened in Delhi has a more customer friendly and interactive set up, to facilitate greater consumer connect. On the product portfolio front, a new product range of Body Oils, with close to 100 per cent natural ingredients have been launched in 11 fragrances, while the packaging for its range of Body Butters has been revamped into a more premium look.
This year, The Body Shop also completes 25 years of Community Fair Trade, a trading practice adopted by the brand in which it works with small-scale farmers, traditional artisans, and rural cooperatives in exchange for fair pricing and trading practices. This movement started in India with Teddy Exports, a supplier of wooden massagers, accessories, and cosmetic bags being its first community fair trade supplier. Now six years into this country, The Body Shop has evolved and grown from this single association to over 80 stores in 30 cities. In the last three years, along with the metropolitan cities, the brand has also established presence in small towns including Raipur, Kanpur, and Udaipur, to name a few.
India is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia Pacific for the brand, and it targets the country to figure in its top five markets in the next 3-4 years.
In terms of its marketing initiatives, while the brand is looking to leverage the traditional print media as well as the digital platform, consumer engagement will continue to be one of its prime marketing standpoints. While on the global front, international model Lily Cole has been brought in as the brand advocate, The Body Shop is also endorsed by Bollywood actress Dia Mirza in India. On the lack of television campaigns and other visible marketing initiatives with the star, Malhotra says, “We are not a beauty brand. We are only using Dia Mirza as a brand advocate. She is a perfect fit for the brand because besides being naturally beautiful, she is also involved in a lot of social causes, and has been a part of a lot of our campaigns.”
In keeping with its committed stance and vocal opposition against animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients, the brand will also be launching a cruelty free make-up range and a ‘Cruelty Free Pledge’ campaign in India in the coming months.