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  • The Body Shop

    Posted by formulatorterminator on March 23, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    The Body Shop - interested in hearing your thoughts on their plight, and so soon after their third takeover by Aurelius. I guess the lesson here is brand loyalty doesn’t trump competitive edge, what a fickle world we live in 😅

    Herbnerd replied 2 weeks, 2 days ago 5 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • mikethair

    March 23, 2024 at 11:39 pm

    My thought is that after the passing of Anita, the founder, they have lost their competitive edge.

    • Herbnerd

      March 24, 2024 at 1:06 pm

      There is that - but also when a corporation buys out a company they impose their ethos over everything; this can be completely at odds with the original founder of the company.

      Body Shop was good in their day, but as consumers demand more of a story, more ‘natural’ ingredients and Body Shop failed to keep up with what their customers want. As such their customers deserted them in favour of brands that are more closely aligned to their ethics.

      • Perry44

        March 24, 2024 at 11:54 pm

        It’s not that the corporation necessarily imposes their ethos on the bought company, usually what happens is that the small company wasn’t following all the appropriate regulations & rules of the industry so formulas, claims and packaging usually have to be updated. Then companies look to reduce costs by getting economy of scale so formulas are often optimized.

        • PhilGeis

          March 25, 2024 at 5:49 am

          Perry’s right. Big guys acquire little guys for brand names and less so products. “Due diligence” is financial and rarely gets down to the folks who know products so most of these generate a bunch of “oh shits!” - micro, safety, regulatory, manufacturing ,personnel problems the resolution of which erodes excitement.

          My bet - Body Shop was one of the 1st to use very successfully social and enviro activism to communicate brand. They used little to no conventional advertising so their initial success did not stand up to other brands chasing the same positioning <b style=”background-color: var(-bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(-bb-body-text-color);”>with conventional advertising. Acquisitions by big companies can be strategic and can be on a whim of management. Bet Body Shop was more of the former - we can rescue this fading brand for a position in a sector we don’t now occupy. Immediate result is always loss of true believers - activist folks who see big companies as the devil and here Roddick as selling out. Bet there were oh shits - including Roddick. Whatever Unilever did - this was still a small brand and management changes of the next years saw it as a distraction that needed to go. years

        • Herbnerd

          March 27, 2024 at 1:42 pm

          Fair comment, I hadn’t considered that aspect of it. And I should, because for the last 5 years I have been fixing all sorts of issues from when the company I work for bought out the company for which I have been sorting out documentation, labels, international registration etc.

          I guess I assumed that wouldn’t have been so widespread an issue in the industry.

  • PhilGeis

    March 24, 2024 at 4:35 pm

    One of the 1st to posture social and enviro activism. Per this chronology https://www.zippia.com/the-body-shop-careers-67869/history/Lex Wexner screwed them up in the early 90’s with body shop works and by mid 90’s sales were falling and Body Shop was struggling. L’Oreal didn’t take over until 2006.

    • formulatorterminator

      March 25, 2024 at 5:37 pm

      My thoughts too.. after the initial success and cult following of the first 20 years I would presume it was a downward trajectory. It’s actually taken long enough to get to the current state which is a testament to the brand Anita built. When I think body shop I don’t think new and current, its something from the early 2000’s and they never really kept up with the market dilution of explosion of new brands with the same ethos. And inevitable demise when L’oreal took over, you can’t mix major brand animal-testing scenario with The Body Shop, it doesn’t quite work.

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