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Business Strategy Essay

It is used to give support of the benefits thought to be associated with each research method. LITERATURE REVIEW. This section provides a general overview of the industry in which The Body Shop operates – the cosmetics and toiletries industry. It highlights main competitors of The Body Shop both direct and indirect and details a breakdown of the market. Sales fugues, sales growths, profit figures etc… Re tabulated to illustrate the position of various companies which compete in the cosmetics and toiletries industry and discussion focuses on how and why It can be argued that The Body Shop Is the arrest, or at least, one of the largest companies within Its Industry. This makes for an effective starting point leading onto the introduction and background of the dissertation and its topic. Chapter 1 – Introduction & Background. This section gives a brief summary of the type of company The Body Shop is and the nature of its products that it manufactures and sells.

In particularly, it gives an overview of The Body Shop’s present place within the cosmetics and toiletries industry. It details current statistics on the number of countries in which the many operates, the number of languages in which

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the company operates, the number of The Body Shop stores worldwide, the company’s number of employees, sales figures, profits In Sterling pounds and the turnover In Sterling pounds. A company history is included providing the story of how and why the company founder, Anita Rowdier, started The Body Shop. Leading onto the story of the first shop it then details the strategic history of the company. Efferent sizes of bottled products, were developed through both emergent and deliberate strategies, namely the strategy for expansion: franchising and the Meany’s attitude towards advertising. This section provides an introduction to The Body Shop and a background to the company and its strategy thus, making a good foundation on which to build the dissertation. Chapter 2 – The Strategy of The Body Shop ; How it was put in Place This section deals with The Body Shop’s core strategy: ethical, social and environmental responsibility: profits with principles.

It outlines in detail how the strategy is decided, who decide it and thus, how the finishing touches to the strategy are made. Further, it describes and analyses the implementation, monitoring and controlling of the core strategy under the headings of human & civil rights, environmental protection and animal rights. Chapter 3 – Failures & Successes This section looks at the downfalls The Body Shop has had to face and at how the company responded to the adverse effects these had. It then leads onto the strategic action taken by The Body Shop to counteract these negative issues.

Success stories of The Body Shop and its strategy are also discussed in this section. Key success factors attributed to The Body Shop’s strategy are analyses in a summary of the success of the company. Chapter 4 – Developments ; Changes for the Future This section makes up a significant part of the dissertation. It concentrates on the strategic issues facing The Body Shop that have mainly emerged as a result of developments within the cosmetics and toiletries industry. A careful analysis of the competition, the increase in competition and strategies to gain competitive advantage takes place in this section.

It focuses on differentiation through new product launches, physical differentiation and image differentiation. A vital element highlighted in this part is the importance of advertising and inconsequently the company’s recognition of this factor and thus, The Body Shop’s changing attitude towards advertising. This section also briefly looks at the suggestion that there are problems associated with the rebel brand image, analysis of this issue from two opposing perspectives takes place. Proposed US Join venture. CONCLUSION The conclusion literally concludes the dissertation, giving a brief account of its main points within each of the chapters.

Research can be conducted either on a continuous or occasional basis. For the purpose of this dissertation the research was continually carried out. This frequency of research is beneficial in that it highlights patterns and measures performance over time. I feel that this advantage is specific to the dissertation because it was important that I could identify, discuss and analyses any trends in The Body Shop’s strategy and thus, accurately assess its success or failure to be able to provide a constructive section on the future of the company’s strategy.

There are several types of research: continuous, ‘ad hoc’, desk research and field research. A significant amount of the research conducted for this dissertation was desk research. Desk research, “is so called because it refers to that type of research data that can be acquired and worked upon mainly by sitting at a desk,” Crouch ; Housemen (1996).. It is often called secondary research and makes a good starting point, as it is an efficient and inexpensive method of gathering information. Another advantage is that a vast amount is available.

Desk research, or secondary research, is also a particularly useful way of familiarizing oneself with the report (or in this case, dissertation) and acts as a catalyst to the generation of ideas, which can aid in the formulation of commendations and conclusions. Desk research can take either the form of internal research or external research. Internal desk research is probably the most sensible place to start. It consists of company publications. Information provided on items such as accounting data, products and sales, company history etc… s useful as a foundation on which to build a report. For this dissertation my first action was to write to The Body Shop. I requested items such as company history and background, campaign information, any audits published, the Annual Report 1998, a profile on the founder Anita Rowdier ND any other information that they thought relevant to the strategy of the company. I clearly stated my purpose for the request and provided examples of sources where I intended to get additional information.

I received everything that I had requested and with that came The Body Shop Catalogue (useful for product and price information) and a list of places I could attain further information for example, The Body Shop published books and Anita Redbrick’s books/biographies. Large amount of external research information every year. However, a significant quantity of external research data is available from trade organizations, trade publications, banks and various official associations.

The external research conducted for this dissertation was through sourcing various Journals and newspapers for example, Economist and The Guardian. Extensive use of Keynotes and Business Ratio Plus publications on the cosmetics and toiletries industry was also made. Despite the advantages of internal and external research data: a vast amount is available, efficiency, inexpensive, provides a good foundation for recommendations and conclusions, acts as a familiarization process and as a catalyst to the generation of ideas, there are some limitations.

Some of the data required may not be available or may not even exist. Quite often secondary information doesn’t provide enough information to enable a person or organization to write a report. Specific to internal desk research, the disadvantage is that you only obtain what the company wishes you to see. This could mean the maintenance of important information on company activities. Specific to external desk research, the disadvantage is that it may be, “of too general a nature to be applicable to any specific problem,” Crouch ; Housemen (1996). This is where field research can come in useful.

Field research is so called because it is concerned with the generation and collection of original data from the field of operation (of the company). The (person) determines exactly what information is necessary and from whom they need the information and then set about acquiring it. The data is thus specific to the purpose for which it has been acquired and is often called primary research because of this,” Crouch & Housemen (1996). Field research for this dissertation took the form of dissertations written by former students of the University of Paisley on subjects such as the cosmetics industry and

The Body Shop. They were particularly useful in exemplifying a structure for the dissertation, providing additional information specific to the subject and in offering support to any arguments, recommendations and conclusions I might potentially have made. Research for this dissertation was mainly carried out through making extensive use of the University of Paisley’s library resources, the Paisley Public Library, the Mitchell Library of Glasgow and The Body Shop publications.

The cosmetics market on its own was estimated to be worth IEEE million in 1998. Overall, the cosmetics market had been having some difficulties. A change in fashion trends and a change in demographics led to a decrease in the usage of cosmetic products. The fashion to wear ‘no make-up’ increased in popularity but companies are now managing to recoup with the return to color. There are now less people in the under ass’s market with the maturity of the ‘baby boomers’.

The additional threat of own label products from grocery retailers and chemist superstores entering the market is putting strain on established brands. This is particularly significant in terms of the increase in competition facing The Body Shop with Boots’ and Superego’s introduction of own label naturally based products line, or what is probably more accurately called ‘retailer brands’. On the other hand, the toiletries market is faring better as people are seduced by functional ingredients – e. G. , vitamin enhanced shampoos and moisturizer body washes, hypo-allergenic properties and naturally-based products.

The increase in the use of naturally based products has been triggered by The Body Shop’s success encouraging companies to enter the market. The rise in toiletry usage by men is also an important growth factor within the market. The cosmetics and toiletries industry can be divided into three different sectors: Manufacturers of cosmetics and toiletries, Importers and distributors of cosmetics and toiletries and Suppliers and compounded of fragrances and essences. The Body Shop is categorized under the sub-sector Manufacturers of cosmetics and toiletries.

In the dissertation, discussion of this sub-sector is relevant to the subject as other companies of this sub-sector act as direct competitors of The Body Shop for example, L’Oreal (I-J) Ltd, Revolt Manufacturing (I-J) Ltd and Elide Faberge Ltd. Discussion of the Importers and distributors of cosmetics and toiletries sub-sector is specific to the topic of The Body Shop’s strategy as companies of this sub-sector act as indirect competitors of The Body Shop for example, The Boots Company PL and Supersede Stores PL.

Companies such as these are indirect competitors because The Body Shop control their own distribution of their own products through company-owned stores and franchised outlets whereas many producers of cosmetics and toiletries rely on companies such as Boots and Supersede to retail their Discussion of the Suppliers and compounded of fragrances and essences sub-sector loud not be entirely relevant to the dissertation because this information does not specifically relate to the topic; companies of this sub-sector neither directly nor indirectly compete with The Body Shop for example, Dragoon (Great Britain) Ltd and Creations Romanesque Ltd.

Major companies within the cosmetics and toiletries industry include Procter & Gamble (Health & Beauty Care) Ltd, Elide Faberge Ltd, L’Oreal (I-J) Ltd, The Boots Company PL, Supersede Stores PL and The Body Shop International PL. Many of these companies operate on an international scale. Industry & Company Performance The Cosmetics & Toiletries Industry The cosmetics and toiletries industry as a whole is experiencing steady growth in sales and profits. Over a period of three years between 1994/97, sales have increased by an average of 9% per year and profits have risen by an average of 2% per year.

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