The Body Shop – Adding value to life via human rights campaigns in Pakistan

By Marian Sharaf Joseph

There is no better news than to know you’re favourite international brand has opened its flagship store in town. Those who grew up using The Body Shop would certainly understand the excitement that thrilled its devotees in Karachi and Lahore, when it opened in 2006 and later on in the capital hub Islamabad. It is worth buying than spending almost the same amount of bucks on local products today. Unlike the times, when one had to visit some big super store to get Lancôme or Clinique or Body Shop – to only find scattered range of products – the flagship stores offers everything from Beauty care to Body care, bath and men’s grooming. The best thing about having The Body Shop in our town is that the products are not out dated. You would even find the same complete Christmas range here – where the percentage of celebrating Christmas is lesser than that in its native home town. Of course, what matters are the products but such promotional acts show The Body Shop’s effort to bring the world together in harmony.

Offering a sensual range of products inspired by nature, The Body Shop’s claim to fame is that it is against animal testing for which it has already won multiple awards. Established by Anna Roderick, it has launched multiple campaigns world over – namely against HIV Aids in collaboration with MTV. Despite corporate controversies and finally selling it out to L’Oreal, The Body Shop has maintained its repute and identity via social campaigns.

Last year, The Body Shop launched its exquisite perfume named ‘Dreams Unlimited’ in Karachi. The purpose was not only to launch an expensive product amidst the crème de la crème of the town but its major purpose was to announce half a million rupees to fight trafficking in flood-hit areas. During the press conference, the executive director Fredric Simon said live from Dubai, “We have full confidence in the Pakistani market, with nine stores in four major cities across the country. The brand is successful because it highlights the needs of the people. Hence to communicate the vision, strengthen our hands of working for human rights issues, Pakistan needs to play a big role.” The child trafficking campaign was launched in collaboration with NGO Konpal.

The Body Shop launched ‘The Stop Trafficking Petition’ and is constantly urging its customers to sign the petition when visiting its stores. In addition to this, the proceeds from its ‘Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream’ go direct to the funds allocated for this purpose. Despite what critics or rivals may accuse The Body Shop of, it has made a positive impression on its buyers. Each product of The Body Shop has a purpose. One of its globally renowned campaigns is Community Fair Trade. It is said by end of 2008, 65% of the company’s products contained community traded ingredients.

Although The Body Shop is taking dire steps to win the hearts of the locals in Pakistan, what it seems to forget is its prime customer. The Body Shop outlets are accessible and the price is affordable knowing the credibility of this international brand. Yet, as it is the need of the hour, The Body Shop Pakistan does not own an official website, and its fan page of facebook is good for nothing. It has to launch its official website updating its latest offers and products along with the price in Pak Rupee – and not UK Pound or Indian Rupee. This will add to the value of customer care service which is absolutely required. Moreover, if it needs massive media support, and not just that of a few who’s who in the human right campaign it has launched and aims to pursue in future, an official website for The Body Shop Pakistan is must.

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