Friday, November 03, 2006

Stuff to Make You Think

Thoughts from Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop: "Our values were diametrically opposed to the business practices of the cosmetics industry in just about every area:

  • They were prepared to sell false hopes and unattainable dreams; I was not. From the start, we explained to customers in simple language everyone could understand exactle what a product could do and wouldn't do.


  • They sold through hype; I was innocent and didn't even know what hype was.


  • They thought packaging was important; I thought it was totally irrelevant. We happily filled old lemonade bottles with our product if a customer asked.


  • They tested on animals; I was repulsed by the practice and made it clear that I would never sell a product that had been tested on animals.


  • They spent millions on market research; we simply said to our customers, "Tell us what you want and we will try to get it for you."


  • They had marketing departments; I never fully understood what marketing was.


  • They had enormous advertising budgets; we have never spent a cent on advertising. At first we couldn't afford it, and when we could afford it, we had got to the point where I would be embarrased to do it.


  • They talked about beauty products; I banished the word "beauty".


  • They worshipped profits; we didn't. In all the time I have been in business we have never had a meeting to discuss profits - we wouldn't know how to do it.


  • Finally, and most importantly, they thought it was not the business of business to get involved in wider issues, in the protection of the environment or involvement with the community; I thought there was nothin more important.


We take our hat off to Anita... a true Maverick in business, and a world wide success story.

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