‘Loyalty is far from dead’ says The Body Shop as it launches ‘generous’ new rewards scheme

The Body Shop says its new loyalty club programme “Love Your Body Club” is the most “generous” in UK retail with it offering consumers £5 for every £50 spent in store.

The health and beauty brand already has around 900,000 shoppers signed up to its existing loyalty programme but has made the changes to give it “more universal appeal”.

The previous iteration required £5 to join while “Love Your Body Club” will be free and doesn’t need an annual renewal. It also doesn’t require a card for use in store and will give customers the option to donate their points to charity.

Sam Thomson, brand and values director at The Body Shop, said the new loyalty card is “one of the most generous in British retail” and boasted that its base points are “worth more than double” what rival Boots offer.

He told Marketing Week: “We’re delighted with the brand as ‘Love Your Body Club’ is a real social statement and goes back to the early days of The Body Shop campaigning for the importance of individuality amid the rise of supermodels like Cindy Crawford back in the 90s. We did that decades before Dove did the Real Beauty stuff.

“We have a very successful iOS app too and we’re currently looking at what it will take to make it the hub of the ‘Love Your Body Club’ – that is the future aspiration here.”

Thomson also hit back at recent claims by Les Binet, head of effectiveness at Adam & Eve DDB, who claimed that “loyalty marketing is nonsense.”

“In my experience ’loyalty is dead’ is an easy statement for when you’re not doing it right,” he explained.

“If you build loyalty with a customer, it shouldn’t just be about instant gratification, it is about building a relationship pre and post purchase. Our customers are vocal brand advocates and answer 50% of our website queries – I think that shows it can really work.”

More regular advertising

Admitting that The Body Shop “historically drops off the radar” outside of key periods such as Christmas and Mother’s Day when it comes to above the line marketing, Thomson says the brand is “investing heavily” through print, social and advertorial to give it a year-round presence.

Bodyshop, Oxford Street. London.
The Body Shop wants to do more within skincare

According to YouGov BrandIndex, The Body Shop’s Index score, which includes consumer perceptions of value, satisfaction, quality and reputation, has fallen 1.6 percentage points to a score of 16.8 over the last six months. It is 11th on a list of the UK’s 42 biggest general retail brands.

The Body Shop brand still has an “incredibly strong equity”, according to Thomson, who said that a revamp of its store format is continuing to deliver “strong sales”.

“I think we’re still a brand you could put into the loved brand group, we have almost 100% awareness and a real emotional connection,” he added.

However, Thomson said that The Body Shop faces a challenge in communicating the “credibility of its product assortment” as the big four supermarkets continue to cut the prices of key health and beauty ranges.

He concluded: “What I will say is due to the price wars, it is certainly challenging in more commodity areas like shower gels or shampoos to provide that true added value and experience.

“I think, in particular, we need to work on the credibility of the product assortment and really shout about our high performing products. We’re known for our gifts but people know less about the facial skin care offering, so we’re investing a lot of time in helping build visibility in skin care to address the barriers of becoming the true alternative to premium competitors.”