Business Breaking Into the Asian Term Paper

Pages: 13 (3568 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 23  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

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[. . .] A program with a strong tie between requested social behavior and sales of the company's products, but that does not provide consumers with direct personal benefits from engaging in the social behavior, is the "Once is Not Enough" program of The Body Shop. This chain of franchised stores sells a line of naturally-based cosmetics and personal care products and has been urging customers to bring in their empty cosmetic containers for recycling or reuse. They pay 5 cents a piece for containers to be recycled and 25 cents a piece for containers that customers ask them to refill. Shop owners feel the program is successful, seeing that they hand out thousands of dollars in rebates each year. However, it would be impossible to determine how much social impact this campaign has had in reducing solid waste.

The success of a program of this kind depends necessarily on the target consumer's being aware of, and concerned about, environmental degradation. These concerns have become a part of the culture in the Developed World, but do these same factors influence purchasing habits in a developing country like Thailand?Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Business Breaking Into the Asian Assignment

Increasingly, as Thailand has become more industrialized, and more technologically advanced, it has seen its society become increasingly sensitive to the influences of Western nations, and also of Developed Asian states such as Japan and Singapore. Labor safety laws, public health policies, and environmental regulations, arise in part, from outside pressure. This is to say that, as Thailand, and other Developing nations participate more and more in the global marketplace, they find themselves increasingly becoming parties to international treaties and United Nations compacts. To a much greater extent than ever before, these agreements - the Kyoto Accords for example - endeavor to establish universal norms and standards. They also come from better education and from the increasing interconnectedness of the world's elites and middle classes, as described previously. Television and magazine advertising, and most especially, the Internet, have made Thai citizens more aware of the thinking of others. Many are now familiar with the causes and concerns of the West. The Thailand Council for Sustainable Business Development (TBCSD) is an umbrella organization encompassing more than fifty major companies in Thailand. Working under the supervision of the Thailand Environmental Institute, the TBCSD encourages environmentally-friendly manufacturing and businesses practices. Furthermore,

Corporations want to appeal to middle-class consumers who are increasingly environmentally concerned. Second, in the 1990s, the government began to enact more stringent environmental protection laws and regulations that the business sector must comply with. Third, requirements stemming from international trade and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the European Union shaped the environmental behavior of Thailand's export-oriented businesses. Finally, multinational corporations that operate in Thailand, by complying with environmental practices initiated by their headquarter offices, set examples for local businesses to follow in enhancing the latter's environmental record.

So, it seems that many Thai consumers do follow trends similar to those of their Western counterparts. In this case, appealing to the environmental instinct is a wise choice for the marketer. The Body Shop, and other businesses like it, would be very fortunate indeed if environmental woes were their only worry. There are, however, many other avenues of focus, such as those to which we have already alluded. Human culture is just as important a factor as ecological concern in determining purchasing preference. In fact, it is almost certainly even more significant than the latter criterion.

The preeminent importance of the culture factor can be adduced from the foregoing explanation of the development of environmentalism as a force to be reckoned with in the Kingdom of Thailand. If there had not been a cultural shift toward concern over the environment, organizations such as TBCSD would never have come into existence.

The reason for many of the difficulties encountered by retailers when they venture overseas is that they tend to export, wholesale and unchanged, a retail formula that is successful for them at home. This formula often features standalone business systems, static purchasing arrangements, and 100% ownership. While such an approach may work for a small number of retailers with truly unique and global concepts, it is not likely to succeed for the majority.

Relating to the Body Shop's ventures in places like Thailand, and also to the practices of other western corporations, Body Shop founder, Dame Anita Rodick, reiterated the company's devotion to fairness and to the protection of indigenous peoples and cultures. "She insisted local co-ops, tribes, families and other small-scale workforces need to be nurtured and protected from exploitation, enslavement, imprisonment and other human rights abuses," adding more colorfully, in her own words, "[It] deeply, deeply, deeply pisses me off... The way businesses run roughshod over indigenous communities." From the statements of its founder and guiding hand, Dame Rodick, there can be no doubt that the Body Shop is committed to pursuing a course that respects the rights of all the peoples whom it serves and with whom it deals, both Western and Non-Western.

II. Research Method

A. Introduction

Now that we have established the theory behind the Body Shop's marketing strategies, it is time to take a look at how these ideas apply in reality. According to Body Shop founder, Dame Anita Rodick, hers is a company that is committed to the equitable treatment of all peoples, and to a respect for the world's different and varied cultures. The Body Shop purports, as well, to care for the natural environment as much as it cares for the human i.e. cultural environment. Its products are made predominantly from herbal ingredients without the addition of any unnecessary artificial additives. The Body Shop's product line is, furthermore, designed to promote a "natural," "good-feeling" in those who use them. Thus, they are marketed, in effect, as agents in a kind of holistic therapy that is designed to help the individual rediscover her or his natural, true self, and so become more in tune with the unadulterated world of plants, animals - and Non-Western peoples - and, of course, with the changeless rhythms of the universe.

B. Definition of Terms

The following terms will be necessary in order to measure the effectiveness of The Body Shop's marketing campaign in Thailand:

Environmentally-Friendly - a substance or product that does not cause harm to people, animals, or plants, and that does not cause harm to the soil, the sky, rivers, groundwater, oceans, etc.

Natural - a substance or product that is made of ingredients found in nature, which ingredients are not subjected to chemical processes during the manufacturing process. Also, a substance or product not containing any artificial chemicals or substances such as are not founding nature and are manufactured in the laboratory or factory.

Culturally-Sensitive - marketing or other practices that respect the local culture i.e. practices that do not violate local sensibilities, values, mores, and taboos. Also, practices that do not tend to make, or imply, that one culture is superior to another.

Culturally-Desirable - for the purposes of this research, a product, marketing process or act, will be considered culturally-desirable if its use or practice is considered to be desirable i.e. It enhances the satisfaction of individuals in a given society, enhances their sense of self or social standing, contributes to their sense of well-being, etc. - all of these measured in cultural terms.

Physical Well-Being - In this study, any product, marketing practice or technique, that when purchased by or applied to an individual makes that individual feel that she or he is in physically better health than he/she or he was prior to the use of the product or the application of this idea.

Marketing Technique also process, program, plan, etc. - any form of advertising or promotion, including but not limited to, television and radio commercials, magazine and newspaper ads, billboards, public statements by Body Shop employees and company officials, etc.

Research Location

Research will be performed in Thailand in and around cities in which there is a Body Shop store.

Research Subjects

The research subjects will consist of two groups of individuals:

Group A: Individuals who describe themselves as regular Body Shop shoppers

Group B: Individuals who are familiar with the Body shop and what it sells, but who do not describe themselves as regular Body Shoppers.

Secondary criteria for selection of participants will consist of finding individuals that are nearly as similar as possible in terms of social and economic status, and who match the supposed profile of the potential Body Works shopper in Thailand (could be supplied by Body Works).

Research Instrument

The research instrument will consist of a questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask the participant in the study first to describe herself or himself as a member of either Group A or Group B, and then to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 her or his impressions in regard to five questions. The questions will measure the respondent's feelings in regard to the Body Shop's… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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