Should The Body Shop be mobilizing voters?

Discussion
Source: The Body Shop
Aug 17, 2022

Timed to International Youth Day (August 12), The Body Shop has launched a youth voter engagement and registration drive across its U.S. stores and website ahead of the November midterm elections.

Consumers can check their registration status, register to vote and learn about the importance of voting in 2022’s midterms.

The effort is an extension of May’s launch of Body Shop’s “Be Seen. Be Heard” campaign, in partnership with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. Body Shop said young voters in the U.S. typically participate in elections at rates of 20 to 30 percent lower than older voters.

The new in-store voting push comes as surveys continue to show young adults want companies to take a stand on issues. Body Shop has come out strongly on issues in the past, including reproductive health care.

“Over the last few years, we have been deeply inspired by how young people have flexed their political voice through direct protesting, lobbying their representatives and advocating for causes online,” said Hilary Lloyd, VP of marketing and corporate responsibility for Body Shop North America, in a statement. “Now, we’re proud to help amplify their voices at the ballot box.”

In 1990, the launch of the “Rock the Vote” campaign elevated the push to encourage young Americans to vote, although “get out the vote” campaigns typically focus on presidential elections.

November’s midterm elections, however, are receiving more attention than usual, similar to the buildup prior to the 2018 midterms, according to a recent Gallup poll taken in June. The economy, gun policy and abortion were found to be key issues this year.

In 2018, 411 companies joined the “Time To Vote” campaign, pledging to make voting easier for their employees. The campaign was led by Patagonia, Walmart, Levi Strauss, PayPal and Tyson Foods. Some consumer-based voter campaigns were launched as well. Hot-button issues at the time included the Trump administration’s planned reductions to Utah national monuments, the Paris climate agreement exit, revamped immigration policies and gun control.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Body’s Shop’s voter engagement and registration campaign make sense for the cosmetics chain as well as for many other retailers? Is it more important for retailers, particularly those targeting younger adults, to get behind “get out the vote” efforts, given in the politically-charged environment?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I am not sure if it makes sense for other retailers, but it’s on brand for The Body Shop. "
"...younger generations especially will be the first to call out when their favorite influencer “sells out,” pushing product or a message to make money or fit in."
"Given the importance of our next two elections, it makes perfect sense for Body Shop to speak up, and speaking up enhances the brand."

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7 Comments on "Should The Body Shop be mobilizing voters?"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I see no problem with this for two reasons. First, encouraging people to vote – no matter what their political views – is a good thing. Second, this type of campaign is extremely aligned with Body’s Shop’s values and activism which is well understood by consumers.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I am not sure if it makes sense for other retailers, but it’s on brand for The Body Shop. Taking a stand and making a difference was part of founder Anita Roddick‘s vision.

Tara Kirkpatrick
BrainTrust

Being authentic to the core values of a founder/founding team is always good for business, period. It will attract people aligned with those values so long as the PR and marketing around the statement is strategic to get it in front of them. So in this case, according to the comments from others, it makes sense for The Body Shop, but it should not be deployed by companies for whom that would be disingenuous. People are intuitive, and younger generations especially will be the first to call out when their favorite influencer “sells out,” pushing product or a message to make money or fit in.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Given the importance of our next two elections, it makes perfect sense for Body Shop to speak up, and speaking up enhances the brand.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

No, no and no. Although there’s nothing wrong with passive efforts to encourage civic engagement — flying a flag on election day or giving workers an hour off to vote — ideas like this seldom end well. Always ask the question — either figuratively or, in this case, literally — “is this really any of our business?” The answer here would seem to be “no.”

Patrick Jacobs
BrainTrust

Any brand making efforts to stand behind or amplify authentic core values makes sense. Now more than ever consumers want to engage with brands that reflect their own wants and Body Shop is willing to be in a bold position.

If a brand is asking if it makes sense to stand for what they believe in, they would be best suited to go back to the drawing board. Every demographic, especially younger consumers are skilled and educated enough to place loyalty into brands without waiting for permission. Whatever activist position retailers choose to amplify should be authentic, but the position should not be done as a marketing draw.

Carlos Arambula
BrainTrust

The campaign is organic to Body Shop’s brand so it makes sense. Other brands with similar attributes can get away with similar campaigns. Ultimately, it’s encouraging young people to vote, not directing who to vote for, so I don’t think this is controversial at all.

Today’s youth is more engaged in activism, even if it’s passive engagement, so Body Shop’s messaging is going to get attention and engagement.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I am not sure if it makes sense for other retailers, but it’s on brand for The Body Shop. "
"...younger generations especially will be the first to call out when their favorite influencer “sells out,” pushing product or a message to make money or fit in."
"Given the importance of our next two elections, it makes perfect sense for Body Shop to speak up, and speaking up enhances the brand."

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