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Franco Bonadio joins The Body Shop as its creative director this week, admitting this former challenger brand has struggled to remain distinctive now it’s grown up. What is the biggest priority for the brand and Bonadio?

‘A definite challenge. The ethos of the brand is still central to its offer and needs to be restated to differentiate from other retailers. The in-store experience has become an eclectic mix of products – the brand needs to be more focused with delineated positionings and more inspirational/creative with its product offer, store design and packaging – and please no more soaps in baskets at Christmas.’

Simon Pemberton, Managing director, Pemberton & Whitefoord

‘Today’s individuals are inner-directed; early adopters buying to express not impress. The Body Shop once led as an early adopter and successfully influenced and changed the world. “No animal testing”, fair trade ethic and lookalikes are now commonplace. The Body Shop should identify its future relevance, and lead and inspire with full confidence that early adopters always make mass-market follow the individual. I wish him every success.’

Jonathan Ford, Creative director, Pearlfisher

‘The Body Shop has surely become a victim of its own success. Its originality of recipe, fair trade and mother earth values are no longer original, having become pedestrian in a market it previously pioneered. Bonadio’s priority must surely be to realise that the playing field has leveled out and the time for brand differentiation has arrived, welcome.’

Peter Melling, Managing director, The Core

‘Inject the original passion back into the company and then communicate it, put great, inspiring design right at the top of the agenda, act like a leader and do something surprising. Bonadio’s job is difficult, but he could be influential in creating the kind of retail design that we could all look up to…no pressure.’

Bruce Duckworth, Partner, Turner Duckworth

‘The Body Shop brand story was real and cleverly captured the mood of a time. New chapters need to be written, but must stay true to the original plot. But The Body Shop is still locked to a personality, locked to an era, and locked to a mission. Bonadio’s biggest challenge is to find the key.’

Mary Lewis, Creative director, Lewis Moberly

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