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Anita Roddick - pioneer of smart marketing to women

Long before Dove woo-ed the world with it's 'campaign for real beauty', long before we all discovered that women make or influence up to 80% of all purchase decisions, long before the phrase 'marketing to women' was thrown about in every ad agency across town, there was Anita Roddick and The Body Shop.

Although Roddick was one of the world's great entrepreneurs who made millions by establishing The Body Shop as a sucessfull retail brand across the globe, she was first and foremost a woman and an activist...someone who spoke her mind, cared about the world around her and who never underestimated the power of 'one'. In her own memorable words: "one mosquito can do a lot of damage in a room full of people".

Roddick didn't like the beauty industry, calling it 'the nastiest in the world'. And she didn't like the direction in which, during the late seventies and early eighties, globalized commerce was spreading its first tentacles across vunerable countries and cultures at the expense of all in its way, refusing to play the game by the new rules. Instead, she swam upstream, and founded a company that held values such as respect, sustainability and environmentally-friendly at its core, long before they became fashionable labels most companies wanted to stamp across their brands.

And thus, long before marketing to women became the goose-that-lay-the-golden-egg it is today, Roddick made millions by tapping into those values which we now know women hold dear: be brave, be real, show value.

May her example as individual, woman and entrepreneur shine bright for generations of women to come.