Ok, so by now you’ve heard that Urban Decay have withdrawn their recent plans to sell in China, which would have meant that they would legally have had to start testing on animals, if you don’t know the full story, you can read all about it on British Beauty Blogger.
Basically, they announced they would sell in China and then today, changed their mind and released a statement about their change of heart, which can also be read on BBB via the above link. I’ve been watching lots of happy tweets on Twitter, stating things along the lines of ‘look how powerful customers are’ and ‘ we changed their minds’ I thought this was very sweet, but Liloo (@tsunimee) suggested I write a post explaining some of the deeper issues that are more likely the reason why the decision was made.
From working in the industry, I can tell you that big decisions like this one are very rarely changed because of customers. I know it sounds very pessimistic and sceptical, but realistically, big businesses and the big wigs at the heads of businesses don’t care about how we feel or our ethics or efforts to change things, 99% of the time it is about money.
So, although it is great that Urban Decay have chosen not to sell in China, which would have seriously compromised their cruelty free principles, the more likely scenario is that they changed their mind because of money not customer influence. It could be that their backing from a retailer in China fell through, meaning that the project couldn’t be progressed. Or, it could be another case of money.
It’s like when a product is discontinued, the brand knows it has fans and it is often sad when a line or product has to be discontinued, but when a item isn’t making money or doesn’t have the backing of a retailer it can’t be manufactured anymore (in some cases). Simple as.
The other thing that could be a option, it would be a strange one, but possible, is that all of this was merely publicity stunt. Remember, bad publicity is still publicity. I think this option is highly unlikely, but I just wanted to put it to you guys to think outside of the box. In business, things aren’t how they appear at face value.
Think of how many people have been talking about Urban Decay now, when previously it was all about the beige of the Naked palettes. Maybe, they have something up their sleeves to revive interest after this and all of it was just a bit of theatre to get attention before a big launch or rebrand? Who knows?!
This is all just my speculation with a different angle on the story, I hope it will make you think outside of the box and to help you consider the business aspects of decision in any industry.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and would be happy to answer your questions if I can.
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