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November 14, 2006

L'Occitane Sees the Good

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Business

LOccitane11-13-06.jpgNovember is American Diabetes Month. Because vision is so closely related to diabetes, it provides the perfect backdrop for a company and a cause that are proving it's OK to get close.

L'Occitane has been creating body care, skincare and fragrance products for over 30 years. They are also known for their active role in the blind community because nearly all of their packaging includes braille. In 1996, founder Oliveier Baussan noticed a blind woman sampling perfumes. A decade later, L'Occitane is a leading advocate for the visually impaired.

There is an estimated 10 million visually impaired people living in the United States. That's not a big market for L'Occitane and, according to Business 2.0, some experts suggest it costs 4 to 6 cents for braille to be added to each L'Occitane package. So why do they do this?

Reading through L'Occitane's philosophy, it is easy to be endeared to this company. From running a summer perfume school for visually impaired teenagers near company headquarters in France, to donating proceeds to charities for the blind, it appears L'Occitane is simply L'caring.

It's refreshing to see a company care enough about a cause to even risk a little profit in the process. Call me an incurable idealist, but I think this is the way it should be. Will L'Occitane reap the rewards of good publicity and goodwill? Who cares. It's the cause that wins. And the cause should win every time.

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