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Essay: Research proposal for Unilever’s strategy & impact of financial performance

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  • Published: 7 September 2022*
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BACKGROUND

This is an individual proposal, an examination of the strategy of Unilever and the impact of its financial performance. In undertaking this research I will examine, same of Unilever‘s strategies and evaluate their impact on the financial performance of the company. Over 2.5 million people in the world use some of Unilever’s products which makes the company feel good, look good and get more out of nature as people allows them to build a brighter future. In 1890 William Hesketh the founder of this multinational company innovated the sunlight soap.The product promoted hygiene and tidiness in Victoria –England .In the year 1930, Lever Brothers, a British soap maker and a Dutch margarine producer Unie merged to form Unilever.

In the literature review will research on how the strategies of Unilever as a multinational company can help me in getting relevant and specific information of their buyers and competitors, which is a critical part of measuring Unilever’s financial performance . Consumer demands impact and direct all aspects of your company’s activities and can determine the success or failure of your business as well as financial performance .According to Hughes el at (2010),”Marketing strategy; Export marketing; Innovation management; New business enterprises; High technology industries; Expansion (Business); Economic competition; International business enterprises; Business planning; Joint ventures; Decision making; Corporate growth”.Teece el. at.(1997),also defined dynamic capabilities and strategic management “as the dynamic capabilities framework analyzes the sources and methods of wealth creation and capture by private enterprise firms operating in environments of rapid technological

change. The competitive advantage of firms is seen as resting on distinctive processes. “Andrew & Smith 1996; Varadarajan & Clark 1994” Marketing strategies are often used to differentiate a company’s offerings from those of a competitor and are therefore an important source of competitive advantage “. What is the strategy? Porter (1986)” notes that those companies who can use their resources most effectively are likely to enjoy superior profits, which is especially true in today’s high-paced and ever-changing business environment. A key component of successful resource utilization is the ability to create unique solutions to existing business problems, which often requires the use of innovation and creativity” (Andrew & Smith( 1996).

FIGURE 2.

2. THE RATIONALE

The rationale of choosing to discuss Unilever’s strategies mainly because it’s a multinational company through its wide world operations and business. Again , the company has millions of people consuming their products hence holding a strong market position among its competitors such as British oil and Cake mills (Aziz,S, and Zaman,I.,(2012). Due to Unilever’s high level of operations and the larger consumer base of more than half billion customers, research on this company’s strategy will be challenging and productive , knowledge of Unilever’s strategic plans for its marketing and business operations.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

  1. What strategies Unilever uses to affect product quality .
  2. What strategies Unilever uses to impact market performance and opportunity .
  3. What strategies will have an impact on customer’s satisfaction?
  4. Strategies Unilever used for operations variables.
  5. Find out the strategies used to impact financial factors.

RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

  1. To analyze data collection concerning Unilever’s strategies and measuring effectiveness.
  2. Theoretical Model – Handoff’s Matrix for Product Development
  3. Examine a multinational company’s strategies while focusing on performance .
  4. To find out issues of multicultural management and factors affecting the creativity of marketing programs for products.
  5. To analyse the qualities required in managers in MNC’S
  6. Measure performance and set targets of Unilever

Putting performance measurement systems in place can be an important way of keeping track of the progress of your business. It gives you vital information about what’s happening now and it also provides the starting point for a system of target-setting that will help you implement your strategies for growth.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

Sengun Yeniyurt (2003 ),In multinational companies like Unilever ,” the alignment of worldwide actions with global strategy is a challenging task due to organizational complexity. Recent studies provide useful frameworks for performance measurement and strategic alignments, such as the balanced scorecard, the Scandia navigator and the economic value added. This proposal reviews previous research presents an integrated framework for performance measurement for multinational companies and provides directions for future studies”

Having said that, according to Hussain et al.,( 2013)stated that “ the most prominent opportunity that Unilever can plan for future development relates to market development and opportunity, .The idea is part of the Ansoff Matrix, a strategic tool used by companies to determine the appropriate policy to consider in terms of expansion”.Then Hasan,(2015)said that” the opportunities for Unilever present in the consumer goods market include business diversification, product innovation, market development, and business enhancement. However, the major threat to the company is from competitors. Therefore, based on SWOT, Unilever can plan to grab the market opportunity such as product innovation and business diversification. The product innovation strategy relates to the product development strategy as a good strategy based on Handoff’s Matrix”.

Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy(2018) “researched on how FMCG Company in India – Patanjali Products is handling its sales and distribution management strategies. The FMCG segment in India is very competitive and is dominated by big multinational players such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble as well as other Indian players such as Marico, Dabur, Cavinkare and Himalaya herbal. This industry is characterized by frequent product launches and the trade/ distributors play a key role in providing reach and visibility to the end users. Patanjali Products is a relatively new entrant but has rapidly found success in this category”.

Smiths el.at.(2017),” One of the strategic plans of Unilever was the Mission for Vitality that was created to help students and managers develop an appreciation for how the values underlying a marketing campaign can affect and alter an organization’s culture. The case focuses on how two products and marketing campaigns that express conflicting underlying values (as reflected in the Dove Real Beauty and the Axe Effect campaigns) within the same corporation can give rise to several unintended organizational and marketing complications”.

According to Reitsma,S.G.(2001) ,Unilever uses management development (MD) as a strategic tool to help the organization meet its short and long term goals. In recent years, Unilever has undergone a process of rapid change and MD has been important in communicating that change throughout the organization and equipping staff to deal with it. Key features that have made the MD programme work in this way for Unilever were: joint ownership and responsibility (the business and the individual); identification of talent at all levels; explicit incorporation of own wishes; company interests can take precedence over group interests; one system worldwide; performance‐development related pay; and total transparency. Besides, performance development planning is highlighted as a major component of the programme.

Also, Smith, W.S. (2009) , stated that Unilever,” the giant consumer goods company, needed a new strategy and a new way of executing the strategy to reverse declining sales and profits. This paper describes how the concept of “vitality” inspired a new strategy and a new way of working through the whole organization and how its disciplined implementation over three years revived the company’s competitiveness.”

Philip ,M.(2011)”examines Unilever’s transformation in sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) over the past decade. It tracks the author’s involvement with an internal team that studied Unilever’s world “outside in” and “inside out” through the engagement of over 100 organizational leaders to awaken the company for a change. The case reports how Unilever embraced a “vitality mission” to align its strategies and organization around sustainability and CSR and infuse social and environmental content into its corporate and product brands. Among the innovations described is the certification of the sources of sustainable fish and tea, Dove’s inner-beauty campaign, and several “bottom of the pyramid” efforts. Particular attention is given to the makeover of its high-growth Asian business. The transformation is examined as a “catalytic” approach to change and discussed concerning theories of complex adaptive systems. This raises theoretical questions about the role of top-down versus more communal leadership, the importance of mission versus vision in guiding change, and the relevance of emotive and psycho-spiritual versus more programmatic interventions in the architecture of an organization as it progresses on sustainability and CSR.”

According to researchers like Santos,(2013), stated: “that Unilever has done a good job by differentiating its ‘Axe’ brand where the commercials and advertisements of Axe brand grab the attention of consumers”.Also, Keiser el at., (2017) stated “that product development strategy does act as a secondary business-level strategy that can be used for company growth. Based on the need of Unilever to increase its revenues and profits while achieving company growth, the company can effectively use product development strategy with the help of developing and introducing new products to existing markets which can better address the needs of those consumers who seek those products. This could be done by introducing a new version or entirely new product range, under its Dove or Lux category for instance, that the company could release over time to time that could help to increase its market share as well.”

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