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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: 14th September 2019
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2

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What is a brand? Why does Unilever want fewer of them?


    A brand is a product that is made under a specific name by a company.  Unilever wants to have a few  mega brands that are well known and have a strong global identity, instead of having many small brands that are not globally known. These “master brands” will be an umbrella identify for a wide range of products, forming stronger brands and bringing more control to Unilever.  To centralize their global identity, Unilever strategized a “Path of Growth”, where they will bring their total brands from 1600 to 400 brands.

What was Dove's marketing positioning in the 1950s? What is its positioning in 2007?

In 1950, Dove positioned itself as a beauty bar that did not dry out consumer's skin. They did not call it a soap, and advertised that it was made out of one- quarter cleansing cream. It was found to be milder on skin than other soaps, which is what helped Dove become its own successful brand when it launched the beauty bar in 1957.

In 2007, Dove focused more on real beauty and the self esteem of the consumer buying dove. They began the “real beauty” campaign, and used “real” women as models for the ads. For the campaign, the mission statement was:

“Dove's mission is to make more women feel beautiful everyday by broadening the narrow definition of beauty and inspiring them to take great care of themselves” (pg. 4)

They focused on the emotional part of marketing, which worked in their favor. The viewpoint of beauty was narrow before this campaign, and Dove has began a conversation about what beauty and self esteem mean.

3. How did Unilever organize to do product category management and brand management in Unilever before 2000? What was the corresponding structure after 2000?

Before 2000, the brand management system for Unilever was similar to other competitors in the market.  The firm offered multiple brands with a different brand manager assigned to each one. Each of these brands operated separately, almost as separate businesses.

After 2000, the brand management system was guided by the growth initiative. The responsibility for the management was split into two groups; One group focused on the development of the brand, while the other builded the brand in specific markets.  This split helped centralize Unilever's brand development.

4. Research the history of the real beauty campaign. How have these campaigns and any related online discussions you find contributed to the brand identity of Dove?

Dove began the conversation about real beauty in the marketing industry, which inspired interest to the campaign, and got people to think about it. There was four series to the development of the “real beauty” campaign. The first was the tick-box campaign, where Dove had billboards, magazines, etc. with a photo of a woman saying “outsized” or “outstanding”, as well as other comparisons. The next series was a firming campaign, which featured women of different body types dancing around in their undergarments in order to sell a firming cream. The third series involved executives filming their own daughters about their beauty. This one was controversial because it did not directly sell a product. For the fourth series, they created a video titled “evolution” which showed different women being photoshopped from everyday looks, to what they would look like in a magazine. Each of these series worked to spark a national conversation about beauty in the marketing world, and in the society as a whole.

  The campaign was altogether a transition for Dove to move from the functionality approach, to a more emotional approach. The Dove products still did their functional job, while helping women feel beautiful naturally. According to Jean Kilbourne, “Dove was- and still is, one of the only mainstream advertisers talking about how we define female beauty”. (

5.  Research the most recent campaigns? There have been missteps. How would you advise Dove about how to approach their campaigns going forward?(See below but you may be able to find additional material)

I think the most important thing Dove can do for their campaigns moving forward is to pretest their ads and campaigns. This is vital to their success because exposing a large quantity of people to the ad will give them an idea as to how the general public would react to the content and delivery of the ad or campaign. This will save them money in case their campaign is not successful. Another thing they can do is build off of what is already successful. If they were able to position themselves at different points of view or continue their “real beauty” campaign in a new way, they will continue to be successful in their emotional appeal of their branding.

In the light of the recent issues with the bottle shapes and the ad, it seems that Dove is trying to use a more bold approach to keep their name on the market. I believe this is hurting their image, and they should use a different approach to continue their popularity in the market.

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