Unilever’s brand “Dove” has been one of the company’s leading brands and “in 2007, Unilever’s Dove was the world’s number-one ‘cleansing’ brand in the health and beauty sector, with sales of over $2.5 billion a year in more than 80 countries.. It competed in categories that included cleansing bars, body washes, hand washes, face care, hair care, deodorants, anti-perspirants, and body lotions.” The competition was against leading products of companies like P&G, Kao’s and Beiersdorf’s.
Over the years Unilever had become proud owner and operator of a dozen brands all over the world and each worth more than a billion dollars. Although Unilever had much to be proud of, having so many brands spread out all over the world was creating global decentralization. In other words, each brand stood out on its own in each of the respective countries but Unilever wasn’t the unifying identity. In retrospect, the company decided to go along a “Path of Growth” in 2000 and create strong and centralized global brand identity:
“An important part of this initiative was a plan to winnow its more than 1,600 brands down to 400.. Among the surviving brands, a small number would be selected as “Masterbrands,” and mandated to serve as umbrella identities over a range of product forms. Previously Unilever had managed brands in a relatively decentralized fashion, allowing direction to be set by brand managers in each of the geographic regions in which the brand was marketed. Now, for the first time, there would be a global brand unit for each Masterbrand, entrusted with responsibility for creating its global vision and charged with inspiring cooperation from all geographic markets.”
Unilever’s brand Dove was a concept that originated in the 1950’s in the USA, this was the post-World War II era. The core concept behind the Dove soap was that it didn’t dry out skin like normal soap and it used military based research and scientific evidence to back this idea up. The soap was marketed through print media, billboard ads and television ads eventually building a huge brand identity and equity for Dove.
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