Sample Business Case Analysis Paper on Unilever

What is a brand? Why does Unilever want fewer brands at the start of the case?

A brand is a name, mark, logo, word, phrase, a sentence, or a combination of these elements that distinguish a company, or a product by a company from other companies or products from the company or other companies. In simpler terms, a brand is a unique identifier of a certain product or company (Kladou et al., 2017). Turning a company or product into a brand is important to companies. This is because, the customers, potential customers, and future customers can easily identify a product. The customers are proud of brands and in most instances remain loyal to their brands, and will always buy from their preferred brand whenever possible.

At the start of the case, Unilever allowed its products, though similar in chemical compositions and manufactured under the same patent, to assume different brand names across the world, with every regional manager deciding how to market the products. In total, it had over 600 brands, this made it hard for the company to market its products under a common idea, this was despite the products technically being similar. This meant that the company spent more than it needed to on marketing. Further, the company was motivated to move its products under one brand because, they often competed in the same market and individuals couldn’t identify their preferred brands when they traveled out of their geographical areas, thus, the company lost customers unnecessarily.

What was Dove’s market positioning in the 1950s? What is positioning in 2007?

In 1957 when the Dove bar soap was released to the market, Unilever refused to advertise the product as a soap but as a beauty bar. The company contrasted the products with other soaps which according to them were irritating due to their alkaline property. They claimed that Dove was made with special ingredients and this was after military-grade research and it was one quarter cleansing cream making it very friendly to the skin. For four decades, Unilever refused to refer to Dove as a soap. It, however, made a negligible change over the period by renaming it a moisturizing cream, this was informed by the need to align Dove with other beauty products offered by Unilever. During this time, Dove used supermodels, who according to the case were ‘blonde, white, and slender.’  The message sent during this period aspired the customers to try and achieve a perfect body and ascribe to certain attributes of ‘beauty’ the company later came to know this alienated most of its customers as it identified that only 2% of its customers described themselves as beautiful and many were not blonde, white, or even slender.

In 2007, the company decided to strike out from the established norm by the company. This was after it emerged that it had alienated a larger population of its customers. The company decided to use ‘real beauty’ for its adverts. In this campaign, common day women as opposed to supermodels were to advertise. The company was dedicated to starting a conversation on what is real beauty and what makes a woman beautiful. The campaign was very controversial – maybe, this is one of the reasons for its massive success – and many experts did not understand why a company in the beauty industry would want to change the definition of beauty and Unilever’s motivation. They were even more baffled by the fact that the company did not use its brand name in the adverts raising the question of how it was able to make money following the campaign.

Describe at least two different promotional strategies used by Dove in the case study using two of the tools that make up integrated Marketing Communications

The success of Unilever as a brand, and specifically Doe, can be attributed to the adoption of promotional strategies that resonated with the needs and touched the customers. The company primarily used integrated promotional strategies and strictly followed the 4Ps of marketing. The integrated promotional strategies is a promotional strategy that assumes different channels and methods simultaneously to reach the highest number of customers and potential customers. For instance, it could entail print media adverts, TV ads, Radio Ads, Social media adverts among others. On the other hand, using the 4Ps as a promotional strategy entails making sure the product is perfect, it’s available to the consumers, it gets promoted adequately, and is competitive prices. Covering the Place, Price, Placement, and Promotion in the 4Ps.

The company adopted the integrated promotional strategies primarily due to the wide range of products it had. Further, regional managers had the power to decide how they advertised products under their domain. Also, the products in these different regions, though technically similar, operate under different brand names. Printed media adverts were, however the most common means of promotion in the regions.

The four Ps were primarily pushed by Unilever at the international level and the regional managers initially had the choice to adopt the strategies proposed by the main office. However, the following decentralization and bringing the numerous brands under a few, the managers had to adopt the promotional material from the head office. The company placed the products in the market and made sure that they were accessible to the consumers and that the products were unique. The uniqueness of the product was underscored by the claim that Dove was, not a soap but a cleansing cream. The price of the products was also set to be competitive and advertising placed inappropriate media. These four Ps were also used to create a publicity campaign in the real beauty campaign.

What is the Current customer’s perception of the Dove brand?

The Dove marketing campaign under the real beauty campaign received a lot of attention from the public. Today, with online reviews, it is easier than ever to track the perception of a brand by the customers. The Dove brand is highly rated by its customers and has an average rating of 4.9. Hui (2020, Oct), from Singerpole, reviewed the DOVE 1 MINUTE SUPER CONDITIONER INTENSE REPAIR and said, ‘Hair feels soft silky smooth. Smells good too, but the smell stay with u thought the day, maybe too much.’ Most reviews of the products are just as appealing. The customers, despite positively reviewing the Dove brand, they also rate them higher and highly recommend them to the customers. This is desirable for Unilever as it means spending lower on adverts and more importantly having a customer-driven product promotion, thus, a higher conversion rate, at no budget!







Kladou, S., Kavaratzis, M., Rigopoulou, I., & Salonika, E. (2017). The role of brand elements in destination branding. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 6(4), 426-435.