Marketing Practitioner Project
An interview was conducted with the Brand Manager of Dove, which is a product of Unilever – one of the largest FMCG Company of the world. The interview was in-depth in which several questions were asked, and are explained below. Company Description – Unilever is a multinational company that deals in the fast moving consumer goods that are used by the customers on daily basis. The company operates in all the continents and more than 100 countries all over the world. The sales in almost all the countries are high since it does not face a tough competition from other companies.
Products Offered – Unilever offers a wide range of products that come under the categories of Food, Home care, Personal care, Nutrition, and Health/hygiene. Some of the products, for instance, are Surf, Dove, Rin, and Knorr (Unilever, 2010). Target Markets – The products are targeted towards all the three social classes – upper, middle, and lower, since there are several different products within a product line meant for all these three categories. Moreover, households are targeted rather than industrial side, since the products are of daily use by both the male and female, who include children, adults, aged, and housewives.
Customer Profiles – The customers that often come to purchase the products from retail stores are housewives who usually shop and have to take care of all these necessary products, which are used in cooking, eating, drinking, housecleaning, washing, and for personal care. There is no hard and fast rule about it, because customers can also be men who do a job somewhere and usually purchase the grocery. Gender, demographics, ethical backgrounds, education, or income do not really matter for their purchases.
Marketing Mix – The integration of marketing mix of Unilever is quite harmonious and in line with each other. Four elements of the marketing mix are; Product, price, place, and promotion of the products all go hand in hand with each other. The product that is launched in the market is backed by the effective pricing models, right place where the product should be delivered, and promotion that must meet the needs of the product and must be effective enough to result in high purchases. Now let’s discuss the 4 P’s of marketing in detail.
Under the product category, Unilever ensures to provide the optimum quality, benefit, and convenience to the customers that can easily fulfill their needs and wants. Prices are reasonable for those products, since they are set depending on the type of product, to whom it is being positioned, to whom it targets, its features, and manufacturing costs. Placement for the products is done according to the characteristics of the target market, the demand within the segment, and market trends. And finally, promotion is done by using all tools of marketing – advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and personal relations.
SWOT Analysis – Strengths of Unilever its huge network throughout the world, its large market share, brand loyalty, and strong brands. Weaknesses were not told to us by the Brand Manager, but he did tell us the opportunities and threats. The opportunity lies in expanding the product portfolio of the company, since the company sees the potential in baby care products that would be considered to add in the portfolio. As far as the threats are concerned, there is a huge competitor of Unilever named, Procter and Gamble, that also has a huge market share and range of products.
So Unilever does not enjoy the total market share solely; in fact, P&G and a couple of other small competitors let Unilever to face some competition. Competitive Structure – The competitive structure of the business sector can neither be said as monopoly not as oligopoly. In fact, there lies a perfect competition in this FMCG industry. Unilever does not only face competition with other multinational companies such as, P&G, Reckit & Benckiser, Johnson & Johnson, but it also have to face competition from other ‘local’ FMCG companies of other countries that also eat up some market share.
Moreover, along with direct competition, there also lies indirect competition, where there are some small companies that offer substitute products for those of Unilever. Uncontrollables in the Industry – There are not as such uncontrollable factors in the industry that totally get out of control and harm the company’s business; nevertheless, there are some economic factors that may result in the decline of sales.
For instance, recent Global Financial Crisis resulted in lowering the demands of the customers for different products; therefore, the purchasing power along with the consumer spending fell that resulted in lowering the sales and not achieving the stated profit level. Apart from that, there are no other issues since the products are of daily use, and no one can avoid them straight away because they are the ‘essential’ ones on which many of our things depend. Specific Area of Marketing Mix – Promotion – The specific are of marketing mix was Promotion, which is done through advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and personal relations.
And as far as the sales promotion is concerned, this strategy helps the company to increase the sales by providing the consumers with attractive offers or discounts over the products, especially in suitable occasions such as, Christmas, Halloween, and Eid. They increase the quantity of the product for instance, shampoo, at the same price; reduce the prices for the same quantity, or introduce the offer of buy one get one free. Publicity is also done by the company to gain the larger chunk of the market for a particular brand or product.
They often carry out campaigns for the publicity of the products at various places such as, amusement parks, apartments, and other public places; they offer free samples of the product to the consumers, ask them to try it, and also entice them by inviting them to play games and win prizes. Public relations play a key role for the success of the products. Unilever has strong connections with PR agencies and Media buying agencies. Unilever is the client of ‘Mindshare’, which is a well-reputed media buying agency.
In short, advertising has really affected the consumers positively and entices them to purchase and use their products Skill Set required – The skills that are required for this job of Brand management includes Emotional Intelligence, creativity, a deep understanding of consumer behavior, good communication skills, and ability to make significant decisions wisely and within shorter time span. Impact of Technology – The technology has affected the overall business and the job responsibilities of the Brand Manager in a positive way.
For instance, marker research, product promotion in terms of advertisement, customer feedback and maintaining good customer relationships have improved much more than before. Long-term prospects – The manager was a little evasive in answering this question; nevertheless, he said that the company would definitely eye on the opportunities to expand its product portfolio, foreign markets, market share, and customer satisfaction. References Unilever. (2010). Brands for Life. Retrieved on August 3, 2010. From http://www. unileverusa. com/brands/index. aspx