You are on page 1of 16


page 2
• Unilever is a British-Dutch transnational consumer
goods company co-headquartered in London, United
Kingdom and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Its products include
food and beverages (about 40 percent of its
revenue), cleaning agents and personal care products. It is
the world's largest consumer goods company measured by
2012 revenue.It is Europe’s seventh most valuable
company.Unilever is one of the oldest multinational
companies; its products are available in around 190
• Unilever owns over 400 brands, with a turnover in 2017 of
53.7 billion euros, and thirteen brands with sales of over one
billion euros: Axe/Lynx, Dove, Omo, Heartbrand ice
creams, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona/D
egree, Sunsilk and Surf. It is a dual-listed
company consisting of Unilever plc, based in London, and
Unilever N.V., based in Rotterdam. The two companies
operate as a single business, with a common board of
directors. Unilever is organized into four main divisions – Unilever was founded on September
Foods, Refreshment (beverages and ice cream), Home Care, 2nd, 1929, by the merger of
and Personal Care. It has research and development the Dutch margarine
facilities in the United Kingdom (two), the Netherlands,
China, India and the United States. producer Margarine Unie and
the British soap maker Lever Brothers.

page 3
Product Price

(4PS) ANALYSIS Place Promotion

page 4
Unilever’s Products (Product Mix)
• Unilever expands its consumer goods business through the years, resulting in a broadening product mix currently
composed of over 400 brands. This section of the marketing mix identifies the company’s outputs, collectively
known as the product mix. Unilever has a wide variety of products under the following categories:
 Foods
 Refreshment (beverages and ice cream)
 Home Care
 Personal Care

• Unilever’s food products include Best Foods mayonnaise and sandwich spreads, as well as Knorr stock cubes and
sauces. The refreshment category includes Heartbrand ice creams and Brook Bond teas. Unilever sells products
like Surf laundry detergent and Sun dishwasher detergent under the home care category. The company’s Close-Up
toothpaste, Vaseline lotion, and Dove soap and shampoo are sold under the personal care category. These types
of products indicate that Unilever’s marketing mix is already highly diversified. Such diversification partly results
from the company’s acquisition strategy in the consumer goods market through the years. For example, the firm
acquired Best Foods in 2000. Unilever’s organizational structure reflects the diversity of consumer goods in this
product mix.

page 5
Place/Distribution in Unilever’s Marketing Mix
• The global operations of Unilever are a reflection of the extensive reach of the business in the
consumer goods market. The venues or places where the company transacts with customers or target
consumers are identified in this section of the marketing mix. Unilever uses the following places for
distributing its products:
 Retailers (primary)
 Kiosks
 Stores
• Retailers are the primary places of distribution for Unilever’s products. For example, Walmart is one of
the biggest retailers responsible for distributing these consumer goods. Unilever occasionally uses
kiosks to introduce products directly to customers, while utilizing personal selling. In collaboration with
retailers, the company promotes a limited selection of products through these kiosks. Also, Unilever
offers some of its products through stores, such as those of its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s. This section of
the marketing mix agrees with Unilever’s generic strategy and product development intensive growth

page 6
Unilever’s Promotion (Promotional Mix)
• Unilever needs to promote its products, considering the high level of competitive rivalry in the global consumer
goods market. This section of the marketing mix outlines the strategies and tactics in the company’s approach to
promote its products to target consumers. Unilever uses the following promotional tactics, arranged according to
 Advertising (primary)
 Sales Promotion
 Public Relations
 Personal Selling
 Direct Marketing
• Advertising serves as the primary means of promoting Unilever’s products. Many of the company’s brands have
advertisements on television and online media. The firm also occasionally uses sales promotion, such as discounts
and product bundles. For example, Dove soap bars are sometimes offered in bundles of three at a discounted
price. In terms of public relations, the Unilever Foundation’s activities enhance corporate image and brand
strength. The company sometimes implements personal selling in collaboration with retailers to operate kiosks for
certain occasions or promotional events. Direct marketing is the least significant promotional tactic in Unilever’s
marketing mix. This tactic involves directly engaging client organizations to promote suitable products. Based on
this section of the marketing mix, Unilever heavily relies on advertising as the main factor that influences
consumer perception about the company’s consumer goods.

page 7
Unilever’s Prices and Pricing Strategies
• Unilever maintains a wide variety of price points, considering the level of diversification of its
products. Prices and corresponding pricing strategies are determined in this section of the
marketing mix. In general, the most significant pricing strategies in Unilever’s consumer
goods business are as follows:
 Market-Oriented Pricing Strategy
 Premium Pricing Strategy
 Product Bundle Pricing Strategy
• The market-oriented pricing strategy entails setting price points based on consumer goods
market factors. For example, Unilever uses competitors’ pricing to determine the most
appropriate prices. On the other hand, the premium pricing strategy involves prices that are
higher than competitors’. For instance, for products like Dove, Unilever applies moderately
high prices that correspond to the premium quality of the brand. Also, the company
occasionally offers products in bundles set at discounted prices. This section of Unilever’s
marketing mix shows a mixture of strategies that suit the variations in the company’s
consumer goods and target markets.

page 8
Boston Consulting Group Matrix Of Unilever PLC.

page 9
Star (HIGH Market Share, HIGH Market Growth)
• These are brands very much at their peak, holding a large
market share in very much a growing market – therefore
requiring continued investment to hold or enhance their
position, as competitors continually enter the market and
innovate. For Unilever, a prime example of this is Lipton, the
world’s best selling tea brand. Despite its existing stature,
continued investment in the patented TESS(trademark
electronic search system) technology (which uses the natural
essence pressed from freshly picked leaves) enabled a global re-
launch of Lipton Yellow Label that fueled growth of 5.6% in the
last two years.

page 10
Cash Cow (HIGH Market Share, LOW Market Growth)
• These are yesterday’s top products in industries that have since
reached saturation. This is arguably the most important
category of brands for companies like Unilever as they require
very little further investment to generate revenue – allowing for
profits to be reinvested into Stars or Problem Child brands.
Marmite is a key Cash Cow for Unilever with sales just about
holding their own in the spreads industry that is slowly
beginning to decline in Europe and North America. Investment
in Marmite in recent years has been largely limited to
advertising campaigns.

page 11
Problem Child (LOW Market Share, HIGH Market Growth)
• These can be described as tomorrow’s bread-winners (Stars).
Often relatively young brands, they are yet to maximize their
potential within the industry and therefore require greatest
investment from the success of Cash Cow brands in order to
exploit the fast market growth ahead of competitors. The
excess profit from brands like Marmite has been reinvested into
new innovative brands like T2, the fast-growing premium tea
brand in Australia, and new products like Small & Mighty liquid
detergent, under the Omo brand (Persil in the UK), which
concentrates the same number of washes into a bottle one third
of the size.

page 12
Dog (LOW Market Share, LOW Market Growth)
• These are the dead-end products whose time has been and gone and
likely most offer no future profits. Simply keeping them on the market is
wasting resources generated by Star and Cash Cow brands. Dogs should
be disposed of unless they somehow contribute to the sales of other
brands/products within the portfolio. For this very reason, Unilever sold
its Slim-Fast brand in July 2024 to private-equity firm, Kainos Capital, to
focus on other brands with greater appeal and growth potential. The diet
industry has changed dramatically since the brand’s fast growth in the
early-2000s to the extent that it was used by 45% of the American health
and weight management market – today replaced by fads such as the 5:2

page 13
Future Recommendations
• For Unilever to secure its long-term position as the third largest global consumer goods
company, ensuring a sufficient number of Problem Child brands today is as crucial as Stars
and Cash Cows, as funded by today’s Cash Cows and Stars. Excellent portfolio management
by Unilever will see T2 become the future Dove or Lipton, before naturally becoming a
Marmite and subsequently another Slim-Fast, but smart investments will prolong the growth
stages and hold off the decline.
• This long term perspective is a key strength of the BCG Matrix as a strategic tool. However,
there are still a couple of cautions to be considered when using it. Firstly, market growth may
be directly influenced by Unilever due to its market power. For example, as Lipton is the
world’s best selling tea brand, an increase in investment by Unilever would lead to a growth of
the overall market and give the impression that the market is a Star, when in actual fact it
should be a Cash Cow. It can also be misleading in terms of defining whether a market is
growing or not depending on the brand’s countries of operation. For example, Unilever
claimed in 2013 that the soups market declined in developed markets. Therefore, if operating
solely in developed markets, a firm may seek to divest its perceived Problem Child brand
before it rapidly becomes a Dog even though there are still growth opportunities outside
developed markets (which would indicate Unilever’s Knorr soups could actually still be a Star).
page 14
Global Strategies
• Unilever has an opportunity to expand into foreign markets that it is not yet operating in, in order to gain access to
customers around the world. Supported by strengths of its four key global brands – Dove, Sunsilk, Rexona and
Lux, Unilever firstly entered in foreign market to compete internationally by entering just one or select few foreign
markets. Once successfully introduced its product in several market, Unilever expands its success brand to many
other markets and starting to compete globally.
• In entering and competing in foreign markets for its cosmetics and toiletries product, Unilever follows a global
strategy, also called by a think-global and act-global strategy, The strategy using essentially the same
competitive strategy approach in all country markets where the company has a presence (with only minimal
responsive to local conditions), sells much the same products everywhere (make minor adaption to local countries
where needed to accommodate local countries preferences), strives to build global brands, and coordinates its
actions worldwide (centralized).
• A global strategy used by the Unilever is preferable to localized strategies because Unilever can more unify its
operations and focus on establishing a brand image and reputation that is uniform from country to country. It
strategy implies to the Unilever success in building strong character brand such as Dove, Sunsilk, Rexona and Lux.
Moreover, with a global strategy Unilever should coordinated its marketing, operational and distribution

page 15
Rounak Agrawal

+91 9437575360