Marketing mix of Unilever (4Ps of Unilever)
This article offers an in-depth analysis of the marketing mix of Unilever. It examines the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) of Unilever and examines how it has been making use of these marketing techniques to appeal to its customers and continue its journey globally. Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational company. Around 2 billion people use its products every day (Unilever, 2020).
Marketing mix of Unilever (4Ps of Unilever)
Unilever’s products fall into three broad categories i.e. foods & refreshment, home care, and personal care. There are over 400 brands that the company has in its portfolio to address the needs of the customers in those three product categories. This strategy of using multiple brands is often useful for the company as it could be immune from chain effect i.e. if one brand is affected for any reason, many customers will find it difficult to associate it with other brands. In fact, some of the brands are so popular that many customers know them very well; however, have no idea that they belong to Unilever. Magnum, Persil, Dove, Comfort, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Lynx, Vaseline, Ben & Jerry’s, Heinz Ketchup, and PG Tips are some of those globally recognised names.
Unilever’s pricing strategies
The FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) market around the world is extremely competitive. Therefore, any company in this market must consider what its competitors are doing. Many analysts argue that Unilever generally follows a competitor pricing strategy. This helps the company determine the prices of its products in line with those of its competitors.
Unilever caters for different types of customers, and its pricing reflects this as well. Therefore, some products are priced high to remain consistent with the premium quality, while some others are set at a low price. It should be mentioned that Unilever has adopted a strategic pricing policy of below the market average to reach out to lower-income customers in South-East Asia, Africa, and Latin America (Unilever, 2020).
Unilever’s place/distribution channels
Unilever’s products have reached to over 190 countries and territories. So, the question is: how does Unilever distribute its products? Well, it uses a range of distribution channels. For instance, its products are available in hypermarkets, supermarkets, wholesales, cash and carry, small convenience stores, and e-commerce sites. All these channels play a critical role to take the company’s products to its customers.
It should be mentioned that Unilever has been very innovative in devising its distribution strategy particularly for rural customers in developing countries. Mahajan (2016) reports that Hindustan Unilever Limited came up with a programme of training local women as rural sales agents who would sell Unilever products door to door in their communities. Thousands of women have been trained who have already taken Unilever’s products over to 165,000 Indian villages.
A similar strategy was adopted in Pakistan where hundreds of village women were trained as beauticians to work from their homes to take personal care products to customers. Similar strategies have been introduced in the Philippines and Thailand as well. This shows that Unilever pursues an intensive distribution strategy; however, it is worth mentioning that dealing with a wide a range of distribution channels is costly and sometimes challenging as well.
Unilever’s promotion and advertising strategies
Unilever pursues a wide range of promotional and advertising strategies. Guttmann (2020) reports that Unilever spends over 7 billion euros per year in promotional activities. In the USA, it is a leading TV advertiser as evidenced from the fact that it spent 1.36 billion US dollars in the USA alone in 2017. In the same year, it spent 168 million US dollars on advertising the Dove brand alone. This shows that Unilever’s advertising efforts are massive; however, they are costly as well.
Unilever also uses sales promotion techniques such as discounts and bundle prices. Some of its products are offered in bundles of many at a discounted price. Unilever’s social media presence is massive as well. For instance, it has over 3.8 million followers in its official Facebook page. However, the number of its Instagram followers is just around 107 thousand which is far lower than that in Facebook.
We hope the article ‘Marketing mix of Unilever (4Ps of Unilever)’ has been useful. You may also like reading SWOT analysis of Unilever and Competitors of Unilever (Competitor analysis of Unilever). Other relevant articles for you are:
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Last update: 30 October 2020
Guttmann, A. (2020) Brand and marketing investment of Unilever worldwide from 2014 to 2019, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/600133/univelever-marketing-spend/ (accessed 29 October 2020)
Unilever (2020) About Unilever, available at: https://www.unilever.co.uk/about/who-we-are/introduction-to-unilever/ (accessed 28 October 2020)
Mahajan, V. (2016) How Unilever Reaches Rural Consumers in Emerging Markets, available at: https://hbr.org/2016/12/how-unilever-reaches-rural-consumers-in-emerging-markets (accessed 28 October 2020)
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.