Dove Case

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Background

Dove soap was launched in the United States in 1957 as a non-irritating skin cleaner for treatment use on burn and wounds during World War II under, the one of the largest consumer products companies in the world, Unilever. The basic Dove bar was reformulated as a beauty soap bar with one-fourth cleansing cream. It was the first beauty soap to use mild plus moisturizing cream to avoid the drying skin.

|Time line |History of Dove | |1957 |Dove soap bar was reformulated as a beauty soap bar. It was the first beauty soap to use mild, non-soap | | |ingredients plus moisturizing cream to avoid drying the skin, the way soap can. | |1970s |An independent clinical study found Dove to be milder than 17 leading bar soaps. As the result of that study, the | | |company launched a promotional campaign that highlighted the soap’s mildness. | |1990 -1994 |Dove expanded its product line to include body wash, facial cleansers, moisturizers, deodorants, and hair care | | |products. | |2004 |The company’s brand policies had been considerably modified to Path to Growth strategy by reducing the number of | | |product range from 1,600 to 400, and also by creating product brand names with a new logo, definition of symbol, | | |and redesign packaging. | |2006 |Kerstin Dunleavy, the brand manager for Unilever’s Dove line, launched the second phase for repositioning their | | |brand image in September. |

Problem identification

In times with high competition and a market based on generic products that only differentiates from one another in very few ways, Dove found themselves in a situation of staggering sales and drop in market share. Consumers had a positive perception of Dove as a reliable brand based on natural ingredients. Yet, on more emotional parameters the brand was outdated and old-fashioned. A loyal group of customers did exist, but new ones were hard to attain. Action had to be taken and this in a controversial way to stand out from the crowd.

Initially, Dove felt a need to gain an in-depth knowledge of their customers. This way, a paradox between media and reality within the beauty industry appeared and shaped the foundation for a new brand focus. Based on a survey, “The Real Truth about Beauty: A Global Report”, it became clear that there were a strong link between low self-esteem within a majority of women and a general illusion of beauty. This shaped the foundation for a new campaign through which beauty was defined in a broader way – with a philosophy of making the customers feel beautiful by emphasizing natural women.

The campaign showed impressive results. Image and brand equity improved as a result of media campaigns, loyalty programs, and CSR-incentives - and a path for turn over was established. In regards to the future, the concern treats how to take the strategy to the next level and ensure future success. Decisions need to be in sync with the new position and brand promise, but in order to continuously distinguish from the competitors and maintain the competitive advantage new dimensions also need to be added.

Objectives

To resolve the downside of Dove brand image was modified in order to increase market share and create attractive marketing campaign. However, functional benefits of Dove had to be retained.

After successful reorganized brand...
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