Unilever was founded in 1930 as result of the merger of the Dutch company Margarine Unie and the English company dedicated to the manufacture of soaps, Lever Brothers. The Unilever business grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America. In April 2000 it bought both Ben & Jerry's and Slim Fast.
The company is multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent (except Antarctica) and research laboratories. The company is said to promote sustainability and started a sustainable agriculture program in 1998. Covalence, an ethical reputation ranking agency, placed Unilever at the top of its ranking based on positive versus negative news coverage for 2007. In 2010, Unilever and EVGA announced today that they have signed an agreement under which Unilever will acquire EVGA’s ice cream brands and distribution network in Greece, for an undisclosed amount. Corporate Structure
At finally of the 90’s decade, Unilever’s market position was quite similar in all the European countries in which the company was working. In Portugal, for example, they had Ola; Walls’ was the brand owed in the United Kingdom, with Lyon’s Made (Nestlé), Mars and Sainsbury as their main competitors; Miko was the company’s brand in France; in Italy they sold under Algida brand; German’s company was called Lagnesse and finally, Unilever was represented in Spain by Frigo, that also competed with Camy and Miko, owed by Nestlé. During the 1980’s the group had been gradually introducing the same products and brands in most of its subsidiaries, rolling out successful introductions initially made in some of the leading markets. International products have been growing in importance in all the subsidiaries whereas local products increasingly account for fewer turnovers.
Frigo, the Spanish subsidiary.
Frigo is a Spanish company dedicated to manufacture and sell ice cream, which is part of the multinational Unilever since 1973. The firm operates as a Spanish brand of Heartbrand international arm, which operates in other Spanish-speaking countries such as Holland Ice (Mexico) or Tio Rico (Venezuela). The company was founded in 1927 in El Poble Nou, a suburb of Barcelona, with the name of Food Refrigeration Industries. This company was the first Spanish company to produce industrially frozen and later spread throughout the country as Frigo Products. In those years, not only ice cream but yogurts were produced.
Under Unilever’s control, Frigo is specialized in ice cream, and also to distribute the Group’s international brands (such as Magnum, Cornetto, Calippo or Cuore) developed their own references as Frigodedo, Frigo Pie, Dracula and Twister, with which got much popularity in the years 1980 and. In those years, Frigo also adopted a mark similar to those of other companies Unilever ice cream in the rest of Europe. In 1998 absorbed Heartbrand image, with a heart as a logo, and expanded its range of flavors.
Which are the principal problems?
The main problem of the company is that the brand image needed to be reinforced. They are afraid of the impact that changing the image may have on sales. The public was definitely familiar with the company products.
So the big question was how to effectively introduce changes without simultaneously losing the image that Frigo had built up over the years in various countries and local markets.
They start to try changing the logotypes, because they think that this could facilitate the operation, but this requires such a tremendous change.
In the end the main problem boils down to two main questions; Create a global image or not. From here you have smaller problems: change packages, brand names, logo designs, current market image, and overall marketing image.
What we will attempt to do in an effort to further understand our options, will be to break apart the various options that Frigo has, analyse what can be done and discuss possible effects this will...