Unilever South Africa

Topics: South Africa, Africa, 2003 Cricket World Cup Pages: 5 (1467 words) Published: May 21, 2013
Companies with strong influence over the South African economy.| |
Kioko Kasyoka|

Unilever is the third largest multinational consumer goods company. It owns over four hundred brands some of which are found in South Africa. It began operations in South Africa in 1891 when it introduced the popular Sunlight brand. It is therefore fact that Unilever has always been a key player in South Africa’s economy.

During apartheid many multinationals began to withdraw from South Africa as disinvestment gained momentum. Unilever’s however decided to continue investing in the South African economy. Unilever’s Capital Expenditure between 1980 and 1985 exceeded R192 million with Lever Brothers buying Reckitt–Columbus, the industrial division of Reckitt and Colman, in 1982 and then adding a new NSD Plant and Oil Mill in Boksburg, an upgraded Bath soap manufacturing facility in Durban and production facilities for silica gels.

1985 marked the acquisition of Brooke Bond Oxo, followed by Cheesebrough Ponds in 1987, Simonsberg Cheese in 1988 and the local Elizabeth Arden business in1989.

Ola ice cream was established in 1994 and Van Den Bergh & Jurgens and Lipton were merged to establish Unifoods as an integrated foods business. Extensive capital investment was made in new IT systems, innovation in soap powders (concentrates), and in new foods. Unilever continued to consolidate and, in 1996, Lever Brothers and Elida Ponds merged to form a strong home and personal care company called Lever Ponds. In 2004, in line with the Global name alignment, Lever Pond’s was renamed Unilever South Africa Home and Personal Care. On the same basis, the Foods business was renamed Unilever South Africa Foods.

In 2007 , Unilever South Africa Home and Personal Care and Unilever South Africa Foods were merged together to form the company we today call Unilever South Africa Pty Ltd

The current Unilever corporate logo was introduced in 2004 and was designed by the brand consultancy Wolff Olins. It is composed of 24 icons woven together to create a U shape, with each icon representing one of the company's sub-brands or its corporate values.[37] The brand identity was developed around the idea of "adding vitality to life

For three consecutive years Unilever has made an impact at the Product of the Year Awards, even scooping 12 awards in the year 2011.This is testimony to the effort Unilever takes to ensure that its products are of superior quality. It therefore has an edge over its competition in this respect which helps retain and increase the number of customers it has.

In 2011 Unilever South Africa ranked No1 Large Sized Employer and No1 FMCG Employer at the CFR SA Best Employers Awards 2011.It also ranked 4th on the Overall Best Employer. Unilever therefore has a knack for employee satisfaction. It has satisfied employees in terms of remuneration, good working conditions and equal/fair treatment of all employees. With obviously motivated employees Unilever is able to conduct operations efficiently and effectively. This ensures that the company’s annual goals are attained and maximum profits are made.

Unilever biggest strength is its brands. Sunlight is Unilever’s largest selling brand, while others such as Omo, Lux, Lipton, Ola and Knorr are famous household names. Unilever operates in nine product categories. These are namely laundry, savoury and dressings, skincare and cleansing, margarine, deodorants, household care, tea, hair care and ice cream. It leads the market in seven of these categories Consumer research also plays a vital role in brand development. Unilever’s excellent strategy of creating strong brands has ensured that over the years the company’s products have continued to have a strong presence in the market. Strong branding also helps their brands be more attractive to the final consumer who would probably purchase them over the...
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