NIVEA: SOFTENING AND STANDARDIZING GLOBAL MARKETS
Just as healthy skin requires the proper pH balance to flourish, a strong global brand must find the right balance between marketing efforts that build consistency in overall worldwide positioning and the need to appeal to specific geographic and cultural markets. Beiersdorf (BDF), the German manufacturer of Nivea skin care products, seems to have mastered that balancing act with all the skill of an Olympic gymnast. Introduced in 1912, Nivea Creme was a unique water-in-oil emulsion, a formulation that set it apart from the fat-only creams available at the time. The brand’s positioning also made it distinct from other products on the market: It was a multipurpose cream sold at a price that made it available to the masses, rather than to only the upper-class women who were the competition’s target market. Over the years, Nivea’s positioning strategy has remained as simple and steadfast as the now-familiar blue-and-white package. Despite all the technological developments the company has introduced in skin care products, and all the markets it has sold in, Nivea’s marketing always focuses on key brand benefits—high quality, reasonable price, straightforward approach, and mild skin care. This commitment to the mainstream market and focus on multipurpose applications means that every product introduced under the Nivea name has to conform to guidelines which ensure that everyone working on the brand around the world knows what it stands for. Nivea’s marketing strategy is well stated by Rolf Kunish, chairman of the Beiersdorf Group: “The strategy of concentration on exploiting market potentials and regional growth opportunities is to be continued. The same applies to moves into new market segments and to increased investment in research and development.” Exploiting market potentials means constantly introducing new products that meet current market needs and the needs of newly targeted market segments. One example...
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