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The History and Growth of Unilever: How the Company Still Fares Well in the Market

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Introduction

History: Unilever started in 1929. It was the merging between two companies of Europe. Their Head office are in England and Netherlands. One was Lever Brothers (UK) and other was Margarine Unie (Netherlands). Pam oil was the common thing between them.

Unilever is world’s one of the foremost Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company. It has 400 worldwide brands and its products are available in 190 countries of the world which are used by 2 billion consumers daily. Unilever has 172,000 employees worldwide. Its turnover was 48.4 billion Euro’s and the turnover of its 13 major brands was 1 billion Euro’s.

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History in Pakistan: Unilever was established in Pakistan in 1948 in an Oil Factory,located in Rahim Yar Khan. It is the largest multi-national company working in Pakistan. It was then moved to Karachi in mid-60 of the 19th century. Now its head quarter’s is in Karachi and it operates six factories in different locations of Pakistan. It makes products for low income customers. It has more than 25 brands and 1,500 employees in Pakistan. Unilever has more than 25 brands in Pakistan which are divided into 3 Categories:

  • Foods and Drinks
  • Personal Care
  • Home Care

The brands include Brooke bond, Clear, Close up, Comfort, Cornetto, Domex, Dove, Fair and Lovely, Knorr, Lifebuoy Shampoo and Soap, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rin, Sur excel, Sunlight, Toni and Guy, Sun silk etc.

Birth

Sun Light washing Powder is one of the Unilever Personal care Brand which is aimed for washing clothes. Level brothers initiated the idea of Sunlight Washing powder where Unilever got subsidy and earns revenue from it. It says that it is a moment of joy for women of Pakistan when they have Sunlight with them because of its delightful wash experience. Sunlight washing powder was introduced in Pakistan in 2011. Its purpose is to provide valuable washing powder in order to eliminate the stains completely. In Pakistan Sunlight faces a very strong competition from other brands such as Ariel, Surf Excel, Brite, Bonus, Super etc. Sunlight strive hard to get high sales in urban areas due to its competitors. As a result, their main objective is to point in Punjab areas. The middle and lower working class are lean towards to buy this product due to its quality and comparatively low-priced detergent.

Growth

Sunlight washing powder provides multiple varieties:

  1. Lemon and Orange Flavor
  2. Lemon and thousand Flower flavor

It is available in different packages for eg 500 grams, 1K.G, 5K.G and 10KG. These packages depend upon on customer preferences upon the need and want of washing powder. Sunlight washing powder is devoted to pleasure the customers with impeccable, fresh and magnificent fragrances. The sunlight color guard crystal is best known for keeping garments new for longer time. Sunlight washing powder always struggles to convey value and product. Sunlight is worthy at contributing a worthy wash to garments, a person don’t have to fright about getting flatness of clothes. Sunlight famous tag line is “Sunlight……….for the love of color!” Sunlight is also well-known for using film celebrities as it’s brand representatives. Sunlight washing powder believes in value of money and customer satisfaction. Sunlight washing powder tends to provide quality washing powder with reasonable and affordable prices as compared to its competitors.

Market Segmentation

Geographical

Geographical segmentation refers to the part of segment which shares the market into various parts of location such as cities, population densities, streets, districts etc. Sunlight in Punjab rural parts have a major middle class, which consists of 29% in the country. The sunlight targets the regions of Punjab such as Faisalabad, Jhang Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rawalpindi.

Demographic

Demographic segmentation refers to the segment which divide the market into groups based on age, gender, race, occupation, income. In the demographic segmentation, Sunlight washing powder objects the housewives. The family size is usually small. It target women from 18 and above. It is reasonably priced for any middle lower class and lower class family. It is a moment of joy for women of Pakistan when they have Sunlight with them because of its magical wash involvement.

Behavior

Behavioral segmentation refers to marketing approach based on real consumer buying behavior. It divides the market into group of customers according to their attitude towards, knowledge of product. Sunlight is used in daily bases. Though it is used in middle class, however Sunlight gives the value of money you get to know their daily routine bases. Sunlight also showed in one of the advertisement related to the gifts in the Sunlight packages where it offered basic necessities of life such as washing machine, bike, tractor etc.

Psychographic

Psychographic segmentation refers to the marketing approach based on customer lifestyles, personalities, social class, interest of consumer etc. Sunlight targets the middle lower and lower class society. It wants to switch people from soap to powder. It showed in one of the advertisement when husband got the soap and some cheap washing powder, the wife refused to use it and asked husband to return it as she got much better washing powder which is not only good for garments but its economical and gives better wash than other washing powders and decided to use Sunlight for future use.

4 P’s of Sunlight Washing Powder

Product: Sun Light washing powder is one of the Unilever Brand and is a washing powder which is used to remove stains from the clothes and to clean the clothes. This washing Detergent usually targets and carters the middle class people as these people are usually not Brand conscious. They not into spending their income on expensive washing powders such as Ariel or Surf Excel. Sun Light washing Powder was launched by Unilever in 2011 with two of its variants which include Thousand Flowers and lemon orange. As it’s one of the Unilever Brand so firm actions are been implement with inspections to be sure that there are no damaging ingredients is there which can affect the customers in a atrocious way.

Promotion: Sunlight washing powder mainly promotes its washing Powder through Television advertisements , Bill Boards and with a little help of social media for example if there is any special event like Eid so taking out offers of Buy one get one free and posting it on their Face Book page to attract more people and customers of their rivals. Sun Light Washing Powder trust and believes in complete customer comfort. As Sunlight Washing powder faces a major competition in Urban Areas like in Karachi from Surf Excel so it focuses promoting in regions like rural areas of Sindh and Punjab.

Price : Sun Light Washing Powder is aware that if they want to operate successfully in the market they will have to keep the prices low as compared to its competitors like surf Excel and Ariel , also as they target middle class and regions of rural Sindh and Punjab their prices are relatively low .It believes in value of Money The Prices are as follows :

  • Price of One K.G Bag of Surf Excel= RS 135 Price of One K.G bag Sun Light = Rs 105
  • Price of 500 Grams of Surf Excel = Rs 80 Price of 500 Grams bag of Sun Light= Rs 55

Place : As Sun Light washing Powder comes under the Unilever so it has a domestic Market as well as an international market . With the help of Unilever its available in almost all the regions of Pakistan and is being sold in some of the very big Super Stores and retail market such as Springs store , Imtiaz , Naheed and etc . Sun Light washing powder is very much famous and common in Pakistan agrarian areas where the middle class and lower working class is located such as areas of Sindh and Punjab. They focus in a market where they feel the people are not so brand conscious and they only have to fulfill their basic need .

Targeting

The target market usually comes when the firm or the brand is done with the complete segmentation . After completing the process of Segmentation Sunlight washing powder decided where they can fit in well , and in which market they should introduce their detergent so they can get a higher success rate .Target market includes few variants such as Mass Marketing, Niche Marketing and etc . Sunlight washing powder mostly does and implements a niche marketing strategy as they are targeting the rural areas and the Middle class people . They somehow attend to attract the consumers of their rivals and keep their detergents in big retail stores but their sales percentage are lower in urban areas as compared to their competitors

Competition

Sun Light washing Powder faces a major competition from Surf Excel , Ariel , Rim and etc especially in the Urban Market . They face much difficulties in competing with them because they currently provide better Quality than sun light with a fair price which a upper middle class have no issues on affording it . Also people in urban areas are very much Brand loyal and conscious so they are not much willing to change their preference until something very drastic happens so the price game cannot be played here . Sunlight washing though take advantage of the rural areas and as they have low prices so people buy sunlight washing powder much often so other brands have difficulty in surving in rural areas and competing with the sunlight washing.

Celebrity Endorsements

The brand is well known for using film superstars as its brand ambassadors. For the marketing SUNLIGHT WASHING POWDER hired famous actors from both the Indian and Pakistani industry which include Salman Khan and Ali Zafar as the brand endorser. Moreover, for the local Pakistani channels they have hired Pakistani Actor Shan with Actress Noor and Actress Hira Mani with Actor Imran Ashraf as the celebrity endorsers, they have targeted rural areas so their advertisements can be seen on various regional channels like KTN, PUNJAB TV and SINDHI TV. Indian local actors and actresses like MahaJi, Raima Sen and Parambrata were also the part of marketing advertisements. For the vocals and sound track Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have sang for the advertisement of the brand too.

Positioning of Sunlight Washing Powder

Company’s positioning and consumer positioning are both equivalent for sunlight washing Powder. Sunlight washing powder positioned itself in the rural areas of Punjab and Sindh as the sales are higher there as compared to urban areas such as Karachi and Lahore, as people preferred brands like Surf excel and Arial because of better quality. Its main aim is to civilize the people of rural areas by introducing washing powder so that they could stop using soaps. The main target customers are the women of rural areas who are 18 and above. Frequent marketing Programs are also been done in both the rural and urban areas of the city in the most effective way to create more customer engagements and acquisition. In rural areas marketing programs were efficient enough to build the interest of people towards washing powder from recurrent soaps like Gai soap and Sufi soap and to make people more aware about the sunlight washing powder. While in urban areas it emphasized people to buy it because of its lower price than compared to brands like Tide and Rim.

Promotion Style

The promotion strategy they used includes following mediums to advertise:

  • They tried to promote its Product through,
  • Giving advertisements in Newspapers.
  • Through bill boards; The purpose of outdoor billboards is to build or reinforce brand recognition and fortify the advertiser’s image.
  • Moreover, they used electronic media by producing constructive advertisements
  • Print media by giving brochures.
  • Sponsoring was done as, Sunlight Washing Powder brought relief for drought-stricken communities in Cape Town in festive season of 2017.
  • And campaigns were mostly done in rural areas, not only for acquiring of customers but for retention too.

SWOT Analysis

Strength:

  • Solid Marketing research unit which attempts to draw in new clients.
  • Strong connection with Unilever
  • Strong brand image
  • Popularity increases when the prices of competitors diminish.
  • Strong connections with companies in Pakistan and abroad.

Weakness:

  • Client Loyalty is less as the contender diminishes its costs the purchaser switches rapidly e.g. on the off chance, Ariel will diminish its costs so the customers of sunlight will switch to Ariel.
  • There is extremely intense rivalry from Brands, for example, Ariel, Surf exceed expectations, Rim and so on.
  • Low market share in Sindh and kyber pukhtuwan.

Opportunities:

  • Create new and unique packaging to attract in new customers.
  • Increment of its operations in Russia, south Africa and so on.
  • New varieties.

Threats:

  • Strong competition with brands like ariel and surf exel as they provide product in high quality in reasonable prices.
  • Increase in the cost of raw material can result in increase of the prices

Conclusion

one thing is certain that regardless of what it takes, the crowd need to be focused on keenly and in a way that influences them to feel that the item has something in it that others don’t. This goes about as an upper hand for the organization. Catching the most extreme offers in the market prompts to an ever increasing number of identification of new opportunities and these profitable opportunities should be grasped at all levels of rivalries. The firm may work with a yearly publicizing arrangement and the campaign must be so strong to the point that it conveys the message straight forwardly and hitting the opening at the perfect place with most extreme media share.

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