Realities of Emerging Markets: Some Lessons from Unilever's Strategy for Lifebuoy & Sunsilk in India
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
In 2002, the company started a marketing
program, Lifebuoy 'Swasthya Chetna'('Health Awakening'),
targeting the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) segment in India. With
this initiative, HUL sought to promote handwashing with soap in
rural and urban areas in India. In doing so, Unilever not only
helped prevent diseases like diarrhea by promoting health and
hygiene awareness amongst the poor, who were infrequent users or
non users of soap, but also succeeded in increasing its sales of
Lifebuoy. In the process, HUL earned a lot of goodwill from
consumers as well as the Government of India. In 2006, it
launched a pioneering brand portal for Sunsilk, the Sunsilk Gang
of Girls (GoG), targeting the increasing number of
Internet-savvy girls. GoG was the first all-girl community in
India and quickly caught the imagination of the target group.
With India being viewed as a test market for emerging markets
strategies, analysts felt that the learning from these
initiatives would help Unilever develop a strong presence in
other emerging markets as well.
Strategy, Emerging markets, Globalization, Base of Pyramid, BoP, Marketing leader strategy, Segmentation, Targeting, Sunsilk, Lifebuoy, Unilever, India
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