Realities of Emerging Markets: Some Lessons from Unilever's Strategy for Lifebuoy & Sunsilk in India


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Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : BSTR295 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

International Business | Globalization | Emerging Markets
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2001-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Hindustan Lever Limited, Unilever
Industry : FMCG
Countries : India

Comments:

FMCG manufacturers, finding their markets in the developed world saturated, are now turning their attention to the developing world. While conventional wisdom has been that these markets are too poor and too small to be viable, the fact is that developing and emerging countries account for more than three-fourths of the world's population, and people in these countries spend more than US$ 20 trillion every year on consumer goods. Consequently, many FMCG companies are now taking these markets seriously. Companies such as Unilever have been present in the developing world for many decades.

For example, a subsidiary of Unilever was first established in India in the 1930s, and the company's products were available in the country even earlier - the laundry soap 'Sunlight' reached India in 1888. Since then, Hindustan Lever (now Hindustan Unilever), with its range of bath and beauty products, has always been a significant presence in middle-class Indian homes.

Given its long presence in India, Unilever - perhaps much more so than other FMCG companies - has been able to tailor its products and marketing strategies to the unique demands of the country's market, which includes a massive number of relatively poor, so-called 'bottom-of-the-pyramid', consumers. It targeted just this category of consumers, with the 'Swasthya Chetna' (LSC) program for its Lifebuoy soap. The program, which was intended to induce rural and urban consumers to use soap more frequently, was claimed to be a success, though it generated its share of controversy.

For its Sunsilk shampoo, Unilever targeted a different consumer segment - net-savvy young women. The marketing strategy for the shampoo included the launch of a website, Sunsilkgangofgirls.com, which, according to the company, was India's first "online all-girl community.

"Realities of Emerging Markets: Some Lessons from Unilever's Strategy for Lifebuoy & Sunsilk in India" details Unilever's marketing strategies for these products in India.

Keywords:

Strategy, Emerging markets, Globalization, Base of Pyramid, BoP, Marketing leader strategy, Segmentation, Targeting, Sunsilk, Lifebuoy, Unilever, India

Some Lessons from Unilever's Strategy for Lifebuoy & Sunsilk in India >> Introduction

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