Abstract

The current paper is focused on understanding the main marketing principles. Based on the Unilever Assignment Brief, this paper analyzes the concepts of segmentation, targeting and positioning. The paper studies individual elements of the extended marketing mix, based on the case of Unilever PLC. Using different contexts, this research uses marketing mix.

Introduction

Since June 21, 1894, a rapidly growing supplier consumer goods company Unilever PLC has spread its operations to Personal and Home Care, Foods and Refreshment. Operating in Asia, Central and Eastern and Western Europe, the North America and the South America, and Africa, the company operates in selling a variety of products, ranging from skincare to foods, weight-management, as well as cleaning products. The company sells its products in 190 countries. The company holds 9 brands for food, 7 for home care, and 17 for personal care products. Unilever PLC is a worldwide holding, with a renowned name; the company has an envious marketing strategy. This assignment is focused on understanding the concept and process of marketing through the example of one of the brands of Unilever PLC. In this research, Unilever PLC serves as a tool to study the concepts of positioning, segmentation and targeting, and using them on a suggested example. In addition, this paper focuses on learning to understand the individual elements of extended marketing mix, and to be able to use it in different contexts.

Discussion

1.1 The aim of marketing is defined by Kotler as ”the organization’s marketing task is to determine the needs, wants and interests of target markets and to achieve the desired results more effectively and efficiently than competitors, in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s or society’s well-being”. In other words, marketing is a strategy to achieve customer’s satisfaction through analysing the demands and desires for specific products and focusing on finding the way to supply and satisfy the demands of the customers in a more beneficial way than their competitors. Unilever PLC focuses on a very wide spectrum of services and goods supply, which means that Unilever PLC seeks to spread the marketing strategy and dominate the market in all spheres of retail. As it is obvious from the case study, Unilever PLC started first as a supplier for consumer goods, which now has over 40 different brands in four major areas: Personal Care, Home Care, Refreshments and Foods. In addition, the idea of Unilever PLC is to satisfy as many consumers as possible, therefore, their marketing strategy includes going global, which explains their presence in 190 countries around the world, which has an immense popularity amongst the consumers.

1.2 Unilever PLC has a variety of brands in four major areas, such as Home Care, Personal Care, Foods and Refreshments, which are widely popular. Lipton tea is one of such brands. Lipton brand includes a variety of tea-like beverages and merchandise. Lipton is a British company, named in honour of its original owner. Under the slogan “Wake up and smell the tea”, Lipton runs under sustainable management Rainforest Alliance Certified™. Its mission is to make enjoy and energize the consumers through high quality refreshing drinks for affordable prices that the company provides. Lipton is popular in more than 150 countries.

SWOT Analysis

Lipton is a brand of a multinational corporation. Lipton’s main focus is on tea and tea drinks. Lipton selects the best savor from India, Ceylon and Sri Lanka, where Lipton holds tea estates that package and ship at low cost, in order to produce the high quality beverages for acceptable prices. In 1898, Queen Victoria knighted the owner of Lipton Company for exceptional contribution. At this point, Lipton makes a sale of 12 various items in 150 countries around the world.

Strength

Company has good sales in around 150 countries around the world, having a strong portfolio of services that they provide. The focus of tea production has various ways: both cold and hot beverages, as well as mechanize. Lipton represents a sustainable management example, following a range of certifications that also take part in a variety of charitable events. In addition, Lipton spends money annually for new research in the sphere of nutrition to make the tea taste better, and be better for health too. In addition, the price range is affordable for high quality tea. Among other factors of the marketing strategy, which may be courted as strengths are effective advertising and promotion over the target oriented media channels, and product variety. 

Weaknesses

First, Lipton operates in 150 countries around the world, which means that there is still space to grow. Even though, Lipton represents a unique concept of the tradition of tea drinking, it has popular and fast growing competitors, such as Greenfield, Curtis, etc. In addition, there are many substitute products, which can make up for Lipton tea, or Lipton ice tea.

Opportunity

Since the population today is experiencing the need in buying healthy and high quality products, Lipton is ranking high in this aspect. Having extensive promotion and advertising campaigns using alternative types of media engage more people to their fan base. In the same way, Lipton may expand to the new markets, using the results from promotion campaigns. Providing the image of healthy and sustainable management, Lipton focuses the operations in the third world countries, and provides them with good work conditions.

Threat

The production of Lipton’s goods depends on environmental aspects. Lipton is very conscious of this issue and implements sustainability management in all production centres. In addition, just like every other company, Lipton is under a threat of recession in the world of unstable economy, which requires very smart marketing choices. Local products may also become the threat to the Lipton products, due to a lover price and patriotic feelings.

1.3 Marketing concept suggests that the goal of the company is to correspond to the maximum the product and the customer’s needs and wants. According to Lipton’s website, its mission is to provide high quality tea for affordable price. Using a balanced sustainability management, Lipton makes sure to balance all of the processes from production to the cup of the customer. In addition, Lipton values its’ customers, for this the company spends time to perform marketing researches to identify customer satisfaction, and implement the suggestions.

1.4. Pursuing marketing orientation culture is not an easy task from both marketing and management perspectives. First of all, it is expensive, time consuming and there is the lack of resources. For instance, to produce even better quality product there is a requirement for better equipment, better raw materials, and more professionals, which is definitely not cost effective. Nevertheless, while building the plants in the underdeveloped countries, right near the tea plantations would decrees the costs for transportation, and suggest the employees to learn a new profession; the production cost would be lower, since the demand for salary, production cost, would be lower than in highly developed countries, yet, at the same time, benefit the workers, who have a possibility of earning. At the same time, transferring to sustainable management allows to regulate the outer and inner processes of the company, by showing where there is the possibility to cut the costs and enhance production. At the same time, expensive promotion campaigns could be cut down for a little bit, in favour for marketing research, which will affect customer loyalty, in contrast to gaining a couple of new nomad customers.

2.1 Macro marketing environment are the big scope factors that act on all companies of particular industry they are in. For instance, in the food industry, all companies may suffer from economy crisis, or environmental cataclysm. The economic crisis will affect the balance sheet by decreasing the revenue, and increasing the cost for production. The environmental cataclysm touches the suppliers of the industry, and affects the amount of the products developed and, therefore, decrees the revenue.

Micro marketing environment are the factors which only affect a particular company, which are at most the internal factors that operate within the company, and affect changes in the management structure. In such a way, a decision to fire most of the employees of the plant, or to close the supply to one of the markets will affect the internal environment of the company and reflect it on the marketing strategy, while, at the same time, other companies in the same industry will not be affected by these changes.

2.2. The segmentation criteria that Lipton includes are demographic, economic, political and cultural. Lipton beverages have no limitations, in terms of proposing the product to any groups, despite gender, race, occupation or geographical situation. Lipton brand does not have clear segmentation in terms of economic factors either, since it is consumed by the representatives of all class groups. The political segmentation would not affect Lipton, since it does not include any harmful substances, nor does it induce allergic reactions in individuals. The cultural aspect affects Lipton in a non-visible way, emphasizing on British traditions of tea drinking to the consumers all around the world.

2.3 Targeting strategy uses techniques which affect a specific target group to interest it with the brand, engage and make a consumer. There is nothing amazing about drinking tea, and it may seem a boring statement for young individuals, who prefer bottled beverages that they can take with them. Therefore, in 2006 Lipton issues Lipton Ice Tea to engage another target group of young people who prefer to drink right from the bottle as they go.

2.4. The main focus of Lipton is the customer; therefore, the company does its best to communicate with the customers and to satisfy their needs completely. It is important for Lipton to build a trustworthy long-term relationship with their customers, and they want to make sure their voice is heard. The company seeks to understand the preferences of their customers by analyzing their emotional responses and nutritional preferences. Lipton also creates customer value by providing something extra for those who stay loyal and buy more. They create a likeable brand that is popular among teenagers and young adults. People continue to buy the product due to its high quality, attractive packaging, dietary supplement and its affordable prices.

2.5. Lipton brand is positioned as a high quality product with a reasonable price. It is the favourite drink of the teenagers and young people who want their healthy drink, as they go, and adults who cherish quality and reasonable price.

3.1 With extreme popularity of the beauty products for women, which are demanding throughout the world, the no-scent Floraline anti-perspiring on herbs and natural oils only will be popular among the women throughout the world. Floraline is a female body hygienic product, which allows stopping the body from sweating and does not produce any chemical scents, as the other deodorants, which only mask the smell of sweat. Floraline has a unique formula which allows stabilizing the function of sweat glands and decrees the risk of smelling in 5 times. This product would be interesting for women and young girls at their puberty, who appreciate their body, yet do not like chemical and synthetic smells and products.

3.2. In order to mix two different target groups, advertising campaign might be needed. First of all, by emphasizing the feminine side in both young girls, and adult women who have the same problems, we can combine these two segments and gain their trust through advertising.

3.3. Since it is a new product, the interest will be raised due to the novelty effect. The retails would ask for more themselves. However, at the same time, such promotions as 50% off if you buy the new scent along with the old one might save the acquaintance with the new brand.

3.4. To set a pricing strategy, it is necessary to apply proprietary analytical model in order to visualize the recommended pricing. There is a need to identify the sensitivity of the product and the potential customers, in order to segment and emphasize on product-specific price model, or customer-specific one. For this, one may first take as example the price model for a similar product to test it.

3.5. Promotional activities are extremely important for raising awareness about a product and its properties. Corporate videos are extremely popular nowadays, while they are flexible in putting them anywhere on the web; they are also very engaging and fun to watch. In addition, it is necessary to integrate the television advertising into the social network interpretation with country specific tasks for the consumers to complete in a gamified way. In such a way, the consumers would have the motivation to test the product and tell their friends about it, while performing the given task. For promotional purposes, personal sales and direct sales would not be as effective, as social network targeted campaign, or the free test tries in the markets where they are sold.

3.6. Customer experience does not start at trying out the product. It begins right at the beginning of the manufacturing process. Customers are always curious about the fact how their favourite product was made. For this, short success stories, or life stories from the factory of production might also be interesting. In addition, specific praise is also a good idea.

3.7. B2B and B2C are both providing for the consumer a specific product. The difference is that in B2C the business is talking to the last closing part of the line – the customer directly, while in B2B a business provides a service for another business. In our case, Floraline can be promoted by becoming a sponsor for marathon, which is supported by company and provides Floraline for each competitor to test and speak about the advantages of this deodorant on camera. Such a free advertising campaign would be a service provided for service.

3.8 Service is a set of identified activities that usually happen repeatedly and consistently to bring a certain benefit in exchange for money or another service. Service is characterized by providing a solution to the problem imposed by the customer. According to the American Marketing Association, the services are defined as “activities, benefits or satisfaction which is offered for sale of provided in connection with the sale of goods”. The services are characterized as being heterogonous, intangible, and the marketing processes of manufacturing, distribution and usage take place at the same time. I do not think Floraline may be fit for a B2B approach, since it is a consumer-oriented product, which does not depend on the other businesses

3.9 Domestic marketing works on a local basis, within a limited territory. Domestic marketing is safer, in terms of competition, yet more profitable and powerful in terms of world awareness, and market exposure. International marketing suggests higher standard of all the processes from paper signing to production, to the customer supplying. The international marketing is more competitive, and there are much more competitors, which may be fatal for the companies who are not yet really to conquer the world.

Conclusion

This paper was aimed at studying the basic marketing principles through analysis of various case studies. In the article, marketing strategies had been discussed in terms of its various aspects in function. On the example of Unilever PLC, various aspects of marketing had been discovered. As an example, Lipton brand had been analysed using SWOT analysis, micro and micro marketing aspects, etc. In addition, various scenarios had been given to provide answers and analyse marketing from within.

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