Dove: Evolution of a Brand 1. What is a brand? The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name. It connotes consistency, a sign of quality and generates loyalty & goodwill. Why does Unilever want fewer of them? Creating a brand is expensive – must focus on the brands with the greatest potential of survival & financial returns. Marketing investment and innovation strategies can be devoted to brands that will response best.
Plus global identity, stronger brand awareness, synergies in management, marketing, etc. 2. What was Dove’s positioning in the 1950s? “It’s not a soap, it is a beauty bar” – product = functionality (one quarter cleansing cream). Use of natural looking women instead of fashion models. Outcome – Dove became one of America’s most recognized brand icons. What’s its positioning in 2007? A brand with a point of view. Switch from product functionality to single identity. Moisturizing Bar ?? Products that make more women feel beautiful everyday 3.
How is brand meaning controlled at the time of the case? Unilever Brand: corporate brand, with many product categories. Master Brands: compete against each other in the specific product category. Each brand has separate marketing strategy. The brand development group: •Develop the idea behind the brand and bring the brand into the future; •Focus on medium and long-term market share; •Deploy the brand in specific markets Shift to digital media to exposes brand name to public discussion, leaving Dove with less control over its brand name. . Do you see risks for the Dove brand today? Conflicting image of Dove with Axe, both brands of Unilever; the objectification of women (both in Axe and Dove) and hence the risk of being rebuked by hardcore feminists; Risk of being a brand of “fat girls”; Undermining the ‘aspirational’ essence of beauty products; Copy by the competitors (Olay Total Effects); Sustainability of campaign in long run; Risk of exposure in social media; Extremely competitive market; Higher prices than their competition.