In 2013, Victoria Murtazina, Senior Global Brand Director at Unilever, is preparing a team meeting to launch the first truly innovative packaging in the deodorant category for decades - “compressed” technology – as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of aerosol deodorants without undermining product quality or user habits. The new deodorant is half the size of the regular 150ml format, with 50% less propellant gas than traditional aerosol deodorants, a can that uses 25% less aluminium, and significantly softer on the skin. Market research has revealed high consumer preference for attributes such as overall effectiveness, odour control, wetness control, as well as appreciation for the environmental benefits of the smaller format. However, a certain inertia among consumers exposed to marketing collateral suggests that negative perceptions need to be addressed.
The case gives students the opportunity to view the challenges faced by companies with regards to innovation in product categories characterized by very low consumer involvement. It also provides an opportunity to analyze the challenges posed in trying to use “sustainability” as a driver of behavioral change and creation of competitive advantage. The core assignment is to create a new product introduction strategy for Unilever in launching the new range of “compressed” deodorants across the UK and France. Students must develop a launch plan based on their understanding of the very different dynamics of these two markets, which display major variations in customer preferences, channel characteristics and competitive landscape.
- New Product Introduction
- Global Marketing