Unilever is one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies with a portfolio of around 400 food and home and personal care brands and a turnover of €40 billion. We have operations in around 100 countries and our products are sold in about 50 more. With consumers, employees, business partners and shareholders on every continent, we describe ourselves as a ‘multi-local’ multinational, bringing our international expertise to the service of people everywhere.
Unilever was created in 1930 by the merger of British soapmaker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie, a logical merger as palm oil was a major raw material for both margarines and soaps and could be imported more efficiently in larger quantities.
In the 1930s, the business of Unilever grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America. By 1980, soap and edible fats contributed just 40% of profits, compared with an original 90%. In 1984 the company bought the brands Brooke Bond (maker of PG Tips tea), Fabergé and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold (in 2000) to FFI Fragrances. Unilever acquired Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Ragú, Ponds and Vaseline, in 1987, which strengthened its position in the world skin care market. In 2000, the company absorbed the American business Best Foods, strengthening its presence in North America and extending its portfolio of foods brands.
Today the company is fully multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent and research laboratories at Colworth and Port Sunlight in the United Kingdom; Vlaardingen in the Netherlands; Trumbull, Connecticut, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in the United States; Bangalore in India (see also Hindustan Unilever Limited); Pakistan; and Shanghai in China. Its European IT infrastructure headquarters is based in Unity House, Ewloe in Flintshire, Wales.
The US division continued to carry the Lever Brothers name until the 1990s, when it adopted the parent company’s moniker. The American unit is now headquartered in New Jersey, and no longer maintains a presence at Lever House, the iconic skyscraper on Park Avenue in New York City.
Unilever has recently completed a five year vitality company initiative in which it began to converge the marketing of disparate arms of their business, including personal care, dieting, and consumables into an umbrella function displaying the breadth of their contributions to personal vitality. This plan has been implemented because of the lack of brand recognition that Unilever wields, even despite its ubiquitous presence. In 2006, it concluded with the sell off of the global frozen foods division; excluding the ICF ice cream business, and the Italian frozen vegetables businesses.
What was the key challenge?
At the start of 2005 it was clear what Unilever had to do. Unilever had to restore Unilever competitiveness in the market and get the business growing again. But Unilever had to do it in a way that Unilever can sustain for the long term, creating value and unlocking Unilever full potential.
How did you set about tackling this challenge?
Unilever approach was simple – to focus on three things that matter. First, to make Unilever portfolio work harder for us, with sharper priorities and resource allocation. Secondly, better execution, especially in the areas of marketing and customer management. And, finally, create a more agile ‘One Unilever’ organisation, aligned behind a single strategy, with the right people in the right jobs, delivering quality and speed of execution.
What were the priorities and why did you focus on these areas?
Unilever focused on building on Unilever strengths in developing and emerging (D&E) markets, vitality and Personal Care. They are areas of strength for Unilever where Unilever have performed well, with good growth and profitability. Regaining momentum in Europe was an equally important priority.
Overall, what results have been achieved by following this approach?
Unilever have made real progress. In 2005 underlying sales growth was 3.1%, significantly ahead of a .at 2004, and in line with Unilever markets. Growth momentum has improved steadily throughout the year and has been driven by volume.
I’m also pleased to report that Unilever growth rates improved across most of Unilever major markets and in most categories. These figures are a real testament to the hard work of Unilever people, the strength of Unilever brands and the resilience of Unilever business.
Restoring growth required a step up in investment behind Unilever brands. In 2005, Unilever invested an extra €500 million in advertising and promotions. Unilever also invested significantly to reduce prices, especially in Europe, and offer better value to the consumer in selected categories and markets.
Unilever savings programmes generated more than €700 million in 2005 and helped fund the additional investment in Unilever brands and absorb the impact of higher input costs.
At the same time it is becoming increasingly clear that the apparent tranquillity of this land of plenty is deceptive. Many of the difficulties faced by the industry are well known – the precarious economic position of small farmers; the flawed nature of the Common Agricultural Policy and its damaging effects on the developing world; the arguments over the introduction of GM and functional foods.
Other challenges have remained below the surface but are now erupting into life. Health and nutrition, obesity, and the advertising of food and drink to children are examples. Many of you will have seen the recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) report into advertising to children.
Amongst all the media furore that followed, did you see any reference to the fact that advertising to children is already governed by a strict code administered by an independent body? I thought not.
But whatever the rights and wrongs, interest is already huge and still growing. I recently saw an analysis which tracked the appearance of these issues in the media. Over a six-month period the amount of coverage had easily quadrupled.
Take another measure – the number of parliamentary questions asked about them. There are about one hundred parliamentary questions per month on food and health issues at the moment. That is about double the number of a year ago. So when I took as my subject today, ‘Understanding People to Build Brands’, I did so because I wanted to deal with the subject in three ways.
First, understanding consumers as shoppers, and the way in which manufacturers and retailers can work together to develop brands which meet their needs in ever more relevant ways.
Second, I want to touch on how Unilever in Unilever are trying to grow Unilever people so that they can grow Unilever brands. This is all about unlocking their creativity and enterprise.
Third, I want to talk about the way in which, as an industry, Unilever engage with issues that people raise as citizens who are, of course, also the consumers of Unilever brands.
Here I don’t believe that Unilever have been responsive enough or fast-moving enough to cope with the pace of change. I will turn later to what I believe Unilever need to do.
The importance of co-operation for successful food retailing is profound. Unilever can only continue to build and create new brands by using Unilever combined understanding of the consumer to find solutions that satisfy her ever-changing needs.
Unilever used to think of the choice of a brand in a rather one-dimensional fashion – the typical consumer, in a typical supermarket, doing a typical once-a-week shop.
Unilever now have to face the uncomfortable reality that the choice available to people shopping for food is so rich and wide that the decision making process is inevitably much more complex.
Unilever in Unilever are very alive to this challenge, which is why Unilever have launched a project across Europe to develop a more rounded understanding of the consumer as a shopper. The project will break down the shopping process into its component parts, starting with the thought given to the task before leaving home, then to the choice of store right through to the retail experience and the ultimate choice of brand.
This kind of research is not new. However the unique value that Unilever can add is to understand shopper behaviour across a broad range of categories. Unilever brands are in many aisles of the supermarket stretching from food, beverages and ice cream through to household and personal care. Unilever will also be able to synthesise data from across Europe and identify the similarities and differences in shopping behaviour across different countries and food cultures.
This project is in its early stages, but once it is complete, Unilever will share the information with customers in order to drive sales to Unilever mutual benefit.
Climate change & geography
Their case studies provide examples of environmental initiatives at individual sites/businesses, and are regularly updated. For Unilever Group information about climate change see the section on Environmental issues.
Europe: Hydrocarbon ice cream cabinets cut impact on climate change
Unilever Ice Cream is rolling out hydrocarbon refrigerated freezer cabinets across Europe, cutting out HFC refrigerants to reduce impact on climate change.
Italy: Saving energy at Sagit factories
Frozen food and ice cream factories use a lot of energy, particularly for refrigeration. Sagit, a Unilever frozen foods company, is working to reduce energy use at its factories in Italy.
This report presents an update on unilever’s progress in 2006 in managing their social, environmental and economic impacts.
Here they have shown how they are living out their commitment to responsible business practice in the communities where they operate around the world. The report starts by focusing on issues where they have the biggest impact. These include:
Nutrition & hygiene
The social impact of unilever’s products on people’s health.
How they secure sustainable supplies of raw materials.
- Integrating sustainability
Reducing Their footprint and addressing the climate change challenge.
Creating & sharing Theyalth
The Theyalth Their operations create and how it benefits stakeholders and local communities.
They aim to improve the eco-efficiency of Their manufacturing operations, minimising both resTheirces used and waste created.
Reducing the impacts of unilever’s own manufacturing operations – eco-efficiency – is a core part of Their environmental strategy. Their approach is underpinned by their environmental management system which is based on ISO 14001. An essential element is the setting and reviewing of targets for their key performance indicators (KPIs).
Every year they collect data from each of their manufacturing sites on key measures of environmental performance. This is collated and analysed using an environmental performance reporting system. Over the past 12 years they have continually improved the way They collect and report data, most recently through the introduction of a Theyb-based reporting system.
Performance in 2006
During 2006 They met all Their targets apart from those on chemical oxygen demand (COD) and hazardous waste. While Their performance on hazardous waste did improve, They fell short of Their ambitious target of a 15.9% reduction. See commentary in Key performance indicators.
Target scorecard 2006
Load per tonne of production 2002–2006
Reduction in load per tonne of production 2002–2006 & Their targets for 2011
Expressed as % of the 2002 kg/tonne figures
Eco-efficiency training & Theyb support
Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre conducts eco-efficiency training cTheirses throughout Their business. These aim to deliver tools, techniques and awareness directly to the people responsible for reducing the environmental impact of Their manufacturing operations. CTheirses held in Brazil and Vietnam in 2006 focused on minimising waste, water and energy consumption.
The cTheirse has proved particularly effective in promoting good practice across Their operations. To support this, They developed a searchable Theyb-portal with over 350 examples of good practice covering water, waste, energy, COD and general environmental issues.
Environmental prosecutions & fines
While They try to maintain the highest standards of environmental management, problems sometimes occur. They monitor and report on all environmental prosecutions and resulting fines for infringement of environmental regulations. The figures shown in the table cover Their manufacturing sites (317) and include Their corporate head offices and research laboratories (eight). In 2006 there was one prosecution for non-compliance with liquid effluent discharge limits.
Environmental prosecutions & fines 2002–2006
Covers manufacturing sites, corporate head offices and research laboratories.
As a global company They aim to play Their part in addressing global social and environmental concerns.
They are conscious of Their dependence on a healthy environment and the need to keep it that way with sound environmental practices of Their own.
Many of the issues they face are outside their direct control – either at the beginning of the supply chain or at the end. Nevertheless, in their sustainability initiatives they focus on three areas that are directly relevant to us and where they can make a measurable contribution through their programmes. These areas are agriculture, fish and water.
Unilever’s Environmental policy requires us to remain alert and responsive to developing issues, latest knowledge and insight, and public concerns. They have identified other environmental issues that are also relevant to us and Their stakeholders. These issues range from climate change to GMOs to ozone depletion. Here They describe how They manage these issues, present data and trends, and show how They act to reduce Their impact.
With a long-standing commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, over the past decade Unilever have achieved a cut of more than 30% in Unilever own operations.
Climate change and geography
2006 was the year when climate change became widely recognised as the most critical challenge facing our planet. Different weather patterns are affecting agriculture, availability of clean water and sea temperatures. This will have direct effects on Unilever business.
Unilever have been monitoring Unilever own energy consumption and since 1995 have achieved real reductions. In 2006, marking the seriousness of the threat, Unilever convened a Greenhouse Gases Working Group of managers from across the business to develop a formal strategy on climate change.
The Group started to map Unilever wider carbon footprint, taking the broadest definition of Unilever impacts, so that Unilever new strategy addresses more than just Unilever own greenhouse gas emissions.
The team estimated Unilever’s total emissions of greenhouse gases from Unilever own factories, offices, laboratories and business travel to be in the order of 4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year.
As a manufacturing company Unilever have impacts through Unilever use of energy and the resulting CO2 emissions. Unilever environmental performance reporting system measures and monitors Unilever energy use and emissions of CO2. A combination of annual target setting and on-site initiatives has reduced CO2 emissions in Unilever own manufacturing operations by more than 30% over the past decade in absolute terms. During 2006, Unilever CO2 emissions from energy per tonne of production decreased by 4.2% (see Eco-efficiency for Unilever 12–year performance figures).
Unilever also source a proportion of Unilever energy from renewable sources − 14.8% of the energy Unilever used in 2006, of which 8.2% Unilever generated ourselves and 6.6% was from national grids. In 2006 Unilever conducted a review with the World Resources Institute to improve Unilever understanding of renewable energy technology options.
Unilever actions in this area have received external recognition. For example, in 2006, Unilever were ranked first in the food and retail sector in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Climate Leadership Index for best practice in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies.
On business travel, Ben & Jerry’s is leading the way with 100% of its travel-related emissions being offset through renewable energy initiatives in India and South Africa.
In 2006 Unilever decided to install leading-edge video-conferencing facilities in five of Unilever main regional offices. Unilever are setting stretching objectives to reduce the total cost of business travel.
Good practice in energy saving
Unilever Canada’s Rexdale factory was recently featured in a government-sponsored advertisement as an example of good practice in reducing energy consumption. Rexdale is Unilever leading manufacturing facility for oils and margarines in North America. Since 1999, it has implemented 128 energy-saving initiatives, leading to a reduction of 23 000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions, and estimated cost savings of €3.3 million.
One example of Unilever on-site initiatives is Project Electra, which aims to save energy at Unilever factories in Latin America. Since the launch of the project in 2006 a 4.9% reduction in energy per tonne of production in Latin America has already been achieved, primarily through sharing best practice.
At Unilever Lipton tea gardens in Kericho, Kenya, 96% of the energy used by the estate is from renewable sources. This comes mainly from Unilever own hydroelectric power stations and the eucalyptus trees Unilever grow to fuel the boilers that dry tea.
Leadership & advocacy
Unilever UK’s National Manager was one of 14 business leaders from the UK’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change who met Prime Minister Tony Blair in May 2006 to urge action to tackle climate change. At this meeting business leaders highlighted seven areas where government and business might work together, including strengthening emissions trading schemes, supporting low-carbon technologies, improving energy efficiency in the commercial sector and stimulating consumer action on climate change.
Unilever wider carbon footprint
Unilever wider carbon footprint shows that across the whole value chain – including the sourcing, manufacture, distribution, consumption and disposal of Unilever products – most CO2 emissions occur during consumer use. This is most marked in Unilever home and personal care products which need energy to heat water and power washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers. Unilever wider footprint can amount to between 30 and 60 times as much as Unilever own emissions, depending on assumptions made about how consumers use Unilever products, for example, the use of hot water in personal and laundry washing.
Unilever can help reduce these environmental impacts through product design and formulation. For example, many of Unilever laundry detergent brands, such as Omo, Surf and Persil, can now be used at temperatures as low as 30 degrees centigrade. Unilever intend to incorporate a ‘greenhouse gas index’ into Unilever product development process, to assess, and where possible reduce, impacts during product use.
Unilever also take a leadership role in industry bodies that can influence consumer behaviour. Within AISE (International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products), Unilever has been actively involved in sustainability campaigns, such as Washright, launched in 1998 to encourage consumers to wash at lower temperatures and use full washes. In 2006, Unilever participated in the launch of AISE’s new Save Energy and Water Campaign to promote sustainable dishwashing.
Unilever have also made estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in Unilever raw material supply chain. Unilever estimate this is around 10 times Unilever own emissions. Energy is one of the 11 indicators used to assess the sustainability of sourcing under Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Programme.
Distribution of Unilever products to retailers takes many forms around the world. In most markets, Unilever do not own or operate any distribution vehicles ourselves. Unilever have started to work with major customers to minimise emissions, primarily by reducing the number of vehicle movements. Unilever continue to work to reduce the impacts of refrigeration required for storing Unilever ice cream.
Unilever’s carbon footprint
Unilever have attempted to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with sourcing, manufacture, distribution, consumer use and disposal of Unilever products worldwide. These are represented below.
*Includes third-party manufacturing.
Unilever wider carbon footprint is more difficult to quantify the further away the emissions occur from Unilever’s direct operational control.
Unilever support the use of renewable energy from sustainable sources to help combat climate change. Unilever are concerned, however, that promotion of ‘first generation’ biofuels from agricultural crops may destabilise world food supply and increase local food shortages. This has an impact on Unilever business.
Working in partnership
Unilever are participating in Refrigerants, Naturally!, a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to promote HFC (hydrofluorocarbon)-free refrigeration technologies. As part of Unilever commitment, Unilever are replacing Unilever point-of-sale ice cream freezer cabinets with more energy efficient and climate-friendly hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants. By the end of 2006 Unilever had replaced more than 100 000 cabinets, the majority of which are in Europe. In 2007 Unilever aim to roll this initiative out further in Latin America and Asia where Unilever have trials under way.
Ben & Jerry’s Climate Change College, a scheme launched in partnership with the polar explorer Marc Cornelissen and WWF, continues to train 18-to-25-year-olds to campaign on climate change in their schools, workplaces and homes. In 2006 six young people were selected for the programme from the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.
Culture Management System and Business Style
Developing a Global Mindset
Why are some companies highly successful in spotting and exploiting global opportunities, while others mismanage them or miss them entirely? The answer could lie in the company’s mindset, a topical subject currently doing the rounds at numerous executive education seminars. The term corporate mindset refers to how the company sees the world and how this affects its actions. For companies operating on a global scale, developing a global corporate mindset presents a formidable managerial challenge. The corporate mindset determines to what extent management encourages and values cultural diversity, while simultaneously maintaining a certain degree of strategic cohesion. Developing a global corporate mindset and a group of global managers as its main flag bearers has become a key prerequisite for successfully competing and growing in worldwide markets.
The Mindset – Why is it important?
At the beginning of the 70’s five German software engineers, who were all IBM employees, developed a new standardized application software package. At that time IBM focused almost exclusively on developing and selling hardware, software being seen as a marginal add-on business. The five engineers decided to leave IBM and establish their own company under the name of SAP. The rest is history. SAP has become a global player, now ranked as the world’s fourth largest software company with annual sales well over $3 billion. Without SAP many notable European companies such as ICI, BMW, Volvo, Nokia, Hofmann-LaRoche and Lufthansa would not be able to manage their information systems. In the United States such blue chip companies as Coca-Cola, Burger King, P&G, DuPont, Intel and even mighty Microsoft rely on SAP software.
Why did IBM with its profound knowledge of the industry, its huge customer base and the vast resources at its disposal so grossly misjudge the market and leave this growth opportunity to a start-up company? The concept of mindset could provide an interesting answer. It is used here to describe a set of deeply held internal mental images and assumptions, which individuals develop through a continuous process of learning from experience. They exist in the subconscious determining how an individual perceives a specific situation, and his or her reaction to it. However, the concept of mindset applies not only to individuals, but also to organizations. Mindsets are the ‘origination point of all workplace behavior.’ An organizational mindset can be simply defined as the aggregated mindset of all of its members. Naturally, such a definition must take into account the interaction between people as well as the distribution of power within the organization. Interpersonal contacts influence an individual’s mindset and vice versa that person’s interactions shapes the mindset of others. Certain individuals, depending on their position in the organizational hierarchy, will have a stronger impact on the company’s mindset than others. In fact, in some extreme cases the personal mindset of the Chief Executive Officer becomes the single most important factor in shaping the organization’s mindset.
Essential to understanding the functioning of the mindset is the notion that individuals or organizations with their own particular experiences will most likely develop different mindsets and hence react differently to the same situation. It follows that the greater the diversity between two companies in the past, the more likely it is that they have developed different mindsets.
THE GLOBAL CORPORATE MINDSET — A NEW MANAGERIAL CHALLENGE
With respect to global management such a concept raises three fundamental questions: What is meant by global strategies? Second, what are the driving forces behind the global mindset? And finally, how to assess the impact of these forces and their impact on strategy development?
Contesting world markets and utilizing worldwide resources In recent years the concept of globalization has taken the business world by storm. Scores of articles in popular management journals as well as several books have urged companies to ‘go global’ in their strategies. In this context two slogans come immediately to mind: The many times quoted corporate mantra ‘Think global and act local’ and its opposite ‘Think local and act global’.
The Slogan “Think globally act locally” is frequently used to describe the managerial challenge faced by global marketers. It captures the need to think in global terms about a business or a market while, at the same time, doing some local tailoring to meet the particular requirements of the local customers.
‘Think global and act local’ stands for the development of a global business strategy, where management operates under the assumption that a powerful brand name with a standard product, package and advertising concept serve as a platform to conquer global markets. The starting point is a global strategy focusing on standard products, optimal global sourcing and the ability to react globally to competitors’ moves. This approach discourages diversity and puts a lot of emphasis on uniform strategies. On the other side is ‘Think local and act global’. This approach starts with the assumption that global expansion is best served by adaptation to local insights and initiatives in different markets around the world. Diversity is looked upon as a source of opportunity, whereas strategic cohesion plays a secondary role. Such a ‘bottom-up’ approach offers greater possibilities for revenue generation, particularly for companies wanting to grow rapidly abroad. However, it can require more investment in the infrastructure necessary to serve each market and, often, lacks strategic consistency.
Which approach is right or wrong does not in itself lead to a useful discussion. Recognizing the diversity of local markets and seeing them as a source of opportunity and strength, while at the same time pushing for strategic consistency across countries seems to be a conundrum global companies face today. It is now generally accepted that a global company must consider both local and global aspects. Michael Porter explains that ‘globalness’ is inevitably a matter of degree since the extent of strategic advantages that accrue to companies that compete internationally can vary a great deal from industry to industry. This observation leads to the conclusion that a company pursuing a global strategy should possess two capabilities:
- The capability to enter any market in the world it chooses to compete in. The key issue is that the company constantly looks for market opportunities worldwide, processes information on a global basis and constitutes a constant threat to competitors even in countries/markets where it has not yet entered.
- The capability to take advantage of its worldwide resources in any competitive situation it finds itself in, regardless of where that might be. For example, if a competitors switches to a low cost factory, it can do the same. Resources also include know-how, i.e., the global company must develop processes that maximize the transfer of knowledge between subsidiaries and between subsidiaries and head office.
Following this definition global strategies deal not only with global presence or are the preserve of large companies. It is also not important whether a company is operating on a worldwide basis or just in some countries. What is essential is that what a company does in one country impacts on what it does in others. This definition is used here to further analyze and discuss the meaning and implications of a global corporate mindset.
Driving forces behind the global mindset
The corporation’s mindset and hence the way it deals with its environment plays an essential role in strategy development. There are several environmental forces which push for global business strategies coupled with a high degree of centralization and corporate control. However, other forces are supporting a local/national approach based on decentralization and local autonomy. These forces can be grouped into four categories: Top management’s view of the world, the company’s dominant organizational dimension, its strategic and administrative heritage and industry-specific forces driving or limiting globalization.
Table: Proactive and Reactive Forces Behind Global Mindset and Strategies
Top management’s view of the world:
As mentioned earlier, the distribution of power in the organization, and senior management particularly, have an important influence on the corporate mindset. The emergence of a visionary leader can be a major catalyst in breaking-down existing geographic and competitive boundaries. Good examples are Michael Eisner of Walt Disney Company or Mark Wössner of Bertelsmann, who have both played a dominant role in propelling their companies to positions of global leadership. Whereas leaders with such a geocentric vision drive global business expansion, top management with a predominantly ethnocentric vision will concentrate on the home market and not be very interested in international growth.
It describes both the company’s tangible and intangible inheritance, and above all, recognizes that the company has a history which constrains its ability to adapt. With respect to tangible assets the heritage reflects the configuration of assets the company has acquired over the years. The administrative heritage also encompasses the intangible assets, such as the strategies that the company has pursued previously, its core competencies and corporate culture. The effort required to reconfigure key tangible and intangible elements of the business system can be very expensive and, thus, limit the company’s global strategic options. Many traditional multinationals have established free-standing subsidiaries with a high degree of autonomy and limited strategic coordination in all countries/markets, where they chose to compete. Based on such a history, it is for them much harder to develop a global mindset and related strategies compared to companies which operated in the past with a more centralized approach.
The corporate mindset is also strongly influenced by the type of organizational structure the company has chosen. In a strongly product-oriented structure, management is more likely to think globally as the entire information infrastructure is geared towards collecting and processing product data on a worldwide basis. On the other hand, in an organization with a focus on countries/areas/regions, the mindset of managers tends to be more local. Here the information infrastructure is primarily oriented towards local and regional needs. It follows that in a matrix structure based on product as well as geographic dimensions, the mindset of management is expected to reflect both global and local perspectives.
There are a number of environmental forces pushing for a global approach, such as economies of scale, global sourcing and lower transportation and communication cost. Stronger global competition, the need to enter new and evolving markets and the globalization of important customers pull in the same direction. The trend towards a more homogeneous demand, particularly for products in fast moving consumer goods industries, and more uniform technical standards for many industrial products also favor global strategies. Another set of industry drivers, however, works in the opposite direction and calls for strategies with a high degree of local responsiveness. Here key drivers are strong local competitors in important markets, cultural differences forbidding the transfer of globally standardized concepts, for example in advertising, differing local customer tastes and special requirements of national distribution channels. Finally, dealing with protectionism, trade barriers and volatile exchange rates may force a national business approach. All these forces work together and create the conditions for shaping the global mindset of a company. However, the influence and intensity of individual forces is different from industry to industry and, sometimes even company to company.
Assessing proactive and reactive forces
Mindset management must deal with how to react to and influence the above outlined environmental forces. Corporate managers focusing on global competitive strategies tend to emphasize increased cross-national coordination and a more centralized, uniform strategy. For them, the proactive forces are key in developing strategies. Country managers, on the other side, are frequently favoring greater autonomy for their local units because of their superior understanding of local market and customer needs. Each category of managers will analyze data and facts in a different way and favor different strategic concepts and solutions depending on their individual mindsets. Both approaches can be seen as polar opposites, or a genuine paradox.
Two different situations seem possible:
- If one perspective consistently wins at the expense of the other, the company may be successful for a certain period of time, but run into trouble at a later time. Its ability to learn and innovate will be seriously impaired as it will tend to search for ‘short-sighted’ solutions within a given framework.
- What is desirable is maintaining a ‘creative tension’ between both perspectives. It is this tension which forces the organization to break away from current patterns of thinking and look for completely new solutions. This ability to move beyond the existing paradigm and in that sense further develop the mindset is probably one of the most important success factors for many of the established successful global players.
Utilizing creative tension in a constructive manner requires the development of a corporate vision as well as a fair decision-making process. The corporate vision is expected to provide general direction for all managers and employees where the company wishes to be in the future. Equally important, is setting up a generally understood and accepted fair decision process which must allow for sufficient opportunities to analyze and discuss both, global and local perspectives and their merits in view of specific strategic situations.
HOW TO DEVELOP A GLOBAL MINDSET?
If the global mindset is the key factor in how a company perceives global business opportunities and what strategies it develops for capturing these opportunities, creating and supporting an environment where such a mindset can develop must be a critical issue for senior management. There seems to be a broad spectrum of possibilities to shape the global mindset including the composition of top management, a strong focus on vision and processes, encouraging network building, employee selection and career path planning.
Table: Managerial challenges in developing a global mindset
Composition of top management:
The global mindset starts at the helm of the corporation. The composition of the top management team and the board of directors ought to reflect the diversity of markets, in which the company wants to compete. In terms of mindset, a multicultural board could help operating managers to facilitate reflection and learning through providing a broader perspective and specific knowledge about new trends and changes in the environment. The best example of a truly global top management team seems to be Adidas, the German-based sportswear company. Its executive board consists of two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Germans, one Swiss, one Swede and one Australian. The Chief Executive is a Frenchman, Robert Louis-Dreyfus. Admittedly, Adidas is clearly the exception. Many other companies operating on a global scale still have a long way to go until the composition of their top management and boards reflects the importance and diversity of their worldwide operations.
Focusing on vision and processes:
For decades it has been general management’s primary role to determine corporate strategy and the organization’s structure. However, the management of many global companies has changed from its historical concentration on the grand issues of strategy, structure and systems, to a focus on developing purpose and vision, processes and people.
The new management philosophy places less emphasis on following a carefully analyzed strategic plan than on developing and nurturing a strong corporate purpose and vision. Management’s intellectual understanding of the corporate vision, combined with direct responsibility for implementation, becomes a binding personal commitment. Middle management plays a key role in this process. Downsizing programs with the objective of reducing overhead by taking out entire middle management levels have left fewer managers in the companies to perform management tasks. Furthermore, the remaining managers are expected to take on new roles moving from administrators/controllers to business leaders/entrepreneurs. To facilitate this role change, companies must spend more time and effort involving middle management in devising vision and strategic plans. The process of drafting such statements and plans gives the individual manager an opportunity to make his or her contribution to the corporate agenda and, at the same time, creates a shared understanding and commitment of how to approach global business issues. Instead of traditional strategic planning in a separate corporate planning department Nestlé, for example, focuses on a combination of bottom-up and top-down planning approach involving markets, regions and strategic product groups. That process ensures that local managers play an important part in decisions to pursue a certain plan and the related vision. In line with this approach head office does not generally force local units to do something they do not believe in.
The new philosophy calls for development of the organization less through formal structure, and more through effective management processes. Today many global companies use a matrix structure. ABB has apparently succeeded in operating such a structure. Other companies, for example SAP, are about to implement a matrix organization. It seems that, for lack of a better solution, matrix structures will remain the backbone of many global companies. What is changing, however, is the focus. Instead of spending lots of time and resources on developing the ideal structural template to impose on the company from top down, managers now concentrate on the challenge of building up an appropriate set of employee attitudes and skills and linking them together with carefully developed processes and relationships. In this model a matrix of flexible perspectives and relationships in the manager’s mind allows him or her to individually judge and negotiate the trade-offs between different dimensions based on widely shared vision and strategy.
It is important to note, that this new management philosophy does not replace the hard management tools of strategy, structure and systems. Instead, the new and broader model of management supplements them with a focus on vision, processes and people.
Developing and coordinating networks:
Globalization has also brought greater emphasis on corporate collaboration at the expense of the traditional corporate ethnocentrism, where a manager was in full control of a particular business or function. Collaboration refers not only to units within the company, but also extends to outside partners, e.g., suppliers, customers or research institutions. Global managers must now develop and coordinate networks which give them access to key resources on a worldwide basis. Network-building helps to replace nationally held views with a collective global mindset. Established global companies, such as, Unilever, Nestle or ABB, have developed a networking culture, in which middle managers from various parts of the organization are constantly put together in working, training or social situations. They range from staffing multicultural project teams, sophisticated career path systems encouraging international mobility to various training courses, internal conferences and company parties. Networking depends to a large degree on interaction and communication, which, today, is made much easier through new information and communication technologies. Nevertheless, personal contacts and interaction will remain essential and are the major vehicle for transferring ideas across borders. They are immensely useful in setting up ad hoc international project teams solving a problem or following a specific issue on a more permanent basis.
Recruiting from diverse sources worldwide supports the development of a global mindset. A multicultural top management, as described previously, might improve the company’s chances of recruiting and motivating high-potential candidates from various countries. Bright young Chinese or Indians, for example, might give the cold shoulder to companies that seem to be reserving all their top positions for whites. Many companies now seem to be placing more emphasis on hiring locals and putting them through intensive training programs. AT&T, for example, brings foreign-born managers to the United States for two-year training programs. Gillette runs local courses in 28 countries and then sends trainees to its headquarter in Boston or large subsidiaries in London and Singapore for 18 months. After completion of their training they are expected to take over local management positions.
Career path planning and international assignments:
A career path in a global company must provide for recurring local and global assignments. Typically, a high-potential candidate will start in a specific local function, e.g., marketing or finance. A successful track record in the chosen functional area provides the candidate with sufficient credibility in the company and, equally important, self-confidence to take on more complex and demanding global tasks, usually as a team member where he or she gets hands-on knowledge of the workings of a global team. The ideal career pattern should alternate between local, global, local and again global assignments. For example, SmithKline Beecham follows a policy which requires candidates for senior management positions to have a “2+2+2” experience, i.e., hands-on experience in two businesses, in two functions and in two countries. With each new assignment these managers broaden their perspectives and establish informal networks of contact and relationships. Whereas international assignments in the past were primarily demand-driven to transfer know-how and solve specific problems, they are now much more learning-oriented and focus on giving the expatriate the opportunity to understand and benefit from cultural differences as well as to develop long-lasting networks and relationships. Exposure to all major functions, rotation through several businesses and different postings in various countries are critical in creating a global mindset, both for the individual manager and for the entire management group. In that sense, global human resource management is probably one of the most powerful medium- and long-term tools for shaping the global corporate mindset.
THE GLOBAL MINDSET — KEY TO CORPORATE GROWTH
Depending on the characteristics of the corporate mindset and its global orientation, different development patterns will result. However, it should be borne in mind, that developing a global mindset is a lengthy and time-consuming process.
Characteristics of a strong corporate global mindset The globalization process demands new global visions, structures and processes, in which these visions are conceptualized, articulated and implemented by managers. Hence the global mindset is an essential requirement of global managers who are expected to lead their organizations into the future and orchestrate worldwide expansions programs. In this context it becomes interesting to contrast the features of a corporate mindset based on a strong global orientation with a more parochial mindset.
Management with a global mindset is approaching the world in particular ways. Individual managers working in foreign countries must not only meet the requirements of the work assignments, but also be able to adjust to unfamiliar attitudes and behaviors of the host country culture. How well individual managers and the management group as a whole deal with these challenges greatly influence’s the company’ development.
Global mindset and corporate development patterns
Established global players with a strong global mindset have created a self-perpetuating mechanism for expanding in worldwide markets. For them the global mindset works like a self-fulfilling prophesy, i.e. the more global the company’s mindset, the easier it becomes to support a global business approach in existing markets as well as to enter new markets and pursue a global strategy there. Such companies tend to follow a staircase growth model. Companies pursuing this approach, such as Nestlé, Unilever or SAP, are not zigzagging all over the place, but, instead, have developed a distinctive pattern or “footprint” in the form of a staircase or manageable steps. Each step earns money in its own right, each step up adds new skills to the company and better prepares it to open up and take advantage of new opportunities and each step moves it further into the direction of its vision. While few – if any – single steps are dramatic in themselves, linking them together as a staircase of sequential growth achieves results that definitely are. Such companies are able to:
- Maximize the sales potential from existing customers and attract new customers without stepping into new product ranges.
- Focus on innovation and offer improved and new products, services and value delivery systems.
- Restructure the industry through implementing acquisitions and partnerships.
- Expand into new geographic markets and competitive arenas.
Their global performance is strong, they have developed a group of global managers with the appropriate mindset. On the other hand, companies with a weak global mindset, tend to have a spotty global presence approach with perhaps a few strong and many weak or even marginal market positions in world markets. In the long-term their growth patterns tends to be discontinuous with sometimes inconsistent moves into unrelated fields and the resulting difficulties to transfer existing competencies. Often times performance in terms of growth and profitability fluctuate widely in such situations.
Table: Different Mindsets of Management
Time and consistency as critical issues
Developing a strong global corporate mindset is a lengthy process needing a consistent strategy over the long-term. Established global players, such as Nestlé, Unilever, IBM or Procter & Gamble, have evolved with the globalization of their businesses in their respective industries. Their management teams, strategies, structures and systems have developed gradually, by trial and error, in an incremental process over many years. For example, Unilever started its globalization process in the 30’s. The company has evolved mainly through a Darwinian system of keeping what is useful and rejecting what no longer worked to reach its current global leadership position in several consumer goods categories.
Today mindset management is a major challenge for many companies operating in world markets. There are roughly three categories of companies:
- Established global players which must continue to build and expand their global mindset in order not to lose momentum and maintain one of their key success factors.
- Traditional multinational companies must break with the past. For them the task is to change and refocus the mindset towards a global approach.
- Established global players which must continue to build and expand their global mindset in order not to lose momentum and maintain one of their key success factors. Traditional multinational companies must break with the past. For them the task is to change and refocus the mindset towards a global approach.
What makes creating a global mindset for companies in the last two categories a particularly trying task is that they are forced to develop such a mindset in a shorter period of time, if they want to keep abreast of the ever-increasing pace of change. Here, smaller and medium-sized companies and the ‘domestic-only’ companies are obviously at a disadvantage. For them, hiring management personnel with a global background from the outside is an option. Nevertheless, they will have to redouble their efforts and make this a top priority issue.
As companies continue to expand globally they need managers who understand global business, operate effectively across cultural boundaries and balance strategic integration with responsiveness to local markets. Which global opportunities a company decides to pursue, and how it deals with the many challenges of a global business approach, depends critically on how good it is at interpreting and responding to the dynamic and diverse environments in which it operates. The management of such a company must regularly question its prevailing business model, i.e., it must be willing and able to challenge its own assumptions about important global business issues and learn to adapt these assumptions to the prevailing environment.
Planning for global markets
Planning is a systematized way of relating to the future. It refers the managing of internal and external weakness, strengths, objectives and goals to attain a desired end it is a countries commitment to achieve a specific goals.
The planninig for a global company is different from a domestic one but the basic planning are not in themselves different. The structure, the corporate environment differs from each other.
Our policies cover operational or functional matters, and in turn govern how we run our business.
As set out within the ‘Governance of Unilever’, included within the business of the board is the endorsement or amendment of certain corporate policies which includes Unilever’s code of business principles, code of ethics for senior financial officers, and Unilever’s share dealing code.
The code of business principles sets out the standards of behaviour we require from all of our employees. Furthermore, our code of ethics, that applies to the senior executive, financial and accounting officers, comprises the standards prescribed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The code of ethics provides an extract of the relevant provisions of Unilever’s code of business principles and the more detailed rules of conduct that implement it.
The share dealing code applies to persons who are executive directors and members of the executive team of NV and PLC and will apply whilst any such person holds the relevant office or is employed by the Unilever Group and for six months thereafter. It also applies to non-executive directors and persons who are notified from time to time that their name is on the Unilever insider list.
Unilever plans faster growth
Unilever today detailed its plans to accelerate top line growth and step up the rate of margin improvement.
In September we announced our intention to focus on fewer, stronger brands to promote faster growth. Today we announce a series of linked initiatives to align our entire organisation behind these growth ambitions. By 2004 these will increase annual top line growth to 5 per cent and operating margins to 15 per cent, a marked acceleration of previously announced targets. They will underpin our commitment to double digit earnings growth.
“We see our future in a portfolio of strong brands with international and local scale. These will increasingly reach the consumer via a diversity of channels and a variety of communications media. That is at the heart of what we are announcing today”, said Chairman Antony Burgmans/Niall FitzGerald.
The principal components of the plans are:
We will concentrate product innovation and brand development on a focussed portfolio of 400 leading brands. These have been chosen both on the basis of the strength of their current consumer appeal and their prospects for sustained growth. They include familiar brands such as Dove, Lux, Lipton, Magnum and Calvin Klein fragrances. We will invest a total of £1.0 billion in additional marketing support over five years and by 2004, we expect this investment to have driven growth rates in the focussed portfolio to at least 6 per cent per annum.
E-Business is directly relevant to our growth plans in the areas of brand communication and building direct relationships with consumers. The development of on-line selling will be pioneered by the recently announced venture with iVillage. Alliances with AOL, Microsoft, Excite@Home and WOWGO are in place to support brand communication and build consumer understanding. E-Business also offers significant opportunities in business to business transactions throughout the supply chain and we will be rolling out a global e-procurement system over the next two years. We are intent on achieving a rapid expansion of E-Business and have committed £130 million to these initiatives in 2000 and this will grow.
Our local businesses will be involved in developing plans to re-order our manufacturing activities into integrated regional networks in support of our brands. Our target is a world class supply chain based on some 150 key sites plus a number producing principally for local markets. As a consequence we expect there will be a substantial reduction in the number of manufacturing sites, probably by around 100. Provision for the costs and asset write downs, which are expected to total in the region of £2.0 billion, will be made as necessary consultations are completed and specific plans finalised.
Concentrating on 400 brands will give us the opportunity to focus resources where they can be most effective, reduce overheads and streamline the Corporate Centre. Central to the plans will be revised knowledge and information systems to support our leading brands and the re-designed supply chain. The costs, estimated at £1.3 billion, will be provided for as plans are implemented.
The remaining businesses that do not meet performance standards or which are no longer part of our strategy, will be re-organised or divested. Specifically we will restructure Elizabeth Arden during 2000, as part of our plans to create a fast growing international cosmetics and fragrance business. The future of our European Bakery business is under review. It is being restructured to improve performance significantly or it will be divested by the year-end.
These initiatives are planned to deliver annualised savings of £1.0 billion by 2004. Of those savings, £750 million will be allocated to margin improvement and £250 million to increasing resources behind the 400 leading brands. An additional £200 million currently supporting non-priority brands will be reallocated to the portfolio of leading brands, creating an increase in annual investment of £450 million by 2004.
The programme is estimated to cost £3.3 billion in total, the majority of which is expected to be exceptional restructuring cost. It is likely to lead to a reduction of around 25 000 jobs over the next five years, primarily in Europe and the Americas, representing ten percent of Unilever’s total workforce.
Niall FitzGerald/Antony Burgmans said: “The move towards a streamlined, more focused organisation will dramatically improve our ability to market our leading brands. At the same time, we will continue to look aggressively for value-adding acquisitions and alliances that will further consolidate and reshape our industries.
“We are determined to deliver a step change in Unilever’s growth rate and further improve its operating performance. Today we are announcing changes that mobilise the entire organisation behind our brands to drive growth and margin improvement. There will be changes in the top organisation and incentive schemes to put sharper focus on accountability and delivery.
“We are very aware that these initiatives will lead to job losses over the five year period, but they are necessary for the long-term health of the company. We will take the utmost care to implement these changes in close consultation to minimise the personal impact.”
Unilever plans faster growth – Background
Brands – The portfolio of 400 brands on which we will focus has been selected for:
Brand Appeal i.e. the strength of their current consumer appeal and how well they will meet expected and emerging consumer needs over the next five to ten years, and
Brand Scale i.e. their potential to justify and sustain significant investment in technology, innovation and brand communication.
The portfolio has been classified into three types of brand, which will determine the nature and degree of innovation and development they will receive:
International Brands – These have a common appeal to consumers in many countries, enabling common brand positionings, advertising campaigns and other marketing synergies. Examples are Lipton tea or Magnum ice cream, which can be found in most countries of the world, with formulations sufficiently similar to permit largely similar marketing. Other examples are Dove soap and personal care products, Omo fabric detergent, CloseUp toothpaste and Calvin Klein fragrances.
International Brand Positionings – These cover brands where the marketing mix is focused on achieving the same consumer positions, but where the brand names, for many reasons, are different. Examples in Foods are Becel (Germany, Netherlands) and Flora (UK), spreads which are both positioned in the heart-health segment. Also, PG Tips (UK), Bushells (Australia), Home Cup (Africa) and Ting Hua (China) are all positioned as the archetypal tea brand in their particular market.
Local Jewels – These are brands with an exceptionally strong and often unique position, and generally a long history, in particular countries or regions. Examples are Oxo bouillon and Persil (UK), Wishbone salad dressing (USA), Joko tea (Africa), Unox and Andrelon shampoo (Netherlands).
Average growth rates of the top 400 brands over the last two years has been 4.6 per cent per annum, with negative growth over-all for the remainder. By 2004 we will have accelerated growth for the 400 leading brands to over 6 per cent per annum.
The impact of portfolio focus on growth and margin has already been strikingly demonstrated in the 1998 performance of HPC Europe and Elida Fabergé Brazil, two early adopters of brand focus, and is now impressively confirmed in the results of these two businesses in 1999.
E-business briefing paper
We are actively pursuing e-business opportunities, through partnerships where appropriate. Our strategy is to develop e-business models to interact directly with consumers and to identify scalability. We will use Web technologies to support procurement and supplier management applications to improve business processes and linkages with key customers.
E-Consumer – We have established Interactive Brand Centres in North America, Europe and Asia to develop Internet expertise for all our marketeers.
Relationships – We are building the capability to provide information and services to consumers quickly through alliances with existing independent Portals for specific targeted audiences. These include Women through MSN’s WomenCentral, and iVillage and WOWGO, a new European portal for teenage girls.
Brand Communication – Our Brand Communication strategy, via online advertising and sales promotion and information, has concentrated on using existing brands. Examples are Mentadent (oral hygiene tips), Lipton Recipe Secrets (recipes), Dove Spa (skin care advice) and http://www.eat.com/.
Business to Consumer – We are experimenting with ways to meet consumer needs directly by using the Web and other channels to provide products when and where consumers want them. Women trying to conceive can now purchase Unipath’s ClearPlan Easy Fertility Monitor direct from http://www.clearplan.com/. An alliance with Excite@Home, enables us to develop service offerings for interactive TV. The development of on-line selling will be pioneered by the recently announced venture with iVillage.
E-Commerce – We are moving quickly to use Web based applications for greater efficiency in our entire supply chain.
Retailer Relationships – We see opportunities to use internet technology to build on partnerships with customers, from the international retailers to the small local store, to improve our service levels and to create even more efficient distribution systems with lower stock levels. Existing Efficient Customer Response (ECR) programmes including supplier managed inventories will be developed further and extended to more customers.
Procurement – We are rapidly expanding procurement via e-auctions on the Web, successfully piloted in the US which is our centre of expertise in this area. We intend to roll out e-procurement to build our global buying networks rapidly in partnership with players who are leaders in this field and to migrate a significant part of our procurement onto the Web in the next two years.
Internal Processes – We already have a broad capability for accessing and sharing knowledge internally through a dedicated intranet linking 70 000 desktops, through which, amongst other things, we track and disseminate innovation projects. This resource will be leveraged further to facilitate global marketing applications and assessment of consumer trends.
Supply chain briefing paper
The margin improvements of recent years owe much to the adoption of regional manufacturing strategies and the consequent programme of plant rationalisation.
We will now accelerate this programme, to ensure the focussed portfolio of 400 brands is supported by an equally focussed procurement and manufacturing base.
The procurement initiatives already announced and which will produce savings of £1.0 billion by end 2002, are in addition to this programme.
An international framework for manufacturing – Central to our plans is a network of some 150 key manufacturing sites which will be targeted for investment and development. They will be selected from among our 380 existing sites world-wide with the overall aim of servicing the 400 brands in the most cost effective way. Of the balance, probably 100 sites will no longer be required, while the remainder will service more local markets.
The selection criteria for the key sites are clear. In addition to leveraging scale, the relevance of the products made and the efficiencies achieved plant by plant will determine selection.
There will be further benefits from driving these sites to achieve the highest performance standards, benchmarked to the best practice of FMCG manufacture.
Procurement – There will be a similar programme to align our international procurement activity with the requirements of the 400 brands. The function will be re-organised, with emphasis on reducing component complexity and buying on an international scale. Business to Business e-commerce will be a vital tool in achieving our goal and we plan to migrate a significant part of our procurement spend onto the Web in the next two years.
Cost/benefits – The programme is expected to cost £2.0 billion in total.
Provision for these costs, including asset write-downs and redundancies, will be made progressively as plans are finalised. The exact timing will be governed in many territories, particularly Western Europe, by the need for consultation prior to finalisation of plans. In addition to general benefits of improved efficiencies and reduced costs, we plan to deliver a further 20 per cent improvement in fixed asset utilisation by 2004.
Next Steps – The necessary reviews are nearing completion and the overall framework is clear. Specific decisions will be taken in due course, following all necessary or relevant consultation. Specific announcements will follow, and we will publicly report progress.
Reducing the number of brands we actively manage from 1600 to 400 is a major simplification of our core business and provides an opportunity to simplify many other activities.
Reduced Overheads – Our organisation and management structure will be re-directed to the support of 400 brands. This streamlining will mean not only more support behind fewer priorities – but also a significant reduction in overall resources.
Savings will be made in Regional and Category managements as the direction of our leading brands and our global supply chains are aligned. This also provides an opportunity for streamlining our Corporate Centre.
Shared Services – Simplification is also made possible at a national and regional level where we will seek to use Unilever scale wherever possible.
Our respective Foods and HPC companies in individual countries and regions will be progressively integrated, yielding savings in back office costs. Most importantly this will facilitate a single interface with our customers – increasingly we will deal with the trade on a national or regional footing as a Foods and/or an HPC business.
Systems Convergence – We already have a Unilever-wide communications network which links 70,000 employees through desk and lap top PCs. However, our knowledge and information management systems are currently based on local operating company requirements and often reflect local business processes. This will change. We are moving to a harmonised and shared knowledge base for Unilever.
400 brands managed regionally and globally, require fewer systems. At the same time as rationalising the absolute number of systems, we will be concentrating financial processes into a small number of shared service centres around the world.
Costs/benefits – The costs of this re-engineering of our management services is estimated at £1.3 billion up to 2004.
Next steps – The necessary reviews are nearing completion and the overall framework is clear. Specific decisions will be taken in due course, following all necessary or relevant consultation. Specific announcements will follow, and we will publicly report progress.
Unilever company structure
Members of the Unilever Executive who are also directors of Unilever
Responsible for ensuring that Board and Board Committee meetings have the information they need.
The independent element in Unilever’s governance.
Responsible for managing profit and loss, and delivering growth.
Senior corporate officer
Responsible for ensuring that the Board has the information they need.
“It’s a response to growing societal concerns about the possible negative health effects that could occur should people pursue unhealthy or excessive slimness. Unilever believes in a healthy balanced diet and that both men and women have the right to feel comfortable with their bodies and not suffer from lack of self-esteem ought on by images of excessive slimness.
Our mission is to add Vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.
Enthused with Vitality
Vitality is at the heart of everything we do. It’s in our brands, our people and our values.
Vitality means different things to different people. Some see it as energy, others view it more broadly as a healthy state of body and mind – of feeling alive.
Whatever their personal definition, millions of people around the world use our products daily to add Vitality to their lives – whether that’s through feeling great because they’ve got shiny hair and a brilliant smile, keeping their homes fresh and clean, or by enjoying a great cup of tea, satisfying meal or healthy snack.
Ever since the 19th Century when William Hesketh Lever stated that the company’s mission was “to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products,” Vitality has been at the heart of our business.
Vitality defines what we stand for: our values, what makes us different, and how we contribute to society. It’s the common thread that links our brands and it’s central to the unique way we operate around the world.
Health & nutrition
Our Vitality mission commits us to growing our business by addressing health and nutrition issues. We focus on priorities including children and family nutrition, cardiovascular health and weight management.
Inside & out
Our culture also embodies Vitality. Adding Vitality to life requires the highest standards of behaviour towards everyone we work with, the communities we touch and the environments on which we have an impact.
The growing demand for more Vitality in life provides us with a huge opportunity for growth. The way we work and the products we develop are shaped by consumer trends, along with the need to help raise health and hygiene standards in both the developing and industrialised regions of the world.
Unilever recognises the importance of good corporate governance and behaviour, and is committed to achieving the highest standards within its policies.
Introduction to Unilever corporate governance
Unilever constantly keeps its corporate governance arrangements under review. NV and PLC are subject to different corporate governance requirements and best practice codes, the most relevant being those in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is Unilever’s practice to comply, where practicable, with the highest level of these codes, and respond to developments appropriately.
NV and PLC together with their group companies operate effectively as a single economic entity. This is achieved by a series of agreements between NV and PLC (the foundation agreements, see below), together with special provisions in the articles of association of NV and PLC. NV and PLC have the same directors, adapt the same accounting principles, and their shareholders receive dividends on an equalised basis.
A comprehensive description of Unilever’s corporate governance arrangements including further details on the structure of the Unilever Group are set out in the document ‘The Governance of Unilever’.
Our recent developments in corporate governance
Unilever has always aspired to high standards of corporate governance and, in response to the latest developments in Europe and the USA, we have introduced significant improvements in our arrangements with effect from May 2004.
Developments in 2004
In 2004 the NV and PLC shareholders adopted proposals to create a one-tier board with a majority of independent non-executive directors.
Developments in 2005
In 2005 a separate non-executive chairman and group chief executive were appointed. In 2005 it was also announced that we would undertake a thorough review of our corporate structure to see if any change should be made. The review team was led by the chairman, Antony Burgmans, and included non-executive directors David Simon and Jeroen van der Veer. On 19 December 2005, the conclusions of the structure review were announced. The boards decided that Unilever would retain its current structure with some important changes.
Developments in 2006
At the 2006 AGMs in May the shareholders agreed to the proposed resolutions relating to the changes in our structure that the boards had recommended. These were:
- to adapt Unilever’s constitutional arrangements to allow greater flexibility to allocate assets between both parent companies
- to simplify the relationship between our NV and PLC shares by establishing a one-to-one equivalence in their economic interest in the Unilever Group; this was achieved by a split of the NV ordinary shares (3 for 1) and a consolidation of the PLC shares (9 for 20 basis)
- to allow shareholders the right to nominate candidates to the Boards, taking into account the need to ensure the unity of management
Unilever NV and Unilever PLC have different shareholder constituencies and shareholders cannot convert or exchange the shares of one company for shares of the other. NV is listed in Amsterdam and New York. PLC is listed in London and New York.
The foundation agreements
The Unilever Group is created and maintained by a series of agreements between the parent companies of NV & PLC, together with special provisions in their respective articles of association, and are together known as the foundation agreements. These agreements enable Unilever to achieve unity of management, operations, shareholders’ rights, purpose and mission.
The equalisation agreement
The equalisation agreement regulates the mutual rights of the shareholders of NV and PLC. Its objective is to ensure that the position of these shareholders is, as far as possible, the same as if they held shares in a single company.
The deed of mutual covenants
Unity of operations is facilitated by the deed of mutual covenants. It is an agreement between NV and PLC which provides, amongst other things, for the allocation of assets within the Unilever Group.
The agreement for mutual guarantees of borrowing
The agreement for mutual guarantees of borrowing between also assists in the creation of the single operating platform. Under the agreement NV and PLC each, will, if asked by the other, guarantee the borrowings of the other. The two companies can also agree jointly to guarantee the borrowings of their subsidiaries. These arrangements are used, as a matter of financial policy, for certain significant public borrowings. They enable lenders to rely on our combined financial strength.
The boards have established a number of board committees. Further details on these committees are set out in the governance of Unilever.
The audit committee comprises three or more independent non-executive directors, and assists the boards in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities in respect of the integrity of Unilever’s financial statements; risk management and internal control arrangements; compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; the performance, qualifications and independence of the external auditors; and the performance of the internal audit function. The committee is also directly responsible, subject to local laws regarding shareholder approval, for the nomination, compensation and oversight of the external auditors.
The audit committee is fully compliant with the rules regarding audit committees that are applicable in the Netherlands, UK and US.
The nomination committee comprises three independent non-executive directors and the chairman. The committee recommends to the boards candidates for the positions of director, and has responsibilities for succession planning and oversight of corporate governance matters.
The remuneration committee comprises three independent non-executive directors. The committee reviews the remuneration of the executive and non-executive directors, and the tier of management directly below the board, and also has responsibility for the executive share-based incentive plans.
Corporate responsibility & reputation committee
The corporate responsibility and reputation committee comprises at least three independent non-executive directors and the executive director who chairs the corporate responsibility council. The committee has responsibility for the oversight of Unilever’s conduct with regard to its corporate and societal obligations and its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.
The disclosure committee comprises the deputy chief financial officer, the joint secretaries and the group treasurer. The purpose of the committee is to help the boards ensure that financial and other information that ought to be disclosed publicly by Unilever is disclosed in a timely manner and that the information that is disclosed is complete and accurate.
Routine business committees
Routine business committees are set up to conduct routine business as and when the board considers that they are necessary, and administer certain matters previously agreed by our boards or by the Unilever executive. They comprise any two of the directors and certain senior executives and officers.
Unilever’s highest executive body is called the Unilever Executive. It is led by the Group Chief Executive (Patrick Cescau), and is responsible for managing profit, loss and growth delivery across the company.
Our mouths are our gateway to life. We use them to eat, drink, talk, laugh, smile and what not! Close up helps people like you to live life confidently and brings you the taste of success!
Launched in 1984
Close up was launched as a gel toothpaste containing micro-whiteners and mouthwash in 1984, and fired the imagination of the population with it’s exciting advertising. Seeing the success that Unilever Bangladesh had with low unit price packs in other categories, a sachet – more popularly called mini pack – met with astounding success and enabled millions of youth, who aspired for a modern trendy brand but were unable to afford one, to use the brand.
Improving oral hygiene
Close up mini virtually dominates the low unit price segment in oral care, and has been instrumental in improving the oral hygiene in Bangladesh, particularly the rural market where it enjoys a huge franchise.
Being as change oriented as its target market, Close up continually renews the oral care experience by introducing new flavours every now and then. The new Close up offers four exciting flavours including an all new Eucalyptus Buzz. Other variants are Menthol Chill, Icy Cool and Red Hot.
Close up Crystal tooth whitener
Close up Crystal with vitamin fluoride system, is a unique whitening gel that brings a brighter sparkle to your teeth in just 4 weeks! This fluoride enriched tooth whitener delivers complete mouth fitness with a great mouthwash effect along with caring for your gums!
Pepsodent was launched in Bangladesh in October 1991. It has a unique formulation containing fluoride and Urlium – making it a country leader in white toothpaste technology. Since its launch, Pepsodent has brought into Bangladesh breakthrough technologies from around the world, manifested by the incorporation of a special germ protection ingredient known as Triclosan.
Pepsodent prioritises communicating to consumers across Bangladesh the importance of oral hygiene. In a country where literacy and access to mass media is low, the task is not only to identify and develop channels through which awareness for oral hygiene can be increased, but also to identify cost-effective products that can satisfy the need for oral hygiene.
Endorsed by BDS
Recognition of Pepsodent’s product quality and efforts in developing awareness of dental hygiene has come through Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS). BDS has chosen Pepsodent as the only toothpaste to be endorsed by them. the soceity also assisted Unilever Bangladesh in conducting dental camps, School Programmes and Pepsodent Dental Health weeks, where dentists affiliated to BDS provide free dental check-up in communities absolutely free of cost.
With our understanding of local needs and preferences, Pepsodent introduced a Toothpowder format , available in different pack sizes. This has gained immense popularity over the years. With the introduction of the ‘Neem’ variant of the toothpowder, Pepsodent could successfully incorporate the herbal goodness and trust associated with Neem leaves into the brand.
Originally launched in the Netherlands in 1956, Sunsilk provides real solutions to all women’s everyday hair needs in 80 countries around the globe.
No more hair dramas!
Sunsilk brings happiness to beauty, helping women to feel good, look good and get more out of life.Every woman has different hair with different needs. The different variants of Sunsilk, each made in a unique formulation of natural ingredients, are designed to meet the unique needs of different types of hair; with the promise of strong, healthy, beautiful and naturally nourished hair.
Different Sunsilk for different hair needs
- Sunsilk Black Shine Shampoo for lifeless hair with natural nourishment of Amla and Sunflower extracts
- Sunsilk Extra Treatment Shampoo for dry and damaged hair with extra nourishment of Egg protein and Olive extract
- Sunsilk Moisturizing Anti Dandruff Shampoo with natural nourishment of Curds and Lemon
- Sunsilk Extra Strength Shampoo for strong hair with natural Ginseng extract
Introducing Sunsilk 9 to 9
Like we said, Sunsilk understands your hair needs. As the day progresses your hair gets rough and messy. The new Sunsilk 9 to 9 with Active Amla formula is the first super light lotion for hair. Its international active Amla formula lightly coats each strand of hair from root to tip making it soft and silky set. And so, your hair stays shiny and glamorous from morning to night!
After years of experiments and clinical studies, Unilever Hair care experts have developed a new all-round solution for treating Dandruff.
Say goodbye to dandruff
The new All Clear Vita ACE formula brings this solution for all those who are frustrated with recurring dandruff problems. It has three major elements in its formulation:
- Amino Acid: to nourish hair and scalp skin
- Scalp Care Agent: ZnPTO & Sunflower oil that removes dandruff
- Vitamin E: for healthy scalp skin
Hair full of energy
This Vita ACE formulation thus helps to nourish and rebuild the scalp as a foundation for healthy and beautiful hair. A cool sensation after a hair wash with Vita ACE results from eliminating dryness and deposition of dirt or oils that irritate the skin.
All Clear now targets and removes dandruff from the first wash and prevents dandruff from coming back by strengthening the scalp barrier. Also, the new Vita Ace formula nourishes your hair to be beautifully light, fresh and full of energy.
All Clear Active care
Active Care with sunflower extract is 100% on target for dandruff, free healthy scalp and hair. It removes dandruff from the first wash and prevents dandruff from coming back by making the scalp barrier stronger.
All Clear Ice cool
Ice cool with menthol gives you a refreshing experience while it targets and removes dandruff from the first wash. Its leaves your scalp tingling with freshness and makes your hair beautifully light and full of energy.
Based on breakthrough scientific research on skincare from Unilever, Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream gives you unmatched radiant fairness in just 6 weeks.
Skin care cream for Asian skin
Its unique patented formula with fairness Vitamin B3 and natural milk protein, combined with its triple sunscreen system makes your skin noticeably fairer while giving it nourishment. Keeping in mind different requirements of different skin, Fair & Lovely has a range of variants besides the Fair and Lovely Fairness Cream. These are:
Fair & Lovely Ayurvedic Fairness Cream
Fair & Lovely Ayurvedic Fairness Cream brings in the fairness secrets of ancient Ayurveda that provides Nourishment, Protection and Purification. It is enriched with the magical Ayurvedic blend of Kumkumadi Oil – a mixture of 16 Ayurvedic ingredients, which enhances complexion and cures discoloration of skin.
Fair & Lovely Body Fairness Milk
Now complements and matches the fairness on your face with the fairness on your body through Fair & Lovely Body Fairness Milk. Its gentle formulation gives fairness all the year round.
Fair & Lovely Antimarks
The miracle worker Fair & Lovely now not only promises a bright radiance but also pledges a flawless skin through the Antimarks variant. It contains proven Ayurvedic ingredients including Neem, Chandan, Brahmi that creates a wonderful formulation for every mark, which helps to give a fair, clear and even-toned skin. More specifically, it reduces dark spots left from pimples, lightens pigmentation marks, reduces dark circles and lessens stretch marks.
Fair & Lovely Oil Control Gel
For those with oily skin who abhor the thought of creams – Fair and Lovely Oil Control Fairness Gel is a great option! Unlike ordinary creams which can be heavy and oily, Fair & Lovely Oil Control Fairness Gel is non sticky and easily absorbed by the skin. With the inherent freshness of Papaya and Watermelon extracts and the fairness expertise of the brand, Fair and Lovely oil control gel offers the perfect solution for sunny, greasy summer days, as well as a year round solution for oily skin.
The impressive track record of Pond’s began when Theron T. Pond, a pharmacist from Utica New York, introduced ‘Pond’s Golden Treasure’ in 1846, a witch-hazel based wonder product.
A rich heritage
In 1886 it was relaunched as Pond’s Extract and in 1914 Pond’s Cold Cream and Vanishing Cream marked the brand’s evolution to a beauty icon. By the mid-1920s it was reflecting this positioning with endorsements by society beauties. Its stylish image was underpinned by guarantees of product delivery and an understanding of women’s beauty routines and needs.
In 1955 Pond’s Extract Company merged with Chesebrough Manufacturing and in 1987 Unilever purchased Chesebrough-Pond’s. By this time the Pond’s brand had built up a powerful international presence.
Pond’s Daily Face Wash
Even the best soaps are alkaline, which while cleansing your face, dries and stretches your skin, resulting in premature wrinkles and lines. Pond’s Daily Face Wash is 100% soap-free, thus non-alkaline. Its Active Cleansing System deep cleans without drying. Your face retains its natural moisture and looks noticeably radiant.
Pond’s Vanishing Cream
An innovation from Pond’s Institute, Pond’s Vanishing Cream reduces excess oil from your skin through a two-way action:
- It’s unique Oil Control System helps regulate oil secretion
- It’s unique Micro Sponges absorb excess oil
Pond’s Nourishing Facial Scrub
Pond’s Nourishing Facial Scrub brings you the promise of clean skin that feels softer and nourished. Its Skin Exfoliating and Revitalizing System contains two kinds of microbeads. The white Scrubbing Beads help to deep cleanse gently, removing dead skin cells, thus preventing blackheads and pimples. The orange Nourishing Beads with vitamin C help to nourish the skin. Its pH-balanced cleanser formula deep cleans without destroying the moisture balance of the skin.
Pond’s Moisturizing Cold Cream
Feel the difference from the very first time you use it. It provides:
- Vital Beauty Oils which penetrate deep to provide complete nourishment
- Natural Moisturising Factors which help retain essential moisture to prevent dry lines
Pond’s Dreamflower Talcum Powder
A whole new world of freshness and fragrance to give you a confident start.
Pond’s Body Lotion
Pond’s Body Lotion is a light non-greasy lotion that gives you silky smooth skin. Its formulation is enriched with moisturisers and vitamin E that with regular use:
- Softens your skin from within
Gives your skin a silky smooth feel
Lakmé has a rich heritage and a wealth of understanding in women’s beauty needs. Fashionistas seek the trends advocated by Lakmé fashion statements as gospels of fashion .
A rich heritage in color cosmetics & skin care
A brand that has over 5 decades talked of beauty is none other than Lakmé. Launched in 1952, it offered a range of cosmetics with nail polishes & lipsticks from the early 80’s. Lakmé also understands the importance of maintaining and accentuating a women’s natural beauty, for this it has introduced a range of skincare products from 1987. These ranges have been constantly innovated to bring specialized beauty care and complete the range for the definitive women. With a unique blend of understanding women of all ages, today, Lakmé is all about setting trends and dominating the fashion arena.
Everything a girl wants
Lakmé has a wide range of products in color cosmetics that bring visible results. To add to this vast repertoire is a range of specialized skin care products for the discerning women. Keeping skin looking healthy and glowing is also a part of looking great. Lakmé provide the complete package with the skin care range and the wide range of colors to spice up the look.
From the spicy shades to the flattering look, Lakme offers a range of products in the face, lips, eyes and nail segment for the beauty aficionados.
- Lakmé Daily Wear Soufflé – a Lightweight soufflé makeup, perfect for everyday wear, enriched with sunscreens and cucumber extracts. Available in three shades.
- Lakmé Perfecting liquid Foundation – Liquid foundation from Lakmé. It is a water-resistant formula that provides superior coverage. It is a light feel, long lasting makeup and comes in three shades
- Lakmé Radiance Compact – Vitamin enriched foundation make up in compact powder format that protects and soothes skin while giving a radiant look. Available in 3 shades to suit all skin tones.
- Lakmé Enrich Lipcolor – – lipstick enriched with nitamin E for softer and smoother lips. Longer-lasting lipstick. Single Application Colour. Available in variety of fashionable shades developed especially for varying skin tones
- Dual Definition – An innovative new product with a long lasting lipcolor at one end and a coordinated lip liner at the other. The Dual Definition lipcolor ‘n’ liner is just what a woman of today needs, for perfect lips, all day long.
- Perfecting Definition Lip Pencil -Lip defining pencils to outline your lips before applying lipstick.
From dramatic to natural look- a wide range of products are on offer to create the perfect eyes.
- Lakmé Kajal: Comes in easy to apply and sharpen, pencil form. Innovative technology ensures an ultra smooth finish.
- Lame Insta Eyeliner : Lakmé Insta-liner is a lightweight and comfortable eye make-up. Being water-resistant it does not smudge, making it stay on your eyes all day long. With a one-stroke delivery, its perfect brush makes it glide over your eyelids.
- Lakme Thick Lash Mascara: Deep black Ultralash Mascara … To create those extra long, thick fluttering eyelashes! Gel based formula separates each and every lash for fuller, longer eyelashes. Smudge-free formula stays intact, giving that ‘just applied’ look
- Lakmé Shimmer Eye Cube: Exciting range of eye shadows with a silver undertone- gives a shimmering effect Long lasting formula ensures hours of fresh color that needs no retouching
1. True Wear Nail Enamel -Nail Enamel with Lacquer-like finish. Contains resins and silicone with colour lock technology that gives brilliant long lasting shine.
For radiant skin Lakmé is there to pamper your skin with specialized products for the diva in you.
The first step of a good skin care routine is cleansing. It removes the dirt, impurities and excess oil that clog your skin’s pores and cause blackheads and acne. Cleansing is recommended twice daily and is available in the form of gels and oil based lotions.
1. Strawberry Silk Splash Face Wash – This is a face wash ideal for all skin types . ItsStrawberry extracts polish your skin, leaving it silky smooth and has a deep cleansing action of this face wash removes dead skin and dirt, with out drying your skin. Of course its fresh strawberry fragrance lingers on for hours and hours.
2. Deep Pore Cleansing Milk – With Silicones that free your skin of invisible dirt particles and makeup, and Vitamin E that gently nourishes your skin without drying it.
Lakmé Peach Milk Moisturiser contains intensive hydrating formulation with natural goodness of peach milk. Natural peach milk easily soaks into and softens your skin like never before. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that conditions and protects against skin-damaging environmental elements to give you soft and radiant skin.
The range comprises of lotions to keep your skin healthy and younger looking.
1. Lakmé Sunscreen Lotion: A 100% oil-free formulation that protects normal skin from 70% of skin damage by the harmful rays of the sun leaving skin looking healthy and young.
A premium range of product for ladies with oily skin keeps skin fresh and oil free. The Matteffect Range offers –Mattifying Fluid, Icy Fresh Gel & Purifying Face wash – each designed to complement and provide a complete skin care regime while keeping skin hydrated and mattified (oil free)
Most women perceive oily skin as the perfect reason to avoid skin moisturizers. However your skin has a very fine moisture and oil balance, which is disrupted by constant exposure to environmental factors. Using a lightweight, water-based ‘mattifier’ can restore this balance.
- Matteffect Purifying Face wash – Effective face wash especially formulated for oily skin. that laves you with clear and glowing skin.
- Matteffect Icy fresh Gel -An oil-free cooling gel that is absorbed instantly by the skin and hydrates it.
- Matteffect Mattifying Fluid – A lightweight fluid with unique oil absorbers and sweat controllers that imparts a matte appearance to the face. It lightly conditions skin and controls excess oil.
We all want to be pampered, to look and feel great, to enjoy that moment when anything seems possible. And that’s just what Lux offers you on a daily basis at a price you can afford.
Lux brings out the star in you!
Everything about the brand, from the look and feel of the products and packaging to the fragrances, is a delight to the senses. In fact, Lux has been making waves since 1924, when it launched the world’s first mass-beauty market soap in the US at a fraction of the cost of imported French soaps.
Throughout this time, Lux has been closely associated with many of the most glamorous and sensual women of the age. Marilyn Monroe, Demi Moore and Catherine Zeta-Jones are some of the stars who’ve appeared in Lux ads. In Bangladesh, Subarna Mustafa, Bipasha Hayat, Shakila Zafar have all featured in our ads.
Lux, with its unique ingredients is the path to beautiful skin – thereby making women who use it more gorgeous naturally!
- First mass marketed toilet soap launched in 1924
- Sales of nearly 1 billion taka in 2004
- Sold in over 100 countries
- Market leader in various countries including Arabia, Brazil, India
From Unilever range
- Lux Energising Honey incorporates the beauty secrets of Fruit Extracts, rich Milk Cream and Honey, for a fresh renewed feeling.
- Lux Nature Pure has nourishing coconut oil and cucumber soap bits. Its creamy lather gently purifies the skin, leaving it clear and fragrant.
- Lux Golden glow comes with the magical touch of lustrous Honey and precious Sandalwood Oil.
- Lux Orchid touch comes with the delicate touch of rare orchids and precious Jojoba Oil, for a softer skin.
- Lux Almond delight come with the deep moisturization of exotic Peach, Cream and precious Almond Oil.
Lifebuoy’s war against germs is a never-ending one. The core offering of the brand is ‘Good health via protection from germs’, so that you and your family get your complete peace of mind.
Lifebuoy’s unique formulations and antibacterial ingredients in all its products make it superior to all other ordinary soaps, giving 100% better germ protection. Good health, protection from most skin germs and control of body odour make up the core objectives of the brand.
With the introduction of the Lifebuoy Gold variant, the brand added a complete new dimension to its image. Lifebuoy Gold has now brought the whole family into its bubble of health and protection. It is yet another innovative antibacterial formulation promised to serve all members and requirements in the home – from controlling adolescent pimples and body odour to protecting cuts and bruises from further infection. Its mildness along with the goodness of beauty soap makes it convenient for use by the whole family.
Natural herbal formula
For generations natural herbal ingredients like Neem has been reverred for its antiseptic qualities. Lifebouy Neem soap has brought in the do-good qualities of Neem to the promise of protection from germs offered by Lifebouy soap.
From skin to hair: Lifebuoy Shampoo
Everyday exposure to sun and pollution makes hair weak, dull and lifeless. Lifebouy has two variants of shampoo for families seeking beautiful hair through inner strength – Lifebouy Health and Lifebouy Herbal.
Lifebuoy Health Shampoo contains a unique protein health complex which nourishes hair from root and revitalizes hair with health.
Lifebouy Herbal Shampoo has a unique combination of Amla, Neem, and Hena that brings a healthy shine and body for hair.
With Rexona’s unique body-responsive technology, which releases extra protection as you need it, you’ll know that your deodorant won’t let you down, giving you the confidence to face the day’s challenges.
A trusted partner for over 100 years
Rexona was originally created in Australia in 1900 by a pharmacist and his wife. Since then it has led the field by providing consumers with cutting-edge technology that is proven to deliver outstanding results.
Rexona offers a wide range of highly effective antiperspirant deodorants to meet the everyday needs of men and women – everywhere. Rexona with its unique active ingredients provides 24-hours protection against body odour and underarm wetness to help keep one physically fresh and mentally confident, even in the toughest moments.
From Unilever range
Premium quality is all Lipton Taaza stands for. Lipton Taaza brings in the world famous quality and heritage of Lipton – the world’s No. 1 tea brand.
The best cup of tea you can have
Each pack of Lipton Taaza represents the unique art of collecting the best tea leaves from selected tea gardens and then carefully blending the best tea leaves into a single blend that gives the best in terms of colour, flavour and taste.
Lipton Taaza comes to you in a protection pack that ensures the aroma of the tea granules whenever you open the pack. The blend is also more carefully selected and results in the freshest and best cup of tea you can ever have.
World class blenders
The consistency of such quality delivery is maintained by the skills of Lipton’s world-class buyers and blenders.
Among the two blends available in Lipton Taaza are:
- Lipton Taaza Jhotpot with an offer of a strong cup of tea with quick liquoring. With little time in hand for relaxation Taaza Jhotpot brings instant recharge at an affordable price, allowing families to enjoy quality time together with renewed vitality.
- Lipton Taaza Daanedar – our classic blend for a revitalising cup of tea.
In the film The Matrix, Keanu Reeves is given two choices. He can either take a blue pill and wake up in the morning as if nothing has happened or pop a red pill and enter the unpredictable ‘wonderland’ of the Matrix. As millions of guys around the world know, Axe has taken the red pill.
Axe takes the ‘red pill’
With its coolly seductive fragrances and packaging, the brand has established itself as the world’s top male grooming brand by coming up with a constant stream of new ideas to keep guys a step ahead in the mating game. Each year, for example, we launch a new deodorant fragrance.
Adventurous & unconventional
We’ve also taken the brand into a number of new areas, including shower and hair gels. Our award-winning ads and marketing are equally adventurous. In Colombia, for instance, a female Axe Patrol visits bars and clubs, frisking guys and applying body spray. Unconventional media channels are also being used.
Giving guys the edge in dating game
First launched in France in 1983, Axe is now giving guys the edge in the mating game in more than 60 countries. It holds the number one position in several European and Latin American markets, plus has an increasingly powerful presence in Asia and the US, where it was launched in 2003.
Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than our sense of taste, so make sure you choose the right deodorant! Here we reveal the true power behind our sense of smell.
- World’s most popular male grooming brand
- Excellent track record of advertising awards, including 10 Cannes Lions
- Established leaders in Europe and Latin America
- Developing strong positions in new markets, especially in the US and Latin America
- Sold as Lynx in the UK, Ireland and Australia
From Unilever range
In a world of hype and stereotypes, Dove provides a refreshingly real alternative for women who recognise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and isn’t simply about how you look – it’s about how you feel.
A brand that keeps to its clinically proven promises
To help you enjoy your own brand of beauty, Dove provides a wide range of cleansing and personal care products that make a genuine difference to the condition and feel of your skin and hair. Now the world’s top cleansing brand, Dove started its life in 1957 as a beauty soap bar that was clinically proven to be milder for dry, sensitive skin than other leading soaps: half of women have dry skin.
Bringing out your real inner beauty
This promise remains at the heart of the brand and has been extended to a number of other products, supported by the industry’s longest-running medical programme. Since the 1980s, for example, we’ve launched a moisturising body-wash, deodorants, body lotions, facial cleansers and shampoos and conditioners, giving you a comprehensive range of solutions to bring out your true inner beauty.
Real results for real women
Our commitment to delivering real results is mirrored in our advertisements. For over 40 years, we’ve been using real women in our ads, without any re-touching. Our current campaign has been featured on over 25 major TV channels and in more than 800 articles in opinion leading newspapers from El Pais to Le Parisien, from The Sun to The Times, as well as in popular women’s magazines. Our ground-breaking campaign for our new Dove Firming lotion, which features women of all shapes and sizes, is the latest example and underlines our commitment to breaking down stereotypes and enabling you to celebrate your beauty.
Beauty at every age
Dove believes beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. Why can’t wrinkles be wonderful? Who says lines aren’t alluring? Follow these skin care tips to help you live life to the full, however old you are.
Sports & the skin
Getting out there and participating in sport is essential to looking and feeling great. But there are drawbacks. You body, and your skin in particular, can suffer if you over-exert. Follow these tips from Dove to avoid such pitfalls.
Did you know
- just 12 % of women are very satisfied with their physical attractiveness
- only 2 % of women describe themselves as beautiful
- 68 % strongly agree that the media sets an unrealistic standard of beauty
- 75 % wish the media did a better job in portraying the diversity of women’s physical attractiveness, including size and shape, across all ages
As well as making products that help you feel more confident in your own beauty, Dove is actively trying to address the root of the problem of negative self-image. Dove has founded the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which funds programmes to raise self-esteem in girls and young women. In the US, it’s working through the Unilever Foundation to sponsor a partnership with Girl Scouts, called ‘uniquely ME!’ It also supports the BodyTalk education programme for schools in the UK and Canada.
- the world’s number 1 cleansing brand with double-digit growth
- sales of over € 2.5 billion a year in over 80 countries
- outsells all other skin care bars combined
- over 1 billion showers taken with Dove products in the US each year
From Unilever range
At any age, at any time, no matter what your skin need, the Vaseline skin care team wants everybody to be able to enjoy great, healthy skin everyday.
Healthy skin everyday
In 1869, Robert Chesebrough, a dispensing chemist, discovered something amazing. He discovered a 100% natural product, rich in minerals from deep within the earth yet totally pure, which had remarkable healing properties when applied to cuts, burns and abrasions of the skin. That product was branded Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.
Keeping skin amazing
Just as Robert Chesebrough in the 1800’s, we continue to be motivated by a passion and curiosity about skin. It’s an incredibly complex and miraculous creation of nature. It protects us from adverse climate and from infection. It recreates and regenerates itself through our lives. It stretches, yet retains its form. It is waterproof, yet it can emit water.
It is easy to take skin and all of its properties for granted, but Vaseline never has. For over 130 years Vaseline has marvelled at skin, and through our products we share everything we’ve learnt over all those decades about how skin works and how to keep it in great condition. We are constantly developing accessible, everyday skincare products to help keep your skin amazing.
Your skin is amazing
It’s our waterproof barrier. It’s a defence against disease. It’s how we sense and adjust to our surroundings. It’s constantly growing and replacing itself. And when we’re hurt, it heals itself. Find out more about our body’s largest organ.
View our latest advertisement for Vaseline and take a fresh look at your skin.
Did you know?
- Skin is the body’s largest organ, accounting for approximately 16% of your body weight
- One-third of all the blood circulating through the body is received by your skin
- Every 28 days, your skin renews itself completely
- The skin on your fingertips is the most touch sensitive skin on your body
- Your skin loses over 200ml of water per day through evaporation
Recent product introductions from Vaseline include:
- Vaseline Intensive Rescue Range: Very dry skin has a new way of fighting back. New Vaseline Intensive Rescue is a range of four uniquely designed moisturisers, each targeting a different dry skin problem and each made to provide instant relief, as well as moisturisation over a long time. Vaseline Intensive Rescue promotes the proper environment for your skin to do something amazing: heal itself.
- Vaseline Cocoa Butter: When our skin is healthy, light reflects off the rich colour below the surface, enabling it to literally glow. But when skin is dry, its surface becomes uneven and rough, leaving it looking dull. Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning lotion penetrates deeply to smooth away roughness and the appearance of dark spots, igniting skin’s natural glow at the source.
- Petroleum Jelly was patented by Robert Chesebrough in 1865, and launched as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly in 1870 in the USA
- By 1875 Americans were buying Vaseline Petroleum Jelly at the rate of a jar a minute. Today Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is a staple in medicine cabinets across the world, and a tub of Vaseline Petroleum is sold every 39 seconds*
- Vaseline and Vasenol products are available in over 90 countries around the world* (Vasenol is the alternative name for Vaseline in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries)
- Vaseline is the #1 hand and body lotion brand in the USA.
From our range
After some recent purges, Unilever now owns about 400 brands, many of them local that can only be found in certain countries. The brands fall almost entirely into two categories: Food and Beverages, and Home and Personal Care.
Unilever is the world’s biggest ice cream manufacturer, with an annual turnover of €5 billion. Except for Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s, all its ice cream business is done under the “Heartbrand” brand umbrella, so called because of its heart-shaped logo. Unilever currently operates eleven ice cream factories in Europe; the biggest include factories at Heppenheim in Germany, Caivano in Italy, St. Dizier in France and Gloucester in the United Kingdom.
The Heartbrand was launched in 1999 (and slightly modified in 2002) as an effort to increase international brand awareness and promote cross-border synergies in manufacturing and marketing (“centralisation”). It is present in more than 40 countries. Although the logo is common worldwide, each country retained the local brand so as to keep the familiarity built over the years.
In 2005, Glidat Strauss received special permission from Unilever to export their brand of ice cream to the United States because of the strict kosher certification the products in Israel have. Under terms of the agreement, Strauss ice cream and krembo may be sold only in kosher supermarkets and import shops. It is distributed in North America by Dairy Delight, a subsidiary of Norman’s Dairy.
Partial list of national brands:
Prior to the heart logo, each country could choose its own logo, although the most common one consisted of a blue circle with the local brand’s name over a background of red stripes; second most common old logo, used by Wall’s in the UK and other countries, was a yellow logo with Wall’s in blue text.
Unilever generally manufactures the same ice-cream with the same names, with rare occasions of regional availability, under different brands. Some of these ice-creams include Carte D’Or, Cornetto, Magnum, Solero and Viennetta.
Home and personal care brands
- AdeZ- Soya drinks
- Persil / Omo -Liquid GEL Tablets
- Flora Omega 3 (UK)
- Dove Body Care
- Bousin Cubes
- Carte D’Or Greek Style Yoghurt
- Comfort Pearls
- Wall’s Frusi
- Dove Pro Age
- Persil & Surf Small & Mighty
- Ben & Jerry’s Fair trade ice cream
- Marmite Guinness (limited edition)
International marketing channel
Unilever has made Agreement for Distribution of Profits and they faced difficulties in distribution on 56 capitalisation and they have made up 58 158 Distribution of assets in of a relevant system .
- Unilevers Competition is about 14. Their Distribution and selling network is 14.They provide brands through a distribution network .They use an internet based system that will bring the information process and system harmonisation and simplify.Trade funds management system has been implemented and threw open their distribution networks.
- A single Siebel has been taken in 2004. Ariba online buying system enables purchases of products throw this system.New sales and distribution mechanism for it have been developed.
- Unilever’s theyll established distribution strength in single European Enterprise system,in 2005 customer relationship management system covering primary sales of unilever … An artwork management system commenced deployment in … and Foodsolutions this system is now use
- The dual leadership system the adoption of sourcing manufacturing and distribution processes while still is doing theyll.Products are distributed through distribution centres satellite warehouses & creates a new distribution channel for unilever’s house production and distribution activities.
- 5. Unilever has launched on line buying system in … sourcing manufacturing and distribution processes and reached a major distribution agreement with Japanese
- Through manufacturing to distribution and retailing to … single European Enterprise system . An artwork management system commenced deployment and Foodsolutions this system are now used for delivering a single system process and information system for all operating activities,
Unilever remains committed to the UK. But, like many companies, unilever planned on a pan-European basis and the Chancellor’s announcement means that their UK business will continue to face currency risk in sourcing and in exporting to the eurozone. This puts the UK at a disadvantage to their eurozone operations in terms of attracting new opportunities and investment in the future. The quicker the playing field is levelled the better.”
On that note unilever has decided to export in various countries.
In response to the Government’s announcement that it intends to address the obstacles standing in the way of meeting its five economic tests and to keep open the prospect of a referendum in this Parliament, Niall FitzGerald KBE, Chairman of Unilever said:
“This will be good news to many in business, who have waited a long time for the Government to provide a clear lead towards euro entry. It would appear more than ever from today’s announcement that Britain’s membership of the euro is a matter of when, not if..
“Every year the UK stays out, the greater the difficulties that will be faced in competing for investment across the EU and the more difficult it will be for the UK to remain competitive.
Unilever is the company that actually deals with almost every country.
They have set of competitors in their goods businesses. Many of their competitors also operate on an international scale, but others have a narrower regional or local focus. Competition is a normal part of business. They aim to compete and give value to their consumers, customers and shareholders in three ways:
• by continually developing new and improved products;
• by sharing their innovations and concepts with their businesses all around the world; and
• by striving to lower the cost of their sourcing, manufacturing and distribution processes while still maintaining, and improving, the quality of their products.
They support efforts to create a more open competitive environment through the liberalisation of international trade. They support the full implementation of the Single European Market and inclusion of other European countries in the European Union.
Distribution and selling
Unilever’s products are generally sold through its sales force and through independent brokers, agents and distributors to chain, wholesale, co-operative and independent grocery accounts, food service distributors and institutions. Products are distributed through distribution centers, satellite warehouses, company operated and public storage facilities, depots and other facilities.
Unilever ell their products in nearly all countries throughout the world and manufacture in many of them. Unilever export a wide range of products to countries where they do not make them. For example, inside the European Union they make many of their products in only a few member countries, for sale in all of them. The chosen manufacturing configuration is generally determined by an optimized regional sourcing strategy which takes account of requirements for innovation, quality, service, cost and .edibility.
Certain of their businesses, such as ice creams, are subject to significant seasonal fluctuations in sales. However, Unilever operates globally in many different markets and product categories. No individual element of seasonality is likely to be material to the results of the Group as a whole.
Related party transactions
Transactions with related parties are conducted in accordance with the transfer pricing policies described in note 1 on page 85 and consist primarily of sales to joint ventures and associates. Other than those disclosed in this report, there are
no related party transactions that theyre material to the Group or to the related parties concerned that are required to be reported in 2005 or the preceding year.
In approximately 40 countries, their associated company, Johnson Diversey Inc., acts as Unilever’s sole and exclusive sales agent for professional channels, in respect of cleaning products, in return for which it receives an agency fee. In 2004 Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive, purchased a house from a group company ultimately owned by NV. The full Boards, acting on the recommendation of the Remuneration Committee and without participation of Mr Cescau, gave their prior approvals to the purchase, which was made at full market value based on two independent valuations of the property. Further information is given in note 32 on page 142.
They have a large portfolio of patents and trademarks, and they conduct some of their operations under licenses which are based on patents or trademarks owned or controlled by others. They are not dependent on any one patent or group of patents. They use their best efforts to protect their brands and technology.
Unilever businesses are governed, in particular, by laws and regulations designed to ensure that their products may be safely used for their intended purpose and that their labeling and advertising are truthful and not misleading. Unilever businesses are further regulated by data protection and anti-trust legislation. Important regulatory bodies in respect of their businesses include the European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration.
They have processes in place to ensure that products, ingredients, manufacturing processes, marketing materials and activities comply with the above-mentioned laws and regulations.
Marketing Communication and Advertising
We are driving towards regional convergence of systems, processes and organization to support the operation of the new Unilever business model. In Europe, we have continued to progress the project to implement the single European Enterprise system. Successful 2005 implementations were performed in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. We have also delivered a further nine countries onto the European customer relationship management system, covering primary sales force support and tele-business for Food solutions. An artwork management system commenced deployment in HPC and Food solutions; this system is now used by 2200 users across Europe. With increasing dependence upon regional applications, resilience and recovery become even more critical. In mitigation we have constructed and commissioned an additional world class data centre to ensure full European backup and recovery capability.
In Latin America, we have made significant progress towards the goal to operate as one business. This will be fully complete in July 2006, delivering a single system, process and information system for all operating companies in Latin America. In North America, we reached a regional agreement with Dell Computer Corp. to provide and manage PC equipment and support, including a technology update. A new regional supply chain planning solution was developed and implemented in the HPC business; Foods will go live by the end of the first quarter of 2006.
In Asia Africa, the focus has been to deepen the penetration of the regional standard application portfolio. By the year end we had implemented the demand and supply network planning tool in thirteen countries and the Unilever standard data warehouse in fourteen countries, and twelve countries now use the regional eCommerce hub. In India, a system to manage pricing / promotions into our dealers, with a capability for e-Claims settlement and self-service was successfully rolled out to 1500 stockists.
This is planned for completion at all 6000 stockists by Report of the Directors Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2005 13 March 2006. We have completed the implementation of an SAP based system, which simplifies and harmonises processes across Arabia, Israel and Turkey – a project successfully delivered in an extremely challenging environment. An initiative to standardise operational IT processes and procedures globally started in 2005 and has delivered on plan. We have set world-class objectives for this programme and the implementations in 2005 won the ‘best project of the year’ in the 2005 ITsmf awards. To support the innovation agenda, the internal management system had a significant upgrade and has been deployed to 16 000 users world-wide.
Unilever work hard to ensure our products are safe and effective. Unilever are committed to making our products accessible and affordable, and to marketing and communicating their benefits responsibly.
Meeting consumer needs
As one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, Unilever use many forms of brand communication. Advertising helps inform people about the benefits of our products and innovations. It is also a way for us to engage with consumers on issues that matter to them. Dove’s successful Campaign for Real Beauty broke current stereotypes about beauty. Omo/Persil’s ‘Dirt is good’ campaign emphasises the importance for children of feeling free to play outdoors as part of their learning and development.
At the same time Unilever recognise the influence of marketing and advertising on consumers and take our responsibilities seriously. Unilever have a set of Food and Beverage Marketing Principles to guide our approach to advertising our foods. Unilever do not advertise to children under six years of age. Unilever recently extended this commitment to restrict marketing to children betUnileveren the ages of 6 and 12, for all products except those that qualify for our Choices stamp.
*Unilever adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with effect from 1 January 2005, with a transition date of 1 January 2004. This chart shows 2004 as IFRS and pre-IFRS to allow comparison with previous years.
Accessibility & affordability
Unilever continue to seek new ways of bringing our products within the reach of people of all income levels. One way Unilever have done this is by offering our products in small, low-cost packs. This makes them more affordable for consumers on limited incomes and those with only small amounts of cash to spend daily.
For example, Unilever’s 30g pack of Pepsodent toothpaste in India – enough for a family of five to clean their teeth once a day for ten days – costs just six rupees (around €0.11). Six rupees is also what three eggs would cost locally. The chart below compares the cost of toothpaste with a common staple food – eggs – as an illustration of affordability.
Cost of toothpaste in four countries 2006
Consumers trust us to provide them and their families with products that are safe for their intended use. Safety is always considered at the design stage of a new product or process. Safety approval decisions are made through our Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC), which handles over 10,000 approvals a year.
Incidents can occur if Unilever accidentally release a product to the market that does not conform to the standards applicable to the product. Examples can include quality defects, contamination of raw materials or mislabelling of ingredients. Globally, in 2006 Unilever had 12 public recalls because of a deviation in quality or a potential risk to public health (compared to 8 in 2005). All incidents Unileverre successfully managed, risk reduction measures taken and follow-up actions carried out to prevent future occurrence.
Unilever recognise that consumers may be concerned about the use of certain chemicals in products. Unilever continue to work with research organisations, industry partners, NGOs and regulators towards enhancing consumer confidence in chemicals, while trying to find alternatives, where appropriate. (See Civic engagement for REACH legislation.)
Alternatives to animal testing
Unilever are committed to eliminating animal testing for our business and the vast majority of our products reach consumers without testing any material on animals. Our strict internal control procedures ensure that animal testing is carried out only when there is no alternative approach.
Unilever are spending nearly €3 million a year on developing new ways of assuring consumer safety that do not involve animal testing. Unilever are also founding partners of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing, which last year agreed an ambitious action plan to take forward its work on developing new approaches to safety testing.
Unilever promoting approach to hygiene
Unilever brand portfolio enables consumers to meet a broad range of their hygiene needs. Through these brands, and by working in partnership with others, Unilever can achieve Unilever goal of making a real contribution to people’s health and hygiene.
Many of Unilever brands have long had health and hygiene as a core part of their vision. For example, Lifebuoy has been championing hygiene throughout its 110-year history.
Today, Unilever Global Health through Hygiene Programme co-ordinates and enhances the impact of Unilever hygiene initiatives, working with brands such as Lifebuoy, Pepsodent, Domestos and Pureit, and with partners such as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Particular brands lead specific hygiene activities, for example, Lifebuoy runs Unilever handwashing campaigns in partnership with UNICEF.
Leading the way on handwashing
In India Lifebuoy’s ‘glowgerm’ demonstration counters the common simple hygiene habits like washing hands with soap could halve the number of childhood deaths from diarrhoea. Making soap affordable and widely available is part of the solution. Yet more than 5 000 children still die every day from diarrhoeal diseases. This is because behaviour change is needed too. Recognising this, Unilever programmes focus on understanding what will trigger behaviour change in individual cultures and communities and then use these insights to create campaigns that achieve sustained improvements.
Measuring behaviour change is difficult. The Global Health through Hygiene Programme works to develop evaluation measures to monitor impacts. Unilever scientists, working with partners at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, developed and tested a novel and reliable way to assess changes in handwashing behaviour – SmartSoap bars. These bars are fitted with movement sensors that measure changes in usage. Unilever started using them in a joint study in rural villages in India. This has led to new insights that will be used to improve the effectiveness of the far-reaching Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna handwashing campaign.
In India Lifebuoy’s ‘glowgerm’ demonstration counters the common misconception that ‘visibly clean’ is ‘hygienically clean’. When held under ultra-violet light, glowgerm powder glows on hands washed only with water, providing a dramatic reminder of the need for thorough handwashing with soap.
Promoting Swasthya Chetna
Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna (‘health awakening’) has already helped around 80 million people in 28 000 Indian villages become more aware of basic hygiene, stressing the importance of handwashing with soap. Working in partnership with local and national stakeholders, the five-year campaign aims to educate a total of 200 million people – 20% of the population. In 2006 sales increased by almost 7%, with particularly strong growth in the eight states where the programme was launched. Similar programmes are now being adapted and rolled out in Bangladesh and East Africa.
In safe hands
In 2006 Lifebuoy and Unilever Marketing Academy developed a process called In Safe Hands. As part of Unilever’s involvement with the World Bank’s Global Public–Private Partnership for Handwashing, Unilever help public sector organisations in Asia and Africa create behaviour change programmes to promote handwashing with soap. Four-day workshops, led by Unilever marketers, teach campaign-building skills to those involved in community handwashing programmes. Workshops were held in Vietnam and Kenya in 2006, with further workshops planned for 2007 and beyond.
Pureit is a unique in-home purifier, providing water that is free from harmful germs, without needing electricity or pressurized tap water, making it ideal for people in urban and rural areas. Pureit was launched in India’s Tamil Nadu state and has now been extended to the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This affordable purifier costs €30 and has a running cost of just half a euro cent per litre.
Working in partnership
“Good hygiene habits can save lives. Through this partnership, we have made real progress in our understanding of hygiene habits, which in turn will help Unilever and others take the handwashing message to more people around the world.”
Val Curtis, Senior Lecturer in Hygiene, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Promoting oral health
Poor oral health causes pain and discomfort and can lead to life-threatening illness. Around 1 billion people do not brush their teeth at all and some 2 billion brush only once a day.
For Unilever oral care business, Unilever vitality mission translates into a commitment to make a measurable contribution to oral health around the world. Signal/Pepsodent, Unilever leading toothpaste brand, aims to improve health by helping people change their behaviour, for example, by encouraging them to brush twice a day.
In 2005, Unilever entered a three-year agreement with the FDI World Dental Federation to launch a global oral health programme. The FDI is a federation of national dental associations, representing nearly a million dentists around the world. One of its core objectives is to improve people’s brushing habits. In countries where the ratio of dentists to overall population can be as low as 1 per 100 000, this can be a real challenge.
In 2006, projects were underway in 31 countries, including a school-based initiative in North Vietnam, an education programme for deprived communities in Chile and a three-year infant programme in Poland.
As well as working on the ground, Unilever are developing new products, including the world’s first quality toothbrush which retails at the equivalent of just €0.20. Launched in early 2006, this toothbrush is now available in countries in Asia and Africa.
The Pepsodent Fighter is a quality, low-cost toothbrush which brings the possibility of better oral health within the reach of low-income consumers.
Dental hygiene is important in developed markets too. In France, Signal is running a campaign for all six-year-olds by providing educational materials to their teachers. Evaluation by independent scientists showed that these materials were proving to be highly effective in changing brushing habits and the results were published by the International Association for Dental Research in June 2006.
Great brands have great advertising. We are proud of the work our brand teams and agencies have created so have included a selection here for you to view. Come back soon as we will be adding more over time.
Pricing for international markets
Pricing is important for any companies. Pricing plays a vital role physiologically in buyer’s decisions. Active marketers always consider pricing as a major tool. With pricing products companies can identify optimal entry pricing for new products, plan effectively for competitive actions though customer segmentation, price management, and strategic pricing.
As UNILEVER is a multinational company they has a clear thought- out, explicitly defined price policy. They consider different price strategies for domestically or internationally. Before setting pricing strategy they observe the type of product, competitive conditions and other key factors which can affect the pricing policies.
Unilever’s pricing decisions are based on active instrument and static instrument. As active instruments are always changing and its main goal is to capture the market so it gives many facilities for the market.
Ex- SUNSILK in 350 ml with extra 20% charging the minimum cost can capture the market easily rather than others.
On the other hand static instruments are never changing and it’s main goal is to sell the excess inventory in the domestic market.
As Unilever do there business globally so they collect there products from different countries.
Ex- Pantene- Pro- V is one of the popular products for Unilever. Pantene has many manufactures in different countries like Singapore, U.S.A India and many more countries. Because in Singapore and USA the manufacturing cost is high so the product cost is also high but in India as our native country its manufacturing cost is low.
Parallel imports can also create awkward situation for the manufacturer. Domestic manufacturers made the products like the originals one so it costs lower but the original quality was hampered as well as company’s reputations. That’s why Unilevers deodorants as well as shampoos are copied in local market which causes huge loss.
Price escalation means increasing of price. Price can be increased in many reasons. as Unilever is a multinational company it has reason behind price escalation.
Cost of exporting
Price escalation can also be hampered as the added costs exporting from one country to another. Unilevers cost of exporting are very high as the prices are increased by insurance, shipping costs, packing, distribution channels, and administrative costs and also for exchange rate fluctuations.
Taxes and Tariffs
Taxes and tariffs are unavoidable items which can affect the ultimate consumer price. As doing business in different countries taxes and tariffs are different. so as Unilever producing the same product but the prices are different from one country to another.
Middle man and Transportation costs
While Unilever producing the different types of products so there distributions channels and transportation costs are high.
As the costs are not same in each country like Asian market and European market. Compare to European market Asian markets costs are low.
Exporting also increased transportation costs while moving goods from one country to another.
Each NV ordinary share (or depositary receipt of ordinary share) of € 0.16 represents the same underlying economic interest in the Unilever Group as each PLC ordinary share of 3 1/9 pence (safe for exchange rate fluctuations).
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Unilever NV ordinary shares or depositary receipts of ordinary shares are listed on the Euronext Amsterdam and as New York registry shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Unilever PLC shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and in New York as American Depositary Receipts.
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Summary of Share Listings: Ticker Codes and ISIN Numbers.
Unilever NV – Transactions in own shares
Unilever NV announces that on 21 March 2007 it purchased 300 000 Unilever NV ordinary shares (in the form of depositary receipts thereof) at prices between euro 21.1742 and euro 21.4000 per share. The purchased shares will be held as treasury shares.
Following the above purchase, Unilever NV together with subsidiary companies, holds 55 960 668 Unilever NV ordinary shares in treasury, and has 1 658 767 032 Unilever NV ordinary shares in issue (excluding treasury shares).
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Declaration of dividends
Both Unilever NV and Unilever PLC pay two dividends a year on their ordinary shares, an interim and final dividend. The interim dividend is normally declared within our 3rd quarter results that are announced in late October or early November. Final dividend is proposed with 4th quarter results that are announced in February.
Payment of dividends
The dividend on the Unilever NV 4% cumulative preference shares is normally paid early January and the dividend on the Unilever NV 6% and 7% cumulative preference shares is normally paid early October.
Dividend on the Unilever NV shares is paid in Euros and is subject to Dutch tax law. Dividend on the Unilever PLC shares is paid in sterling and is subject to UK tax law. Dividend on the Unilever NV New York registry shares and on the Unilever PLC ADRs is converted into and paid in US dollars.
Equalisation of the interim dividend in the other currency takes place at the average exchange rate of 3rd Quarter. Equalisation of the final dividend in the other currency takes place at the average exchange rate for the full year.
Dividends on the Unilever NV New York registry shares and on the Unilever PLC ADRs have been translated into US dollars at the exchange rates prevailing on the dates of declaration.
In conclusion we can say as a global company Unilever follows some extraordinary strategies to market their product worldwide. They have large and broad product line with high quality. Their brand images are also high. Unilever uses different types of marketing policies. They use world’s superstar for advertising. For promotional activities Unilever follows different strategies as like star hunt, women scholarship, free hair treatment, free face wash etc.. For competing with world giant competitors Unilever follows some intellectual activities that actually crowned them as one of the biggest global companies of the world. Though Unilever has worldwide operations, it always thinks about the particular market regarding the customer’s cultures, the political condition of the market, transportation system and many more which may arise as the entry or exit barriers where it wants to perform. All these activities made them familiar and famous in world market.