Dove Case

Describe the evolution of the dove brand? The origins of the Dove brand lay in the U. S. In 1957 the first dove product was launched that was called the beauty bar. This product claimed that it was different than soap and that it would not dry out your skin. The advertising campaign for this launch was created by the Ogilvy and Mather advertising agency. The main message of this advertisement was that Dove soap does not dry out your skin because it contained a quarter of cleansing cream. The message that Dove does not dry out your skin was expressed in billboards, television and print.
As time passed by minor changes were made to the slogan. For example, the term cleansing cream was replaced with the term moisturizing cream. The Dove beauty bar was endorsed by dermatologists and physicians for the treatment of dry skin in the 1980s. In the year 2000 Dove was approached to become a Masterbrand. This meant that Dove would lend its name to Unilever entries in the personal care categories. Next to the beauty bar category there would also be other categories where Dove would have an active name.
For example, deodorants, hair care products, body lotions, facial cleansers and hair styling products. Now that Dove became a Masterbrand it was no longer sufficient to communicate functional benefits. Just because now there were different categories and functionality has a different meaning throughout the different categories. It was important that Dove would stand for a point of view. Having this in mind, research led to “The campaign for Real Beauty”. The ideas for this campaign started in the year 2002.

There was a search for an alternative view of the goal of personal care. The findings of the research of this campaign showed that only 2% of the respondents worldwide described themselves as beautiful. Following this research the first exploratory advertising executions were initiated. In these advertisements ordinary people were used in supermodel contexts. This was called the Tick-Box campaign. In 2005 the next series of Dove ads were known internally as the Firming campaign. Firming campaign because a cream was promoted that would firm the skin.
The goal was to change the way how beauty is viewed by society by provoking discussions and debates about “real beauty”. However this campaign was rather risky because they did not knew whether consumers would be inspired to buy a brand that focuses on real beauty and that does not promise to make you more attractive. The risk for Dove was that it would be perceived as an ordinary brand and would not stand out among the other brands for beauty products. In 2006 Dove ran an ad in the broadcast of the Superbowl football game.
The next stage in the Real Beauty campaign of Dove was developing a film concerning self-esteem. Unilever defined a mission statement for “The Campaign for Real Beauty”. Namely, “Dove’s mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by broadening the narrow definition of beauty and inspiring them to take great care of themselves”. Later that year, Dove announced a contest where consumers were aspired to come up with their own ads for Dove Cream Oil Body Wash. This was a new product that would be launched in early 2007.
Dove came a long way and was now seen as a brand of great value. Dove had grown a lot and was identified as one of ten brands with the greatest percentage gain with regards to brand health and business value for in the previous three years. How do you asses Unilever’s branding strategy (i. e. reducing the number of brands and building masterbrands)? When looking at Unilever’s branding strategy the focus lies on building masterbrands. This is a good strategy because the number of brands is reduced. Hence the focus lies on one larger brand instead of several smaller brands.
This is good because it makes the decision making process a lot easier for the consumer. On the other hand it is also easier for Unilever because it now can put its energy on one larger brand. This means that the developments around the brand can be more specific. Meaning that you could create brand awareness more easily because there are less choice alternatives available for the consumer. Secondly, because of the masterbrand different products belong to one brand. This means that consumers can buy different products from one brand. The brand is no longer specific for one product category.
Therefore if a consumer is loyal to a brand it will also buy more products that belong to that brand and will not go to competitors. For example, if the consumer knows that Dove offers a good quality moisturizing cream the consumer is more likely to perceive other products of Dove as good quality. Furthermore, if Unilever would not pursue the branding strategy of masterbrands it would lead to competition among the several smaller brands. You could say that each brand of Unilever would operate as a separate business, meaning that it would compete with its fellow brands as well as with brands of other firms.
The previous would only lead to a division of Unilever which is not good for brand development. Instead the brands should work together because they all are a part of Unilever. Finally, the branding strategy of Unilever also provides possibilities of growth for the brand. By reducing the number of brands which are for example not profitable enough. The focus lies on the masterbrands and this reduction in costs can be used for the more promising masterbrands and therefore lead to growth by expanding product lines and so on.


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