Unilever compress deos to grow the core

Unilever's launch of compressed deodorants has really caught my eye. The technology is being launched under several brands, including Dove, Sure/Rexona and Nivea. The packs are half the size they used to be, but last just as long. Clever eh?

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You can watch the launch of the mens' range here, or click below if you are on the website. 

Here are a few interesting points about this move

1. Upgrade the core

Unilever could have chosen to launch the new technology as a new range, leaving the old packs on shelf. Instead, they have used technology to upgrade the core. This avoids adding complexity, and makes what is strong even stronger. 

2. "Brand Social Responsibility"

This core renovation is a good example of what we call Brand Social Responsibility, where the environmental or social good is baked into the product you buy. In this case, the new packs use less gas and packaging an create less waste. This is more powerful than selling the same old stuff and investing in "CSR" (corporate social responsibility), such as investing in good causes and charities.

3. Part of a bigger vision

This is one of many initiatives Unilever is taking to deliver its ambitious sustainability living plan, which includes a target to halve the environmental impact it makes by 2020. For people working in the business, and for potential employees, the positive impact the company is making must be highly motivating. Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 11.43.55

4. Leverage technology across brands

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the compressed deo launch is the way Unilever has managed to launch this across its portfolio of brands at the same time. This must have been a massive challenge behind the scenes, but has several benefits:

– The heavy capital cost has been spread across brands

– Major marketing investment has been put behind the launch, with this cost again being spread across all the brands

– This makes it a bigger "splash" than if one brand did it

– It means you are less likely to worry about whether the new deo will work or not, as most of the brands on the shelf will be selling in this format

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5. Extra benefits 

The cool thing about the new deo packs is that not only are they more environmental, by being smaller they are also more convenient: less space in your shopping bag, in your bathroom cabinet and in your travel washbag.

In conclusion, bravo to Unilever for a great bit of core renovation, that is good for the brands and for the environment.