Dove has established itself as the dominant player of the market from 2007 onwards. Dove has proved itself as different and strong brand of Unilever as it provides sales worth $2.5 bollion in a year. Dove initially was known as the “cleansing brand” and offers a wide range of products including face care, body washes, deodorant hair care, bar and anti-perspirants. The report is written on the basis of the case study named, “Dove: The evolution of a brand”. The report represents the situation analysis for the case study and also highlights the critical issues mentioned in the case study. The report analyses the critical issues which are related to the case study and after analysing the issues the report would provide a clear recommendations for the future issues (Deighton, 2008).
Dove was introduced first in the market of USA as a beauty bar which was launched in the year of 1957. While starting its journey in the USA market the brand positioned itself as the cleanser not as soap. In all its advertisements the brand claimed that woman should use Dove because it does not contain any harmful element of soap which makes the skin dry. Mainly, the functional attribute of the brand was being proposed by the brand by saying that one quarter of the entire bar is cleansing cream. Later, on the brand management of Dove realized that too make it big the company should not restrict itself by talking about the functional aspects of a brand. To make it big and sustainable the brand evaluated that it should be linked with the feminine aspects and thus to create a close association with woman the brand worldwide had introduced the campaign “the real beauty”. The objective of the brand is to create a unique proposition in the mind of the woman that beauty is an inner characteristics and self-esteem is a major element to discover woman’s own beauty (Carter & Steiner, 2004).
The critical issues which are mentioned over the case study or are identified from the case study can be discussed in the form of SWOT analysis.
Strength: The strength of the brand is the connection with the feminine aspects and the positioning strategy of the brand. Dove is different from others as it does not claim itself as a soap rather it is focused on the woman care aspects. The campaigns introduced by Dove has emphasised on evaluating the definition of real beauty. The campaigns throughput the world has forced everyone including the men to think about twice regarding the definition of beauty. Dove has not put much effort in pushing their products but it emphasises rather on creating self-esteem among the woman which indirectly enhances the brand image of the brand.
Weakness: Dove is not able to create its footstep in the men segment which can be treated as one of its weakness. The expenses of the campaigns are too high and the criticisms of the campaigns can affect Dove negatively.
Opportunity: In the changing social scenario, the demand for personal care products both in the men and in the women segment have been increased to a large extent and increasing the product line in the men segment can be another opportunity for Dove for expanding its market. The product line can also include the teenage woman customers (Deighton, 2008).
Threat: The criticisms that rise due to the arrangement of the campaigns and the advertisements can harm the brand image of Dove. The beauty which has been demonstrated over different campaigns are not related with the standard idea of real beauty which exists in the market.
The missions of Dove through implementing various campaigns are to promote the concept of beauty. The major issue related to the beauty campaign is that beauty comes from various aspects with different types of sizes and shapes. The campaigns of Dove have proved that the advertisements and branding together can work in a better way for doing well. The campaigns of Dove are nothing but the opinions and insights of the consumers about beauty. The positioning of Dove initially was the cleaning cream and later on it added the moisturizing element in it. Dove has emphasised on the campaign because it is a well-known phenomenon that for building a brand it is important to depend on the opinion and insights of the customers. The “customer-based brand equity” model can be used to describe how Dove has successfully used the perception around the brand to develop the strong equity. The model comprises four different stage and those are “Brand identity” which refers to the question” Who you are”, Meaning of the brand which asks “what are you”, response of the brand which refers “the perception about the brand” and “Brand Resonance” which refers to the association of the customers with the brand. From its introduction in the year of 1950, Dove has demonstrated its brand equity by saying that they are not the soaps category because, it does not harm the softness of the skin rather it claims that it is one kind of cleansing cream (Carter & Steiner, 2004). Later on while explaining the meaning of the brand Dove has used the proposition moisturizing and expresses itself as the moisturizing creamy bar. Third one is the brand response which it gathers through the arrangement of the campaigns throughout the world. The “real beauty” campaign arranged by Dove is the most famous and discussed campaign for woman throughout the world. The campaigns result in a way that it is proved that Dove is the most preferable brand by the woman segment. Fourth one is the Brand Resonance which helps to understand the connection among the brand and the consumers. The campaigns have discussed various aspects of the woman self-esteem. The self-esteem of the woman can help to grow the beauty among the woman. The real beauty campaign developed by Dove has made a new evolution by defining the beauty in a new dimension. The survey conducted by Dove has shown that only 2% woman of the world perceives themselves as beautiful but advertisements and campaigns arranged by Dove have delivered the slogan that Woman are more beautiful than that they think of. Without directly promoting the brand name or without pushing the products in front of the customers the company has simply send a message of social responsibility. Dove has sent the slogan that the beauty can be achieved by introducing self-esteem among the woman and the society should change its viewpoint about the beauty (Yang, 2010). Dove is different because it has introduced a different concept in advertise its product which is distinct from directly asking about the utilitarian results. Dove has incorporated the expressions of human values and creates a connection with others. The connection or the association which has been developed by Dove is very strong and capable enough to increase the brand loyalty of the woman. The woman who purchases the product of Dove feels the association as they also thinks in the same way like Dove that the society should change its point of view regarding beauty and the inner side and the self esteem of the woman should taken into while considering beauty (Manca and 1994).
The above figure shows the “Customer-based brand equity” model of Dove.
Portraying the old aged and fat woman in the campaigns frequently can affect the brand image of the company as people can perceive it as a brand of fat. For, many of the critics the advertisements in the campaign have just represented the woman in underwear around their houses which has created a wrong impact in the mind of the consumers. The campaigns have focused on the feminine aspects to a large extent but the campaigns do not talk much about the products and branding of Dove (Deighton, 2008). Focusing more on the societal issues rather on the products and services of the company can dilute the future sales of the brand. Time to time a brand needs to refocus on its advertisement strategy and Dove is not different from it. The self-esteem idea should be separated from the products of Dove. If the consumers perceive that the authenticity of the campaigns are not confirmed then the entire campaign can be affected to a large extent. The real consumers should be involved for providing their insights especially for the product usage of the particular brand. The women segment should be connected with the different products so that, the sales of several product variants and categories can be improved to a large extent. The definition of beauty should be linked with Dove in different ways by asking the woman customers regarding how beautiful they are looking like after using the product of Dove(Deighton, 2008). The already established association with the brand and the customers can be used by introducing the product aspect of Dove. The future campaigns should focus on how the usage of the products of Dove can enhance the beauty of the woman. The feminine aspects which have been demonstrated through the campaigns have made the brand overpowered in nature as the control in the campaigns have been loosen by Dove and the campaigns are introducing unnecessary criticisms in the society. The strong feminine aspects also hamper the wish of Dove to grab the men personal care market. The personal care market for the men segment has been increased to a large extent and Dove should not leave the opportunity to penetrate that market (Deighton, 2008).
Dove initially emphasised on the functional aspects of the product by saying that it is a cleansing cream which contains one fourth of the moisturizing. Later on, Dove shifted its positioning from the functional benefit attribute to feel good attribute. Dove established various campaigns which promoted the feel good factor not the functionality of the product. To prove the authenticity of the campaign Dove uses elderly and obese models for the purpose of conveying the message. Dove also uses the digital media for demonstrating the films in U-tube to show how the perception of beauty varies. The films have demonstrated that a woman always perceive herself less beautiful than actually she is. All these campaigns have promoted the self-esteem of the woman and the campaigns are able to create strong emotional bonding with the woman segment. This is how the brand establishes and creates its own footprint in the market (Deighton, 2008).
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