Dove has grown from its initial position of being a US only soap into a global product. Today, Dove is among the leading brands in the Personal Healthcare soap category. Dove is considered to be a leading brand globally and is produced by the Unilever Company. Although Dove initially focussed on cleaning products it has extended its brand to include bar, soap, facial cleansers, deodorants, and shampoo-conditioners. To outdo other competitors, such as Procter & Gamber, Johnsons and Nivea, Dove has been engaging in aggressive advertisement and marketing of its products since 2004 (Dove, 2016).
According to the report released by the Unilever in 2011, Dove is present in over one hundred countries worldwide. Likewise, the brand recorded sales of £3billion during the same year globally (Hair, et al., 2016, p. 33). Even though the Dove brand offers the four main products listed earlier, it also has more than one hundred different lines of products comprising of firming lotions, body washes, facial wipes, shampoos, skin nourishing, bar soaps and underarm deodorant.
By entrant in the industry already dominated by other players, Dove had to come up with new and unique products for its survival. For example, in 2001 Dove introduced a Conditioner and Shampoo line in Asia and antiperspirants in the United States market. In 2003, Dove launched body and facial moisturizers in the U.S as well as the Dove Damage Therapy product in 2011. Amid, competition, Dove remains to be the leading brand of liquid and bar soap in the US with a 24% market share. As part of its new market entrant, the company entered the Asian and African market segments in the 2000s by offering unique products specifically for these markets (Facebook, 2017).
Market segmentation refers to a marketing strategy used to meet specific needs of particular customers by subdividing a larger market. Segmentation is based on shared interests, priorities, and interests. The purpose of market segmentation is to allow a company meet the specific needs of its consumers (Marketing Minds, 2012).
The Unilever Company has segmented the market for its Dove brand and products into four namely;
Geographic Segmentation refers to segmenting the target market based on the geographic location of the potential customers (Google, 2010).
Dove operates in over one hundred countries where it provides unique products that specifically meets the needs of the consumers in this locations. For example in India, the Dove products are primarily produced to the high and middle-income groups. Based on this fact, Dove Dove is offered in small quantity. Since people living in the rural India cannot afford the 250-600 ml of Dove products, they are provided with products packed in sachets worth between 5 to 10 rupees (Dove, 2016).
Demographic Segmentation: This is referred to as the widest and simplest among the market segmentations. It is the most preferred by many companies because it helps in serving the right population with their products (Microsoft, 2010). Demographic segmentation defined through several variables such as family size, age, income, gender, nationality, race, occupation, and religion.
Based on age, Dove products are targetted to the teens, scholars, young adults, middle and old aged consumers. Based on gender, the dove has products used by both women and men. Lastly, according to the level of income, Dove products are targetted to middle and high-income consumers. These group of consumers is targetted simply because they are aware of the brand and can easily afford them (Dove, 2016).
Psychographic Segmentation: This segmentation is based on consumers’ activities, interests, opinion, and lifestyle. The difference between psychographic and behavioral segmentation is that the former takes consumer buying behavior into consideration while the former do not (MediaKnowAll, 2009).
Dove products mainly focus on the consumers’ attitude and self-esteem. The company provides products offered to average looking women to make them look beautiful and more attractive. This aspect of the product is focussed on the potential customers’ attitude. For example, the dove came up with smile wall campaigns which were focussed on making people acknowledge their beauty. Campaigns were also conducted to encourage the customers’ self-esteem through using Dove products (Dove, 2016).
Behavioral segmentation subdivides a broad population by consumers’ behavior, decision making, and product usage. For instance, young people prefer using Dove soap while the enthusiastic sport's customers prefer lifebuoy. Another example is in the smartphone industy (Hawkins, 2013, p. 46). The blackberry phones target business people, Samsung focussed on the users who had fallen in love with Android and Apple targetted premium customers.
Based on usage response, Dove soap and deodorant is used by the customer two to three times in a week (on average) among all the consumers. However, the frequency of usage is higher among the youths. Based on benefits, many people use dove with the hope of solving some of their problems like dandruff control, Oil control by using shampoo, hair therapy, wrinkle reduction, better skin and smooth skin (Dove, 2016).
Under behavioral segmentation, products are provided to the customers to solve the problems listed above as well as many others.
The Dove products are primarily focused on women above the age of 18, i.e., women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. According to the Dove’s philosophy, all women should feel beautiful in their way. The primary focus on the women who are eager to maintain their skin but have limited time to do so (Hawkins, 2013, p. 78). These women are provided with products which contain both cleaning and moisturizing properties. Working women, particularly between the ages of 21 and 35, are targeted because of their purchasing power for quality products. The company, through its representatives, also work at homes when called upon by the customers (Dove, 2016).
Dove uses a gender- specific brand positioning strategy in the market. For example, in 2004 a Real Beauty Campaign was launched to position the dove product as one to help women look beautiful. Therefore, Dove products are positioned as beauty brands in the market (Dove, 2016).
Desmond, J. & Stone, M. A., 2007. Fundamentals of marketing. London, UK: Routledge.
Dove, 2016. Dove homepage. [Online]
Available at: https://www.dove.com/in/home.html#
[Accessed 2 February 2016].
Facebook, 2017. Facebook Dove. [Online]
Available at: https://www.facebook.com/dove/
[Accessed 2 2 2017].
Google, 2010. Dove ads pictures. [Online]
Available at: https://google.com/
[Accessed 2 2 2017].
Hair, J. F. F. et al., 2016. MKTG 3rd Asia-Pacific Edition, s.l.: Cengage Learning.
Hawkins, D. I., 2013. “Consumer behavior”: Building Marketing Strategy.. 8thed ed. Boston: Irwin.
Marketing Minds, 2012. [Online]
Available at: https://www.marketingminds.com.au/branding/apple_branding_strategy.html.
[Accessed 27 April 2016].
MediaKnowAll, 2009. A Brief History of Advertising. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mediaknowall.com/Advertisement/history.html
[Accessed 2 2 2017].
Microsoft, 2010. Campaign For Real beauty. [Online]
Available at: https://campaignforrealbeauty.com/
[Accessed 2 2 2017].
Microsoft, 2010. Dove Skin, Beauty and Hair care Products, Advice, Offers and Samples. [Online]
Available at: https://www.dove.us/
[Accessed 2 2 2017].
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