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Mehreen Khalid (8921)
Kiran Tariq (8923)
Sara Fatima (5067)
Maryam Amin (5144)

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Contents Unilever
Company Profile of Unilever: ........................................................................................................................ 2
Vision Statement of Unilever ........................................................................................................................ 3
Mission Statement of Unilever ..................................................................................................................... 4
SWOT Analysis of Unilever ............................................................................................................................ 5
Strength .................................................................................................................................................... 5
Weakness .................................................................................................................................................. 6
Opportunity............................................................................................................................................... 6
Threats ...................................................................................................................................................... 7
HR policies of Unilever .................................................................................................................................. 8
Strategies ...................................................................................................................................................... 9
5 Forces model ............................................................................................................................................ 11
Hierarchy of Unilever .................................................................................................................................. 14
Organizational Structure of Unilever .......................................................................................................... 15
Features of Unilever’s Organizational Structure..................................................................................... 15
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 17

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Company Profile of Unilever:

Unilever is a British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in London,


United Kingdom and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Its products include food and beverages, cleaning
agents, beauty products, and personal care products. It is Europe’s seventh most valuable
company. Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are available in
around 190 countries.

Unilever owns over 400 brands, with a turnover in 2017 of 53.7 billion euros and thirteen brands
with sales of over one billion euros: Axe/Lynx, Dove, Omo, Heartbrand ice creams, Hellmann’s,
Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona/Degree, Sunsilk and Surf. It is a dual-listed company
consisting of Unilever plc, based in London, and Unilever N.V., based in Rotterdam. The two
companies operate as a single business, with a common board of directors. Unilever is organised
into four main divisions – Foods, Refreshment (beverages and ice cream), Home Care, and
Beauty & Personal Care. It has research and development facilities in the United Kingdom (two),
the Netherlands, China, India and the United States.

Unilever was founded on September 2, 1929, by the merger of the Dutch margarine producer
Margarine Unie and the British soap maker Lever Brothers. During the second half of the 20th
century the company increasingly diversified from being a maker of products made of oils and
fats, and expanded its operations worldwide. It has made numerous corporate acquisitions,
including Lipton (1971), Brooke Bond (1984), Chesebrough-Ponds (1987), Best Foods (2000),
Ben & Jerry’s (2000), Alberto-Culver (2010), Dollar Shave Club (2016) and Pukka Herbs
(2017). Unilever divested its speciality chemicals businesses to ICI in 1997. In the 2010s, under
leadership of Paul Polman, the company gradually shifted its focus towards health and beauty
brands and away from food brands showing slow growth.

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Vision Statement of Unilever

Unilever’s corporate vision is “to make sustainable living commonplace. We believe this is the
best long-term way for our business to grow.” This vision statement puts emphasis on
sustainability, especially among consumers. The following components are notable in Unilever’s
vision statement:

1-Commonplace sustainable living

2-Best long-term way

3-Business growth

Commonplace sustainable living is a core component in Unilever’s corporate vision statement.


This component shows the company’s efforts in changing its products to suit current market
conditions. For example, through sustainable design for home care and personal care products,
Unilever helps consumers reach their goals to integrate sustainability in their lives. The corporate
vision also states that commonplace sustainability is the best long-term way for the business.
Unilever understands the importance of sustainability and other market trends shaping the
industry. Moreover, the vision statement reflects the company’s view of sustainability as a way
to maintain business growth. This vision statement aligns with Unilever’s corporate social
responsibility strategy to address business stakeholders in the consumer goods industry.

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Mission Statement of Unilever

Unilever’s corporate mission is “to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition,
hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of
life.” This mission statement underscores how the company satisfies customers in various
aspects of their lives. The following are the significant components in Unilever’s mission
statement:

1-Adding vitality to life

2-Meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care

3-Helping people feel good, look good, and get more out of life

Adding vitality to life is a general indicator of business strategy in Unilever’s corporate mission
statement. Such vitality is the value that consumers can expect from the company’s products.
The corporate mission also specifies the aspects of life where such vitality is added. For
example, Unilever’s food products address consumers’ vitality needs in terms of nutrition.
Furthermore, out of life. The mission statement’s specification of the types of products provides
a foundation for the product mix in through these products, the company attracts customers who
want to feel good, look good, and get more Unilever’s marketing mix.

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SWOT Analysis of Unilever

Unilever is a leading consumer goods business in the global market. A SWOT analysis of the
company highlights business strengths that ensure long-term success. The SWOT Analysis
model identifies the relevant strengths and weaknesses (internal strategic factors) and the
opportunities and threats (external strategic factors). Unilever’s SWOT analysis shows
significant opportunities that the company can use for further international growth and
expansion. The business is in a strong position to withstand the threats in its external
environment. However, Unilever must consider all of the factors outlined in this SWOT analysis
to guide strategic formulation for global operations.

A SWOT analysis of Unilever depicts the conditions of the business, as well as its external
environment. Strategies based on business strengths and market opportunities can boost
Unilever’s performance in the long term.

Strength
Unilever’s organizational and business strengths are identified in this section of the SWOT
analysis. Strengths are internal strategic factors based on the company’s conditions, such as
human resources, production processes, organizational structure and investments. The following
strengths are significant in Unilever’s consumer goods business:

1-Strong brands

2-Broad product mix

3-Economies of scale

4-Strong global market presence

Unilever has some of the strongest brands in the consumer goods industry. This strength enables
the company to penetrate markets and effectively compete against other firms. The broad product
mix shows the extent of Unilever’s business growth. For example, the company has increased its
product portfolio through years of mergers and acquisitions, leading to organizational growth
and corresponding increases in revenues. On the other hand, economies of scale support
production efficiency necessary for competitive pricing strategies, as shown in Unilever’s
marketing mix. Through years of international expansion, the company has also increased its
market presence, which is a strength that reinforces brand popularity. The internal strategic
factors in this section of Unilever’s SWOT analysis show strengths that the company can use to
sustain global growth and success in the consumer goods market

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Weakness
Despite its strong market position, Unilever has weaknesses that limit its potential growth. This
section of the SWOT analysis presents the internal strategic factors that impose barriers to
organizational and business development. Unilever must address the following weaknesses:

1-Imitable products

2-Limited business diversification

3-Dependence on retailers

One of Unilever’s weaknesses is the imitable nature of its products. For example, even though
the company heavily invests in its product development processes, other firms can imitate Dove
and Rexona products. Also, in spite of its broad product mix, Unilever is weak because of
limited diversification in businesses outside the consumer goods industry. Moreover, the
company lacks direct strong influence on consumers, considering that retailers are the ones who
directly affect buyers. Thus, based on the internal strategic factors in this section of the SWOT
analysis of Unilever, the weaknesses emphasize the importance of diversification, innovation,
and enhanced marketing efforts.

Opportunity
Unilever must take advantage of growth opportunities in consumer goods markets around the
world. This section of the SWOT analysis determines such opportunities or external strategic
factors that can facilitate business development. The following opportunities are significant in
Unilever’s external environment:

1-Business diversification

2-Product innovation for health

3-Business enhancement for environmental conservation

4-Market development

Unilever has opportunities to diversify by entering businesses outside the consumer goods
industry. Diversification reduces market-based risks and improves business resilience. On the
other hand, product innovation can increase Unilever’s product attractiveness by addressing the
needs of increasingly health-conscious consumers. Similarly, the company has an opportunity to
make its business more sustainable and environmentally friendly to attract and retain
environmentally conscious consumers. In addition, market development can grow Unilever’s
business by increasing revenues from the sale of its current products in new market segments.
For example, the company can market its Lipton products as health drinks for consumers with

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special diets. The external strategic factors in this section of Unilever’s SWOT analysis point to
major opportunities to grow the business despite its weaknesses.

Threats
A variety of external factors can limit or reduce Unilever’s business performance. The SWOT Analysis
model considers these external factors as threats that the company must strategically tackle. The
following are the threats relevant to Unilever’s consumer goods business:

1-Tough competitive rivalry

2-Product imitation

3-Increasing popularity of retailers’ house brands

Unilever faces tough competition, which is a threat based on the strengths of other firms in the industry.
Competitors threaten to reduce the company’s market share and corresponding financial performance.
Product imitation is also a major threat against Unilever. For example, local firms can develop products
highly similar to Unilever’s. Also, retailers impose a threat by selling their own brands. These brands are
known as house brands, store brands or generic brands. For example, Costco uses Kirkland Signature as
a house brand, and Walmart has its own house brands that directly compete against Unilever’s
products. Based on the external strategic factors in this section of the SWOT analysis of Unilever,
strategies must focus on improving the company’s competitive advantage.

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HR policies of Unilever

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Strategies

Unilever’s generic strategy (based on Michael Porter’s model) builds competitive advantage by satisfying
consumers’ specific needs and preferences. In Porter’s model, generic strategies are used to ensure
organizational competitiveness necessary for business growth and resilience. In the case of Unilever,
competitive advantage is based on product development approaches that integrate research to address
market needs. In addition, the company maintains growth through a suitable combination of intensive
strategies. Unilever shifts the prioritization of its intensive growth strategies based on the condition of
the consumer goods market. The overall combination of such generic competitive strategy and intensive
growth strategies ensure Unilever’s continuing success in its global operations

Unilever’s Generic Strategy (Porter’s Model)

Unilever uses broad differentiation as its generic strategy for competitive advantage. The main focus of
this generic strategy is its emphasis on features or characteristics that make the company’s products
stand out against competitors. For example, Unilever produces personal care products like Dove Cream
Bars to satisfy consumers’ need for soaps that are not harsh or drying. Despite their relatively high
selling prices, such Unilever products are competitive because they stand out from a majority of soaps
that focus more on cleaning than moisturizing. In this strategy, the company attracts customers to
specially designed products. Thus, such a generic strategy aligns with Unilever’s vision statement and
mission statement, which aim to support global sustainability and to increase vitality in consumers’ lives,
respectively.

A strategic objective based on the differentiation generic competitive strategy is to grow Unilever
through intensive efforts in product development. This objective focuses on developing products that
stand out from the competition and attract customers. On the other hand, a financial objective linked to
the generic strategy is to grow Unilever’s revenues in developing countries, which offer high growth
opportunities. These opportunities are identified in the PESTEL/PESTLE Analysis of Unilever. The
combination of these strategic objectives leads to competitive advantage reflected through products
and a strong financial performance in the consumer goods market.

Unilever’s Intensive Strategies (Intensive Growth Strategies)

Market Penetration (Primary Strategy)

Unilever applies market penetration as its primary intensive growth strategy. In this intensive strategy,
the company increases its sales volume to improve revenues and corresponding business growth. For
example, in the home care market, Unilever aggressively sells its products in current markets, such as
the United States and Canada. Such aggressive efforts increase the company’s ability to capture
customers away from competing home care firms. Unilever successfully applies this intensive strategy
by using the generic strategy of differentiation to make its products more competitive and attractive
than others. A strategic objective linked to this intensive strategy is to grow the business through
aggressively marketing Unilever products in the global consumer goods market.

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Product Development (Secondary Strategy)

Product development functions as a secondary intensive strategy that Unilever uses for business
growth. The company applies this intensive growth strategy by introducing new products that address
consumers’ needs. For example, entirely new or new versions of Unilever’s personal care products are
released over time to maintain or increase the company’s market share. This intensive growth strategy
is in line with the company’s differentiation generic strategy for competitive advantage in the consumer
goods industry. For instance, differentiation requires product uniqueness, which is applied in Unilever’s
product development processes. This intensive strategy leads to the strategic objective of growing the
company through continuous product innovation. Such innovation improves the product
mix in Unilever’s marketing mix.

Diversification (Supporting Strategy)

Unilever uses diversification as a supporting intensive growth strategy. This intensive strategy focuses
on establishing new businesses to grow the company. For example, to achieve diversification, Unilever
acquires other businesses over time, such as the acquisition of the personal care business of Sara Lee
Corporation in 2009-2010. The generic competitive strategy of differentiation supports this intensive
growth strategy by ensuring that Unilever’s acquired brands offer unique features that attract target
consumers. A strategic objective connected to this intensive strategy is to achieve growth by continuing
the company’s trend of mergers and acquisitions. Such trend strengthens Unilever’s reach in the global
consumer goods industry.

Market Development (Supporting Strategy)

Market development is used as a supporting intensive growth strategy in Unilever’s business. In this
intensive strategy, the company grows by entering new markets or market segments. For example,
Unilever can grow by marketing its current products as a new solution to unaddressed needs in certain
market segments, such as infant care needs. However, the company already has significant presence in
practically every consumer goods market segment worldwide. Thus, this intensive growth strategy takes
only a supporting role in Unilever’s business. The generic strategy of differentiation supports this
intensive strategy by creating competitive advantage, based on product uniqueness necessary to
successfully enter new market segments. A strategic objective based on market development is to grow
Unilever by implementing marketing campaigns that highlight other potential benefits of its current
products.

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5 Forces model

Unilever effectively competes in the global consumer goods market. A Five Forces Analysis (Porter’s
model) of the company shows the need to strategically prioritize competition and the bargaining power
of customers in the industry environment. Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis model is a management
tool for understanding the impacts of external factors in a firm’s environment. In Unilever’s Five Forces
Analysis, competitive rivalry is viewed as one of the strongest external forces, along with the bargaining
power of buyers. To ensure long-term success, the company must address the issues related to these
forces. Unilever’s market position and organizational strengths are adequate to address such forces.

Unilever deals with a wide variety of external factors, considering the extent of its operations in the
global consumer goods market. However, as shown in this Five Forces analysis, such external factors
lead to variations in the intensities of the five forces impacting the business. The following are the
intensities of the five forces in affecting Unilever:

1. Competitive rivalry or competition (strong force)

2. Bargaining power of buyers or customers (strong force)

3. Bargaining power of suppliers (moderate force)

4. Threat of substitutes or substitution (weak force)

5. Threat of new entrants or new entry (weak force)

1-Competitive Rivalry or Competition with Unilever (Strong Force)

Competition is a major force in Unilever’s industry environment. This section of the Five Forces analysis
identifies the external factors that present the impact of firms on each other. The strong force of
competitive rivalry against Unilever is based on the following external factors and their intensities:

 High number of firms (strong force)

 High aggressiveness of firms (strong force)

 Low switching costs (strong force)

There are many firms operating in the consumer goods industry. This external factor imposes a strong
force on Unilever. In addition, these firms are generally aggressive, further adding to the intensity of
competition. Unilever also experiences tough competition because of low switching costs. For example,
it is easy for consumers to switch from one firm to another. Thus, a high level of competition is shown in
this section of Unilever’s Five Forces analysis, highlighting the need to consider competitive rivalry as a
high-priority force in the company’s industry environment.

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2-Bargaining Power of Unilever’s Customers/Buyers (Strong Force)

Unilever’s business and industry environment depend on the response of consumers to its products. The
influence of buyers on business performance is considered in this section of the Five Forces analysis.
Unilever must address the following external factors that lead to the strong force of the bargaining
power of customers:

 Low switching costs (strong force)

 High quality of information (strong force)

 Small size of individual buyers (weak force)

The low switching costs make it easy for consumers to transfer from Unilever’s products to other
companies’ products. This external factor contributes to the strong intensity of the bargaining power of
buyers. In addition, consumers have access to high quality of information about consumer goods,
making it even easier for them to decide when transferring from Unilever to other providers. For
example, buyers can compare products based on online information. The small size of an individual
consumer’s purchases has minimal impact on Unilever’s profits. However, the low switching costs and
high quality of information outweigh this third external factor in the industry environment. Based on
this section of the Five Forces analysis, the bargaining power of customers is one of the strongest forces
affecting Unilever’s consumer goods business.

3-Bargaining Power of Unilever’s Suppliers (Moderate Force)

Suppliers impact Unilever’s industry environment by affecting the level of supply available to firms. This
section of the Five Forces analysis presents the influence of suppliers on companies. The following are
the external factors that contribute to the moderate force of the bargaining power of suppliers on
Unilever:

 Moderate size of individual suppliers (moderate force)

 Moderate population of suppliers (moderate force)

 Moderate overall supply (moderate force)

While Unilever has large suppliers like foreign firms that supply paper and oil, the average supplier is
moderate in size. This external factor imposes a moderate intensity force on the consumer goods
industry environment. In addition, the moderate population of suppliers enables them to impose
significant but limited influence on firms like Unilever. Similarly, the moderate level of the overall supply
adds to such significant but limited influence of suppliers. For example, any supplier’s change in
production level leads to significant but limited change in the availability of raw materials used in
Unilever’s business. Other firms in the industry are similarly affected. As shown in this section of the Five

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threat of new entrants against Unilever:

Low switching costs (strong force) Forces analysis of Unilever, the bargaining power of suppliers is a
significant but moderate consideration in the consumer goods industry environment.

4-Threat of Substitutes or Substitution (Weak Force)

Substitutes can reduce Unilever’s revenues and the strength of firms in the consumer goods industry
environment. The impact of substitution is determined in this section of the Five Forces analysis. In
Unilever’s case, the following external factors are responsible for the weak force of the threat of
substitution:

 Low switching costs (strong force)

 Low substitute availability (weak force)

 Low performance to price ratio of substitutes (weak force)

The low switching costs enable consumers to easily use substitutes to Unilever’s products. This external
factor imposes a strong force on the company and the consumer goods industry environment. However,
the overall impact of substitution is weakened because of the low availability of substitutes. For example,
it is easier to access Unilever’s Close-Up toothpaste from grocery stores than to obtain substitutes like
homemade organic dentifrice. In relation, most substitutes have low performance with minimal or
insignificant cost difference when compared to consumer goods readily available in the market. This
condition makes Unilever’s products more attractive than substitutes, thereby further weakening the
intensity of the threat of substitution. This section of Unilever’s Five Forces analysis shows that the threat
of substitutes is a minor issue in the business.

5-Threat of New Entrants or New Entry (Weak Force)

 Unilever competes with established firms as well as new firms in the consumer goods market.
This section of the Five Forces analysis considers the influence of new firms on the industry
environment. The following external factors create the weak force of the

 High cost of brand development (weak force)

 High economies of scale (weak force)

The low switching costs enable new entrants to impose a strong force against Unilever. For example,
consumers can easily decide to try new products from new firms. However, it is costly to build strong
brands like Unilever’s. This external factor weakens the intensity of the threat of new entrants against the
company. Also, Unilever takes advantage of high economies of scale, which support competitive pricing
and high organizational efficiencies that new firms typically lack. As a result, the company remains
strong despite new entrants. Based on this section of the Five Forces analysis, the threat of new entry is a
minor concern in Unilever’s industry environment.

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Hierarchy of Unilever

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Organizational Structure of Unilever

Unilever’s corporate structure is responsible for ensuring adequate support for product innovation in
the firm’s global business. A company’s organizational structure or corporate structure is the design that
defines the arrangement and systems used to build and interconnect various organizational
components, such as offices and teams. Unilever’s organizational structure adapts to changes in the
consumer goods industry and global market. At present, the company maintains a structure that
addresses corporate needs in terms of managing product types across the world. As a leading consumer
goods firm, Unilever has an organizational structure that suitably supports diversified global operations.

Features of Unilever’s Organizational Structure


Unilever has a product type divisional organizational structure. The organization is divided into
components based on their product focus. For example, the company has a division for personal care
products and another division for home care products. The following are the main characteristics of
Unilever’s organizational structure:

1-Product type divisions (most significant feature)

2-Corporate executive teams

3-Geographic divisions (least significant feature)

1-Product Type Divisions. A product type division functions as a unit that enables Unilever to manage
the development, manufacturing, distribution and sale of its consumer goods. For example, corporate
managers use this feature of the organizational structure to match markets needs with appropriate
products. An advantage of this structural characteristic is its facilitation of the company’s efforts to
apply product differentiation, which is Unilever’s generic strategy for competitive advantage. This
corporate structure is beneficial, especially because the company already has a diverse portfolio of
products. Unilever maintains the following product type divisions in its organizational structure:

1. Personal Care

2. Foods

3. Home Care

4. Refreshment

2-Corporate Executive Teams. Corporate teams are a secondary characteristic of Unilever’s


organizational structure. This structural feature is based on business functions. For example, Unilever
has a team for finance and another team for marketing communications. These teams make up the
Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) group. The following are the corporate executive teams in
Unilever’s organizational structure:

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1. Chief Executive

2. Human Resources

3. Research & Development

4. Supply Chain

5. Refreshment

6. Personal Care

7. North America

8. Home Care

9. Finance

10. Legal

11. Foods

12. Marketing & Communications

13. Europe

3-Geographic Divisions. Geographic divisions are a minor feature of Unilever’s organizational structure.
The company uses this structural characteristic to support regional strategies. For example, Unilever’s
marketing strategies for Europe are different from strategies applied for Asian consumer goods markets.
Also, this corporate structure feature is used to analyze the company’s financial performance. The
following geographic divisions are maintained in Unilever’s organizational structure:

1-Asia/AMET/RUB (Africa, Middle East, Turkey; Russia, Ukraine, Belarus)

2-The Americas

3-Europe

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Conclusion

Unilever, a leading multinational corporation, has multifarious brands that inherent consumer products
on a large scale and involve in manufacturing gigantic operating in hundred countries all over the world.
Unilever's has been moved by the significant circumstances of the day like economic boom, rapid
change in technology, depression, people's lifestyle, and recession. Today Unilever is one of the popular
companies all-over the world with their best quality of products. They always focus on customer
satisfaction and want to give their products best position in the market. They are also continuously
analyzing the market share, PLC stage, segmentation level, target people and market position.

THE END

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