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Dove’s Marketing Strategy

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1. Definition of marketing.
There are many definitions of marketing which help us understand clearly about it. In general, marketing is all activities of company, which tend to meet the customer’s needs and suggest their needs in the market, to achieve the business targets of company. It is the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired product/service more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.

2. Characteristics of marketing.

Marketing is run in a big scale that is an uninterrupted process which has the beginning, but has not the ending. It means that marketing is started by market researching; detecting the customer’s needs, and providing the products and service which meets those needs.

Marketing is the interaction between two factors of the united process. First factor is meeting the current needs of customer. Second factor is suggesting the potential needs. Marketing provides the products and service which the market needs, not provide ones which the company has. It means that are oriented strategies on meeting customer’s needs.

3. The targets of marketing.

Profit is a measure of the efficiency of enterprise business. Creating the profits by ensuring that the customer’s needs are met. Competitive advantage. It is created by positioning of enterprise. It means that the enterprises understand both their advantages and disadvantages and competitors’ to develop their advantages. Safe in business.
Marketing helps the enterprises analyze and predict changes in the market which help them seize opportunities and limit risks. Marketing creates the safe based on allocating risks by diversifying products, service and market.

4. Process of marketing.

R- Reseach
STP – Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning
MM – Marketing mix
I – Implementation

There are many famous brands in the world which become successful because of great marketing strategies. One of them is Dove which is very well-known by “Real Beauty” Campaign. We will study it together.

II. Brand positioning of Dove.
1. Definition of brand positioning :
A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Companies apply this stragety either by emphasing the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does, and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry- level or high-end, etc.) through advertising.

2. Brand positioning of Dove: “Positioning itself
2.1. Positioning competing place.
There are many big competitors in the cosmetic market such as: Olay, Nivea, Biore, Esteé Lauder, etc. Beside, there are many other competitors which are trying their best to become big brand such as: Oriflame, M.A.C, Rimmel, etc. Difference from other brands:

Dove doesn’t sell shampoo, soap, or cream, etc.
Dove sells acceptance and recognition of beauty in women just as they are.

Table 1: Top 20 cosmetic brands in 2012.
(Source : Brand Finance Magazine)
Rank Brand Value Brand Rate ( USD millions)


2.2. Positioning target customer.
Target customers of Dove are all women in all ages, all body shape and size. Dove clearly is meeting its customers’ felt needs to consider themselves beautiful and to feel accepted. Some products of Dove have taget customers who are prime time women such as Dove- pro age! 2.3. Understanding the customer need.

Others companies attract their customers by showing the weak points on the customer body and the strength of their products or only tend to study their products (that is also a successful stragety); While Dove tends to enhancing real value of customer to encourage customers to believe in their natural beauty. Dove does not position itself to help women become beautiful, but Dove position itself to help women be beautiful just as they are. At Dove, their vision is of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, and not anxiety. So, they are on a mission to help the next generation of women develop a positive relationship with the way they look – helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.

2.4. Benefits of product.

Products of Dove are very suitable for caring and enhancing body beauty of women. These products are a commitment to quality for more than 50 years which have been supported by the industry’s longest-running medical program. Functions of these products are skin care, hair care, body lotions, bar soap, body creams, etc. For example: ORIGINAL BEAUTY CREAM BAR

“With ¼ moisturising cream, Dove doesn’t dry your skin like soap can. Love your skin every time you wash, with Dove Beauty Bar” Mental:
When women use these products, they feel self confident and comfortable, etc. Moreover, they will feel that they are cared and respected of body beauty. Dove is rooted in listening to women.

2.5. Create the difference:
Product message:
In contrast to messages of other companies which only tend to reaseach on the strength of their products, message of Dove mentions that real beauty of women doesn’t depend on age, body shape and size, It depends on their satisfaction. Implementing stragety:

Unique and effective advertisements:
Do not use famous models in their advertisements, The Dove campaign features women of all shapes, colors and sizes, and seeks to shift beauty stereotypes in Western society. This stragety is different and reverse from the others and very successful. Dove also has good interactions with customer via mass media such as: TV, internet, press, and workshop, etc which help them attract their target customers.

III. DOVE’s activities for a powerful brand
1. Understanding the psychology of women
Dove went backwards usual habits of advertisers of cosmetics. They conducted an interview survey on a large scale to show that the real beauty of a woman is not dependent on age, physique, which depends on the comfort of their satisfaction. In this way, Dove received great sympathy of the women all over the world and showed how they understand the women as well as created the “reverse psychology effect”. Therefore, the number of customers buying Dove’s cosmetics increased rapidly. Within six months, sales of Dove have increased 700% in Europe, and in particular, sales in the U.S. have increased 600% in just the first two months of the campaign. Advertising Campaign for Real Beauty has exceeded all expectations of the company, global sales surpassed a billion dollars. Some people think the campaign has been so successful because it “validates” women, it “empowers” them to believe in their own beauty, with the implicit understanding being “even if the rest of the world wouldn’t call them beautiful.” Today, the middle-aged women do not deny their age or outer shape is gradually losing the beauty of youth. They accept the reality and desire to receive what the second half of life will bring to them.

Many say you could not pay them to be 20 again! Studies have shown that women in their 50s and 60s report these as the happiest decades of life. As one of our respondents exclaimed, “I love being 50; I love this time in my life. I do not think, ‘oh God, I’m getting old.’ I look in the mirror and see wrinkles and I’m okay with it.” It is clear that in contrast to usual thinking, middle-aged women do not deny their age. However, advertisers often do not think so, they said that women are suffering on the age and shape of their aging. A regular message is “Age always makes you feel uncomfortable. You must not have wrinkles”. And they make the middle-age women feel uneasy. Some the women had sent reply letters to the advertising agency, which said, “In fact, wrinkles are the natural part of aging. We do not worry about them.” Meanwhile, Dove fully “occupied” the women. And the story behind the success of advertising campaigns “Real beauty” is that the middle-aged women feel totally comfortable with their own skin. They do not worry about age and appearance.

Being herself feels better than being seen as perfect. Authenticity is emphasized. According to studies, Dove discovered that women have a pent-up demand: they need a company that understands and recognizes what they perceive. Moreover, Dove also realizes there is no stronger way to build a friendly connection with a woman than to see into her real self, know her secret thoughts, show that you understand, and tell her that you love her anyway. And that’s exactly what Dove did with the Campaign for Real Beauty. And exactly what it is now doing with its Pro-Age advertising to Prime Time Women. The name is greater than “removing wrinkle” or “anti-aging” which is currently headlining but ineffective. “Pro-Age” reflects the confidence and the comfort of the middle-aged women of their age.

2. Changing perceptions of beauty
One of the most important innovations is changing conventional notion of beauty, then it makes Dove the icon brand for that beauty. Most brands advertise cosmetics as a miraculous drug, which can make a person beautiful immediately with the images of beautiful models. However, most women agree that such advertising is not true and never happens in reality. Recent studies show that, after watching such ads, two thirds of women are not confident in their bodies and more miserable for their appearance. According to studies, British women want to see real and ordinary advertisements. Currently, Dove is applying a “new principle of beauty” that affects women. This principle focuses on women in normal life, extending the concept of women’s beauty with every shape and skin color. By selecting a practical approach, Dove differentiates itself versus its competitors, and positions itself as a brand that truly understands and knows how to take care of women.

Recently, Dove has put out ads for new products with the presence of normal women not models. Thanks to UK Gov Survey 2004, when asked about the ads for beauty care products, 47% of women say that they prefer natural beauty and do not like to look models with heavy make-up. Nearly two thirds of women commented that they like models in full shape more than thin ones. More than half said that if seeing ads with models that have the same body with them, they will feel more confident about their body.

3. Intended customer is “Prime time women”

The middle-aged women are called “Prime time women” for two reasons. They are in the prime of their lives; and they are the prime target opportunity for marketers in almost every category, not just beauty care but historically male-dominated categories too, including automotive, financial services, real estate, travel, and home electronics. Approximately 80% to 85% of consumer decisions of the middle-aged women are in the peak years of income and wealth. And basically, they are completely different from any previous generation.

IV. Dove’s penetration strategies and the development of Dove in Vietnam.

-1996: Launched Dove Cream Bar and Shower Gel (Shower Product) -2000: Launched Dove Shampoo Conditioner
-2004: Launched Dove shampoo and Dove’s Nourishing Oil Care. -2005: Launched campaign for “Real Beauty” for dry and Damaged hair. -2007: Launched
Straight & Silky vaira for hair care.
-2008: Launched Dove Hair Fall
-2009: New creativity: Dove’s Advanced Repairing Serum

Unilever is also the first company to introduce small pack for customers with low income. Unilever is considered a “local company” in some countries such as China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka… Dove’s marketing strategies have been succeeded in entering Vietnam market.

Dove’s particular strategies:
1. Identifying target mission:
1991 – 1994: In four years, Dove beauty soap bar crossed the border to enter 55 countries in the world. 1995: With the message: “Real beauty”, Dove has brought new experience for women with wide range of products from Body wash, hair care products, cleanser, Beauty Body Moisturizer Cream and so on. Dove has become friend of women of over 80 countries worldwide. In Vietnam, Dove was titled “Expert” in comprehensive care. Dove Shower Milk is known as “Expert in body care and body moisturizer”; Hair care products are titled “Expert in caring damaged hair”. Dove Deodorant wad also added to the product line in Vietnam. Dove commits to bring real experience, real value to awake the potential beauty that is hidden inside Vietnamese women. From 1999 to 2005, Unilever carried out its brand name optimization in which the company only maintains brand names met three standards: Power of brand name; Development Potential; and The Scale of Brand name. Dove is one of those that remained and Vietnam was identified as the suitable market to develop the product.

2. Market Positioning and Competitors studying in Vietnam:

Vietnam has abundant and high-skilled labour market is suitable for the policy of talent attraction of the company. That is: “The development of the company based on the development of human resources; with Festival Jobs, the company can find potential candidates”. Moreover, Dove also motivates their employees with reasonable salary and internal and external course to train their employee. Vietnam market has been more developed. Infrastructures in big cities, especially in HCMC have been invested properly, and can be considered of equal to other countries’ in the region. Vietnam Political status is considered safe for investors. People intellectual is rather high, especially in urban areas. In addition, brainworker in Vietnam is good at technology making it abundant source of labour. Vietnam is a country with freedom of religion making it easier for manufacturer to advertise their products. It can be seen that Vietnam’s market is potential for Unilever and its competitors such as Procter&Gamble and L’Oreal. In competiting, Unilever had to change their advertising strategies with unique advertising campaign, slogan and segment of customers.

3. Marketing strategies:
Marketing mix 4P:
It can be said that Dove has implemented effective and creative 4P strategy which maximizing their strengths and promoting market opportunities to make profit. a. Place:
Online retailer has proved its effect. Dove sends their staff to come to retail stores to sell products and make offer to customers. b. Product:
Dove Body Wash Product: Including Dove Original Cream Bar, Dove Gentle Exfoliating Cream Bar and Dove Extra Sensitive Cream Bar which all contains ¼ Moisturising Cream and neutral pH. Body Care product: Including Dove Silkening Body Moisturiser, Dove Rich Nourishing Body Moisturiser, Dove Firming Body Lotion, Dove Intensive Firming Gel-Cream, Dove Hydro Care Body Moisturiser and Dove Body Silk in which each contains specially formulas. In 1998: Dove Deodorant products were introduced

In 2000: First launched Hair care products with 6 kinds of shampoo Dove’s products can be also classified into two classes: Smooth skin care products and Firming skin care products. c. Promotion:

The Unilever in general and Dove in particular has two basic way of promoting: “Above-the-Line” (Promoting directly) and “Below-the-Line” (Promoting indirectly) Above-the-Line: Using mass media to advertise products or introduce new products. Thanks to creative and timely advertisements, Dove has popularized their products to Vietnamese customers. Below-the-Line: other activities except for using mass media. Advertising style has transformed from exposing the meaning directly to using implicit meaning which is more attractive. After ten year (2004 -2014) of the campaign “Real Beauty”: REAL CURVES’ (2004); ‘EVOLUTION’ (2006); ONSLAUGHT’ (2007); ‘PRO AGE’ (2008); ‘SKETCHES’ (2013); ‘SELFIE’ (2014) Dove has gradually gained trust of customers of all age. d. Price:

Dove focuses in customers with middle or rather high in come. However, realizing that 80% of Vietnamese customers live in rural areas with low income, Dove also take action in order reduce the price of their products with such solutions as using local materials instead of imported materials or allocating packing places into regions in the North, Central and the South so that they can reduce transportation cost and hence reduce the price. Dove also invested in technology innovation for making better products with lower price. The company also focuses on social activity and show their concern environmental problem, health care and nutritional problems, clean water, climate change and so on. Over the last decade, with the marketing strategy mentioned above, the Unilever in general and Dove in particular has gained trust and sympathy of the majority of Vietnamese customers. In the future, with variety of new and unique products, it is expected that Dove will still be the companion of Vietnamese customers. IV. Success and failure of Dove in Vietnam

1. Success
Become a strong brand in Vietnam and get the Vietnamese Consumers preferred In Vietnam, Dove Hair care is in the top brands in Damage Repair. Whenever we think about a hair care brand that good in take care of the damage hair, we will think about Dove. Dove promises that: “Whatever you do for more beautiful hair, Dove will take care of the damage.” Because of the weather in Vietnam, your hair is very easy to be dry and dull. Dove Hair care is committed to providing advanced care solutions in shampoo to deeply nourish & replenish depleted hair experiencing dryness and damage. The Dove brand is rooted in listening to women. Among the study’s findings was the statistic that only 2% of women around the world choose beautiful to describe their looks. And in Vietnam, this rate is even lower, only 1% (arcording to the Dove‘s survey result with 2000 Vietnamese women). It shows that Vietnam is the country which has the lowest rate that women would describe themselves as beautiful. Dove believes that beauty should be for everyone, because when you look and feel your best, you feel better about yourself. After the “real beauty” campain, Dove has changed perception of beauty of Vietnamese women。

2- Failure
Except Dove hair care, Dove doesn’t advertise much about other Dove’s products. Except Dove hair care, Dove also has other products as bar/bodywash, lotions, deodorant, and men care. However, Dove doesn’t give enough advertisement for those kinds of porduct, especially the Dove Men+Care. As the result, Vienamese people don’t have enough information, even don’t know about them. Doesn’t have clearly market segmentation

Price of product is still quite high, not suitable with Vietnamese’s incomes. VI. The lessons.
Dove make a difference until now : Typically , there are two basic types of marketing that cosmetic corporations and weight loss foods are often used: 1 / Let customers see how beautiful they would if using the products of that company . 2 / On the contrary , how they will look horrible, for example, they will have ragged hair or freckles will rebel if they do not use any kind of cosmetic X But the advertisement campaign ” real beauty ” , DOVE recommend ladies to love their own bodies and cleverly suggested they should use creams stretchmarks, etc. With the slogan as ” Real women have curves”, which has made the sales of Dove strong. Dove ‘s successful because they have struck a chord with the audiences. Associated with the celebration of the fair sex in advertising banners , customers believed that the product are purchased as the asserting of woman’s beauty. The brand “Dove” with the campaign of real beauty is against the conventional advertising, which created a strong bond of sympathy, simple but refined with public groups in society that a media lesson is not only innovative, but also effective humanities. Through this advertisement, we can draw some lessons :

– Always position the right brand .
– Must make a difference with other brands , always creative in marketing –
Create empathy with customers , create the trust of customers with its trademark – Choose the right customers
– Make social media + network + good interaction with customers useful . The strategy of Dove real beauty is not only advertising but also creating much controversy on the forums, talking about the beauty of women contests. The pigeon wings obviously became the symbol of the beauty of woman. – Adapted to the local and international environment .

– Be social meanings.

1.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/dove-real-beauty-campaign-turns-10_n_4575940.html 2.http://www.unileverusa.com/brands-in-action/detail/Dove-/298217/ 3. http://brandirectory.com/league_tables/table/cosmetics-50-2013 4. http://www.dove.co.uk/en/Our-Mission/Our-Vision/default.aspx 5. 6.http://www.slideshare.net/reyareji/a307731


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