In this article we will see the Unilever SWOT Analysis and its competitors.
Unilever is a family of millions of people across the world. It operates in the consumer goods industry and has over four hundred brand names in more than 190 countries. Unilever is a company with a global presence and a global purpose. It aims to make a difference in the world by delivering top-quality products and services in various fields. The motto of Unilever is ‘making sustainable living commonplace.’ Unilever products are used by more than 2 billion daily. It is one of the leading global companies today.
Swot analysis of Unilever highlights the internal and external strategic factors of the company. It is a broad analysis of the strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats of Unilever. It shows that the company has big opportunities to knock at its doorsteps for international growth and further expansion. Also, it reveals that the company is in a strong position to face the threats in the external environment.
But Unilever must consider all the points mentioned in the swot analysis to ensure growth and success. Undoubtedly, the consumer goods industry is the most competitive. Quite a few big players strive hard for global market shares. Some of the companies known to be Unilever’s arch-rivals are PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, Colgate Palmolive, L’OREAL, Mondelez International, Henkel, and Edgewell Personal Care. Therefore, Unilever must formulate its strategies while keeping in mind the strategies of its competitors to stay ahead of them in the race of becoming the best.
Strengths of Unilever
Unilever gets its competitive advantage from the global footprint and its reputation of enhancing the value for all its customers across the world. The strengths of a company are determined by the internal strategic factors based on the company’s human resources, current conditions, the process of production, organizational structure, and investments. The strengths of Unilever that has made it reach the milestone of being the leading multinational company in the consumer goods industry are:
- The global presence of Unilever in more than 190 countries in the world provides Unilever a global footprint which ultimately helps the company build the image of being an actual international brand.
- Unilever has placed the name of its brands as one of the best in the minds of customers worldwide, which serves as a great strength for the company. Unilever has made its brands the first preference for the consumers.
- Unilever has something for everybody in its closet. It has a huge variety of products which ensures that a customer never goes without buying anything. This deep brand portfolio is one of the biggest strengths of Unilever.
- It is the most trusted and loved brand as it always comes up with new and innovative products. Unilever has all the resources to finance research and development initiatives that help it create and improvise products according to the changing needs of the consumers in various parts of the world.
- Unilever has the best distribution channels as compared to any other company. The distribution channels of Unilever cover every corner of the world, thereby making it the most preferred brand among the consumers.
- Unilever has a huge variety of products to its name, making it easy for them to change their pricing policies according to the consumers. This guarantees that Unilever never loses market share.
- Unilever is widely known for its glocally thought of marketing strategies and pricing policies. Wherever Unilever serves, they try their best to conduct proper research and mix the production values with the culture of the residents.
- Unilever has a very strong workforce with more than 1,70,000 employees working in the company. The employees come from different backgrounds, which makes Unilever a truly global company.
- They focus on promotion and advertisements and understand how much it contributes to the success of a company. They always think of new and innovative ways of promoting their products in target markets.
- Unilever gets an enormous volume of business for each product. It gives them the benefit of economies of scale, enabling them to lower the costs and increase their profitability.
Weaknesses of Unilever
Some of the weaknesses on which Unilever should work on to improve its strategies are:
- The products of Unilever can be easily copied, which means that any company can make products like that of Unilever. This increases their competition in the market.
- Although Unilever has a huge variety of products, it is weak because of the limited diversification outside the consumer goods industry.
- The company is heavily dependent on retailers. Retailers are in direct contact with the consumers, and their behavior directly influences the customers.
- There is a negligible switching cost to use any other substitute product. There are a lot of substitute products available for each of the Unilever products.
Opportunities for Unilever
The opportunities available for Unilever to improve its growth prospects and business in the world are:
- The developing economies have become a great opportunity for Unilever to increase the reach of their products as it is raising the living standard of the people.
- People have started to become health conscious which has emerged as a new field for Unilever to explore. They can launch a variety of products in this field and make a profit by catering to this growing need of the people.
- The target market of Unilever is the millennial generation; their needs and requirements tend to grow with time. By focusing on the millennial audience, Unilever can earn huge profits and increase its pace of growth.
- Social media has emerged as the biggest platform to reach people; Unilever can use this platform to promote their products instead of using TV ads. This can prove to be more effective at a comparatively lower cost.
Threats to Unilever
According to the swot analysis, the threats to Unilever that they should take into account before launching a product or formulating any strategy are:
- Huge dependence on retailers is an already existing weakness of Unilever. Adding to the difficulty, big retail stores have started launching their brands, increasing the competition for Unilever. Since the retailers are in direct contact with the consumers, it becomes a big threat.
- Unilever has a lot of competitors as the consumer goods industry is highly competitive. Brands like L’OREAL, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble are making it difficult for Unilever to sustain and grow in the market.
- Imitation of products is the greatest threat to Unilever as it requires a lot of financial resources to launch a new and innovative product in the market. The moment Unilever launches a new product in the market, it falls under the threat of copying another company. The products of Unilever are always vulnerable to imitation by other companies.
- The recent surge in the popularity and growth of Ayurveda products has emerged as a threat to Unilever. People have started to prefer ayurvedic products due to their natural ingredients.
Competitors of Unilever
Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch multinational company that is headquartered in London and Rotterdam. It has a product portfolio of cleaning agents, foods and beverages, and personal care products. It has a revenue of more than 50 billion euros and owns approximately 400 brands. It is one of the oldest companies in the consumer goods industry.
Unilever operates in the consumer goods industry, which is heavily competitive, and some of the international competitors of Unilever are PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, and a lot more.
PepsiCo stands to be the biggest competitor of Unilever when it comes to the snacks and beverage segment. PepsiCo India has dominated the country’s largest food and beverage business and continues to be the fastest-growing food and beverages business in India. Moreover, PepsiCo has earned high brand recognition in India and the whole world, which makes it the toughest competitor of Unilever.
Nestle is another company on the list of competitors of Unilever. It has a huge hold in the food and beverages market. Along with that, Nestle is one of the main shareholders in L’OREAL, the largest cosmetics company globally. Nestle has a diversified product portfolio and a worldwide presence, making Nestle one of Unilever’s strongest competitors in the market.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is one of the biggest and most successful pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods manufacturing companies. It operates in more than sixty countries and employs more than 1lakh people across the world. It is the most trusted brand among consumers and has huge brand loyalty. This global presence and brand loyalty make Johnson & Johnson the arch-rival of Unilever.
Unilever has a net revenue of more than 50 billion euros and owns more than 400 brands. Unilever works to reduce its environmental footprint and, at the same time, increase its social impact. It is a company continuously working hard to deliver exceptional performance and raise people’s living standards through its products and services. The purpose of Unilever is to promote sustainable living in the world. They want to do as much as they can for the betterment of society and the planet. They put their best efforts into minimizing their environmental footprint by adopting eco-friendly methods. Unilever has been the future maker for decades and continues to be the same. It can increase its growth and profitability rate if it considers its swot analysis and the marketing strategies and pricing policies of its rivals in the market. Another approach that Unilever can try is to join hands with its competitors and formulate strategies that would ultimately result in a cartel and would be beneficial for both Unilever and its competitors.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1) How can an individual identify a Unilever product?
Most of the Unilever products have the logo of Unilever on it. The logo of Unilever is a large U made up of a lot of icons that represent the activities done by them. This logo serves as the identification mark of Unilever.
Q2) What are the efforts made by Unilever in the environmental initiatives?
Unilever takes environmental issues extremely seriously and is dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the environment’s and communities’ integrity in every place they conduct business. Unilever intends to play a part in tackling global environmental and social challenges as a multinational company by taking their initiatives and collaborating with stakeholders at the local, national, and international levels.
Q3) Does Unilever have a supplier program?
The materials and services provided by suppliers of Unilever are an essential component of their commercial operations, ensuring that their sites and factories in more than 100 countries can manufacture, market, and improve the hundreds of unique things they make today.
Q4) What is the approach of Unilever towards sustainability and the environment?
They launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in November 2010, committing to a ten-year journey toward sustainable growth. Beyond their direct operations, their ambitious Plan applies upstream (to their suppliers) and downstream (to their customers) (covering their consumers and how they use Unilever brands).
Unilever has set 60 goals for themselves, including improving health, cleanliness, and nutrition, reducing their environmental effect, improving livelihoods among their suppliers, and ensuring that their staff lives healthy lives in safe and sustainable workplaces.
Q5) What are the types of brands Unilever has?
Unilever covers several key areas like food and beverages, home care, and beauty and personal care. The popular brands of Unilever are Hellmann’s, Surf, Cif, Lux, Comfort, and many more. For detailed information, one can visit the brand section official website of Unilever, which will introduce one to the story behind the different brands of Unilever and its sustainable development work along with the latest news.