Back on track: a fresh direction for the Rexona brand

Jaroslav Cír
CMI (Deodorants Europe), Unilever Personal Care, United Kingdom

John Pawle
QiQ International Ltd, United Kingdom

Simon Patterson
CRAM International Ltd, United Kingdom


This paper describes how Rexona had lost its way in France and how research was used to create a new category language to show the way back to growth. A fusion of different approaches was used, including Semiotics, Extended Creativity Groups, In-depth QiQ QualiQuant interviews and Consumer Photo Diaries. The approach used, based on the RESC™ model, looked at Rexona in terms of the extent to which it fulfilled needs at the Rational, Emotional, Social and Cultural levels. Unilever management were at odds on why Rexona was losing share with debate in some circles about efficacy communication while others felt that the cultural portrayal of the Rexona woman was out of sync with how modern women feel about themselves. The research was needed to provide a definitive answer which went deep enough to understand how women feel about themselves while also providing robust numbers to ensure management would feel confident enough to take the decisions they needed to take to halt the decline of the brand.