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24 May 2022
Unilever’s marketing challenges in personal care
Health & well-beingToiletries & cosmetics (general)Brand management
A shift in focus from hygiene to wellness, the need to address sustainability issues and the threat of strong local players are among the challenges outlined by Unilever's new Global Personal Care CMO.
Why it matters
Earlier this year, Unilever announced a re-organisation around five distinct business groups, one of which is Personal Care where Samir Singh took up the reins as global CMO at the start of this month. His assessment of the challenges he faces, given in an interview with Campaign Asia, and his response are indicative of how the broader market is likely to develop over the next couple of years.
Behaviours are not the same across all markets: some, such as the US, are returning to pre-COVID patterns; others, such as APAC, are sticking with the new habits of the past two years.
Post-COVID, consumer focus is shifting from basic hand washing and sanitising to what Unilever calls “skinification” – taking specific facial care ingredients and adding them to general body care products.
Innovation will drive sustainability initiatives and these will filter down from premium brands while not adding to the price of everyday brands.
D2C brands are not as big a threat as strong local brands – especially in larger markets (think China, India, Indonesia) – that are able to compete on price, innovation, distribution and brand recall.
“I think going forward, what you will see is an evolution of the trends that started with hygiene, but will now get more into skin health, and actually evolve, finally, into wellness. And all three things will happen at the same time” – Samir Singh, CMO global personal care at Unilever.