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Procter & Gamble’s and Unilever’s Strategies Case Study

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2020


The global nature of the fast-moving consumer goods business is not always easy to comprehend because a number of aspects have to be considered. Entrepreneurs and managers have to work hard to meet the consumers’ expectations, follow the current competitors, and consider the effects their companies may have on the industry. In order to be able to make powerful and effective innovative decisions and introduce working entrepreneur strategies, it is necessary to create appropriate management culture and inspire employees of all levels.

Procter & Gamble and Unilever are the two huge companies known worldwide (Lindsay 2014). Their competitions cover such revenue segments as baby/feminine/family care, beauty/hair/personal care, fabric care, and home care. In spite of the fact that P&G is twice older, Unilever creates a powerful competition for this organisation. P&G, in its turn, is able to resist the challenges and continues competing with such huge organisations as Unilever. The competitions between P&G and Unilever may become a good example of how two self-respecting companies are ready to demonstrate their best qualities and respect their consumers. They use captivating entrepreneur and innovative strategies and decisions to support their management culture, inspire workers, impress consumers, and underline the importance of production and service quality.

P&G Past Achievements

P&G is an old company with a number of CEOs offering their ideas on how to improve its work. One of the interesting moments can be observed when Lafley was chosen as CEO (from 2000 till 2009). Lafley and his “thinking partner”, Martin (Leavy 2013) introduced a play-to-win approach with the help of which the company was able to find the required portion of aspiration and set the main goal that is to win. However, victory is not only over its competitors. It is more important to serve customers and win with them. To achieve such a goal, it is better to play, and the game should have its rule.

The developers of the approach admitted the necessity to answer five main questions (identification of a winning aspiration, where to play, how to win, what capabilities to use, and what management system to rely on) (Leavy 2013). The idea to test the products and consider the prices set attracted more attention of consumers, and even the most conservative sceptics accepted the correctness of the chosen idea. The company proved its service quality, attention to customers, and readiness to compete.

Nowadays, the solutions and achievements demonstrated by P&G create a solid basis for other companies to rely on. The standards developed by P&G are examples to follow. The companies in the fast-moving consumer goods industries have to realise that P&G has already achieved its goals and continues impresses its consumers with a number of captivating, innovative strategies. P&G’s representatives admit that it is very important for the company to have enough space for connection and make it possible for the workers to develop ideas in regards to the current technological opportunities (Dyer & Gregersen 2012). P&G is the organisation with clearly identified goals and abilities to realise what and when something can be used to improve the current state of affairs.

Unilever’s Prospects

Unilever is one of the organisations that are ready to create a powerful competition for such giant as P&G. The services and quality of the company are impressive, indeed. Unilever introduces itself as a purpose-driven company, and the purposes have a tendency to be changed or improved in regards to the current technological, informative, etc. abilities (Our strategy for sustainable business 2015). People’s expectations change with time, and Unilever understands the nature of such changes and can introduce the products and services accordingly. As well as P&G, Unilever underlines the role of its customers in its development and creation of appropriate management programmes and services. Unilever supports the idea of open innovation and makes it possible for its partners to realise the prospects of this concept in their own business and intentions to use the services of Unilever (Open Innovation 2015).

Unilever has been operating in the sphere of fast-moving consumer goods for a long period of time. It has created a number of brands that correspond to a traditional model of the company and follow the organisational reforms developed by a variety of means. The peculiar feature of this company is the ability to focus on the required innovative product developments. Its main priority is to support sustainability and provide customers with products they may be in need of to feel and look good and get as much as possible out of life (Our vision 2015). Regarding the achievements of the company, it is possible to say that Unilever is a properly chosen competitor of P&G in regards to the entrepreneur and innovative strategies and decisions.

Evaluation of Companies’ Strategies and Decisions

The evaluation of the efficacy and success of the decisions made by P&G and Unilever helps to realise how crucial the impact of such companies in the world. The current strategies offered by P&G are based on the experience the company has got during the last several decades. P&G’s representatives make numerous attempts to create a powerful system according to which the serendipity influences the work of the company and its decision-making processes (Brown & Anthony 2011).

Open innovation is a good chance for P&G and Unilever to collaborate with various people and companies and develop interesting ideas together, considering their individual knowledge and experience. Connect + Develop is the P&G’s approach within the frames of which it is possible to cooperate with prospective partners and implement the offered innovations into the Company and market. An open innovation of Unilever is about the cooperation between different partners. Unilever aims at creating a better future for different groups of people such as business partners, customers, and even the environment.

Unilever tries to consider its core competency that is innovation using brainstorming and outsources as the main means to gather information, monitor the current achievements, and understand its main priority. This company exists in different countries. It is necessary to consider the demands and expectations of various cultural groups while providing them with the services and products. That is why Unilever uses different strategies in different countries. Besides, the company focuses on the changes that can help to promote work. Changes in pricing, packaging activities, and even promotion define the ways of how advertising and marketing can be organised.

Such abilities to consider the changes predetermine of the main differences between P&G and Unilever. P&G is not able to set appropriate low prices of different developing countries. And Unilever pays more attention to the financial challenges of its consumers. P&G pays more attention to the idea of the growth of its production (IBM, Procter & Gamble and Deloitte Touche 2007). And Unilever wants to set affordable prices of its already offered production.

The global economic downturn has made the majority of companies, and P&G and Unilever in particular, change their pricing models considerably. Though it has been found ethically incorrect for the companies to fix the prices, P&G’s entrepreneurial response to tier a pricing model caused a number of discussions (Chaston 2013). On the one hand, the development of new products that can be available to people with low incomes attracts the attention of many countries. On the other hand, fixed prices in eight European countries without properly given explanations lead to considerable fines.

In fact, innovation strategies and decisions of both companies have a number of similar features. At the same time, there are differences that underline the uniqueness of the services offered by P&G and Unilever. A brief evaluation of these two companies is given in the comparison table below:

Strategies and Decisions P&G Unilever
Open innovation Connect + Develop Work with Partners
Cooperation with partners x Access to the ideas of different companies and individuals
Changes in pricing x Prices are changes locally in developing countries
Continued growth The necessity to think about captivating ideas that attract people in different regions x
Adaptation Global Local
Consumer satisfaction The company aims at winning with the consumer The company focuses on a complete
New product production Low-quality diapers for people with low incomes x

The success of the Strategies

One of the evident successful aspects of the strategies is the possibility to make use of the current industrial and technological progress and meet the needs of consumers. The decisions made by P&G and Unilever prove a high level of their competitiveness and the abilities to learn what is expected in a short period of time. Today’s competitive conditions make many executives understand the need for entrepreneurship in their organisations (Kuratko, Morris & Covin 2011). Unfortunately, not all companies are able to comprehend the essence of entrepreneurship and make small, still significant mistakes and wrong decisions.

That is why the success of the strategies offered by P&G and Unilever should be used as an example to be followed. Though the companies do not take to provocative steps and do not introduce some unique ideas, they can consider the opinions of their consumers, involve them in the life of the company by asking them leaving comments, sharing experience, and testing products, and use their consumers’ thoughts on how to improve their services. As soon as companies understand what their customers want to get from them, they use this material and promote some changes. That is how the success of the companies can be explained.

Impacts of the Companies in the World

In general, P&G and Unilever are the companies that influence the fast-moving consumer goods sphere considerably. On the one hand, the companies introduce captivating ideas of how to manage people and attract the attention of the customers from different parts of the world. On the other hand, these companies turn out to be examples of high-quality services that have to be introduced by every company. In spite of the financial misunderstandings, P&G and Unilever continue amazing its consumers and making the decisions that help them to benefit.

Reference List

Brown, B & Anthony, S 2011, , Harvard Business Review. Web.

Chaston, I 2013, Entrepreneurship and innovation during austerity: surviving beyond the great recession, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY.

Dyer, J & Gregersen, H 2012, , Forbes. Web.

‘IBM, Procter & Gamble and Deloitte Touche are putting design at the heart of things: how looks can kill (the competition)’ 2007, Strategic Direction, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 5-8.

Kuratko, DF, Morris, MH & Covin, JG 2011, Corporate innovation and entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial development within organizations, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.

Leavy, B 2013, ‘Where to play and how to win – strategy fundamentals the Procter & Gamble way’, Strategy & Leadership, vol. 41, no. 5, pp.7-16.

Lindsay, T 2014, , The Guardian. Web.

2015, Unilever. Web.

2015, Unilever. Web.

2015, Unilever. Web.

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