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The Unilever Company: The Timotei Case Report

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Updated: Jan 30th, 2022

Company Background

The Unilever Company is one of the world’s largest food and consumer products multinational companies. The company was formed in 1930 through a merger between two companies: Lever Brothers Group and Margarine Unie, a margarine production organization, which was also a merger between two groups of companies at that time.

It should be noted that the newly merged Unilever group first began manufacturing soaps and oils, but as years progressed, they diversified into food and homecare based products. The Unilever group has made some acquisitions along the way and has come as far as being the third largest consumer goods manufacturer in the world, making its listings in the London stock exchange.

Product Background

Interestingly, Timotei, which is a shampoo brand, derives its name from timothy, a wild grass, to emphasize its mildness and nature relation. The brand was manufactured for people with normal hair type who would like to wash it frequently and make sure it was not becoming too dry or damaged. One should know that the Timotei brand was created by a Unilever subsidiary in Scandinavia and introduced in Sweden in the 1970s after its initial start-up project in Finland became a big failure. Considering that the Swedish promotion was a big success, the company’s plans to launch the brand into the international market in the 1980s were also fulfilled.

Competitor Analysis

Consumers used to participate in the marketing tests before the Timotei shampoo introduction. They mentioned Schwarzkopf, Andrelon, Zwitsal, and Elseve among their preferred brands. This meant that Timotei, once appeared in the market had to find its way to edge out the aforementioned manufacturers to become a popular household brand.

Customer analysis

During the Frevert test analysis, it was found out that customers bought the Timotei shampoo because it had a herbal basis as some would consider it medicinal. 69% of the test consumers actually thought that they could wash hair more frequently with Timotei and would most likely consider it their preferred brand. The customers sometimes do not make a repeat purchase due to the availability of cheaper brands. This meant that though they valued quality of what they buy, they would still go for a product with a lower price.

Recommendations

As can be deduced from the tests, price is an important factor during purchasing and therefore Timotei marketers should have used a penetration pricing strategy where they could have offered low prices for their shampoos. This penetration type of pricing though may not be a quick way of reaching the breakeven point. Still it is important so that the product can be accessible to a larger group of consumers through affordability, and as its benefits become evident, price change can be considered.

Secondly, the market tests should have been carried out in different regions and not only in the Netherlands. The conducted research does not show whether the outsourcing of the respondents was done extensively or within a confined region. In addition, it does not reflect the data if the people’s hair problems may have been more or less similar.

Lastly, the tests should have been done over a large time difference like one year to consider the effects of advertisement and consumer education. The clients’ reaction after carrying out an advertisement or a product enhancement is a significant factor to consider during the marketing process.

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IvyPanda. "The Unilever Company: The Timotei Case." January 30, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-unilever-company-the-timotei-case/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Unilever Company: The Timotei Case." January 30, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-unilever-company-the-timotei-case/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Unilever Company: The Timotei Case'. 30 January.

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