Dove is a personal care brand owned by Unilever that provides quality products such as deodorants, body washes, soap bars, etc. One of their most popular products is beauty bars soaps.
Geography: Regarding to geography, Dove targets the Midwestern United States since the weather from November-March is very cold in this area. When our skin gets cold it gets dry. Dove beauty bars will help nourished the skin to keep it smooth and healthy-looking skin.
Demographics: Their main target is focusing on women from 18 to 40 years old. Women care more about their skin whereas men only use a couple of products. In addition, people in this age bracket are conscious of what they use for their skin. Dove will also target women in middle income ($40.000 - $120.000) since they have higher purchasing potential. Regarding to family life cycle, Dove targets singles, married couple with children and old empty-nester because these people are more conscious of personal hygiene and taking care of their bodies.
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Psychographics: Three distinct personality traits that apply to this group of people are self-consciousness, tidiness and diligence since they do not have much time to take care of themselves and have anxiety about their appearance, they prefer high quality products that is good for their skin and can enhance their looks. And women who have self-esteem, social and physiological needs often want to be accepted to society and enhance themselves. For the physiological needs, everyone has a thirst for material things and so do the women. Regarding to lifestyle characteristics, this group of people want to use products that make their skin good-looking and be safe for their whole family as well. Because when women feel beautiful and their skin are glowing, they will feel more confident about themselves. They feel that they have been accepted in society. For women who reach age of 18 and older, their main concern would be how they look and how their skin feels. For women who are a little older and are married, their main concern would be their family. They want to buy and use product that they know will keep their family safe.
Usage rate segmentation: The people in this target market often use this product more than twice a day. In the article “How often you actually need to shower, according to science” by (Brueck, 2018). It is shown that Americans shower more than once a day. People often use soap once in the morning getting ready to go to work and once in the evening when they go home after work.
Product classification: Based on the shopping habits, Dove’s beauty bars soap can be classified into convenience goods. Because bar soaps are non-durable products and they are consumed very fast and purchased regularly with a minimal amount of effort in comparison shopping. Bar soaps are also usually available in many locations such as supermarkets, drug stores, etc.
Branding: Dove beauty bar soap uses family branding since it is promoted under the same brand name Dove. This will bring the company several advantages. For example, building brand awareness, low cost promotion, etc.
Dove is one of Unilever’s biggest brand (Unilever, 2018). Dove was founded by Lever Brothers in 1957. (Global cosmetic news, 2015). When they first launched, they sold beauty bar soap and then they expanded to different kinds of personal care products including shampoos, soaps, conditioners and facial washes. Dove’s brand mark is an iconic Dove bird and was designed by Ian Brignell. It represents peace, love gentleness and purity which compliments the product very well. This made for easy brand recognition.
Containing and protecting the product: The Dove package is designed with plastic wrapper and cardboard box to fit a 4 ounces solid bar. This helps protect the bar soap from being broken.
Promoting the product: The package is simple, elegant and beautiful. The logo signifies softness, gentleness and sophistication. It includes the information of ingredients are used in the soap. It is also designed with its own distinctive color represents its own use such as for moisturizing or for sensitive skin, …This makes consumers think that Dove bars soap are mild and good for their skin.
Facilitating storage, use, and convenience: The package is designed with plastic wrapper and cardboard box to fit the bar. It is lightweight and easy to open as well. Therefore, it is beneficial for shipping and storage.
Facilitating recycling and reducing environmental damage: Plastics and cardboard from the packaging can be recycle. Therefore, it is environmentally friendly.
Labelling: Persuasive and informational labelling are also used for the product. Because the packaging label is simple but still stand out. It also provides all rational information that consumers need to make purchase decision.
Product life cycle: Dove beauty bar soap falls under the category of convenience products and is often purchased frequently. It falls in maturity stage in the product life cycle since it is considered one of the top personal care brands (Feldman, 2018) and it can be used all seasons in entire year. Their profits are still good but are not growing so much. They are maintaining their relationships with loyal consumers and gain new consumers as well.
Marketing channel: Dove beauty bar soap uses retailer channel and wholesalers because soap is an everyday need for families and is often purchased frequently so distribution in retailer channel such as supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores are a good way to reach consumers and it enables the company to grow in an efficient way. The company can expand geographical operation easily by using existing retail network or pass their products through wholesalers and distributor to retailer channel. Moreover, using retailer channel can eliminate the number of transactions required by consumers so it will help lower costs and time to the company.
Distribution: This product uses intensive distribution. Intensive distribution means selling products through as many stores as possible. Since soap is a necessity and it can be found in any type of store so this product will perfectly fit intensive distribution strategy. When using intensive distribution, the product will be visible in every store so the consumers can recognize the product and it helps raise product awareness. In addition, the more accessible the product is, the company will have more chances to sell them and maximize profits.
Inventory Control: The company should maintain a balance between consumer needs and level of inventory. Because excessive inventory can cause problems for business such as high cost (the company must spend on space to store the product) and damaged products (the products can be broken after a long time). In contrast, low or no inventory can cost sales and lose consumers.
Warehousing and material handling: The products can be shipped in bulk from the manufacturer and be broken down to smaller bulks at wholesalers. Then smaller quantities will be sent to retailer distribution according to received orders.
Transportation: Shipping by truck will be more convenient for the distribution because it costs effective and economical in the short distance (Artman Les. Clancy, 1990)
Conflict in distribution channel: The conflict that can occur is the conflict between retailer and the company in the distribution channel. For example, the company launch a new product with new scent, but the retailers do not like it and they do not want to sell it. This conflict can be solved by negotiating and applying change management with the retailers. Additionally, the company can also give samples to consumers to advertise for the new product and show the retailers the quality of the product.
Advertisement for Dove beauty bar soap: “Dove is different” – Competitive advertising
Dove beauty bar soap uses competitive advertising. In the ad, Dove shows us that Dove is better than soap. It is not an ordinary soap and it is different than others. Dove also uses health advertising appeal for this ad. It shows that the product is gentle and keeps our skin nourished as well as clean. The PH formula is milder than ordinary soaps, which can result in dryness and irritation. Dove creates a difference between its product and its competitor’s products. By using this type of advertising, Dove can appeal to the consumers who are body conscious and want to have healthy and beautiful skin. Therefore, Dove can influence the consumer’s purchasing decision and acquire a larger market share.
Type of media for promotion: Dove uses different types of media for advertisement and promotion such as Television, Magazines. These types of media for advertisements can help increase the brand awareness and create impacts on consumers.
Advertising on television enables Dove to reach a much larger consumers, convey the message with sound, pictures and motion and show its packaging so the consumers will recognize the product when they want to buy it.
Advertising on magazine enables Dove to promote without breaking the financial plan. And, magazines might be kept around for a month or more, which gives more exposure to the product. It also gives opportunities to Dove to reach targeted audiences in a local market. For example, if Dove wants to reach Asian market, they can advertise in Asian publication to achieve better outcomes than advertising on the others since Dove can focus the advertisements to fit its desired demographic.
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Public Relations: Dove uses consumer education technique to gain public understanding and acceptance. To mark its 10-year anniversary, Dove launched its revolutionary “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty” which is one of the most successful public relations campaigns. Dove has a strong brand awareness and influence in gender presentation in the media. After a study reported that only 2 percent of women considered themselves beautiful (Skene, 2014) Dove launched this campaign to demonstrate how they break the negativity chain that ladies experience in the media. They want to honor the natural beauty and encourage women to have confidence with themselves. This campaign not only helped Dove increase its sales, but it also helped it gain more brand recognition.
Trade sales promotion: Dove uses trade allowances for trade sales promotion to lower the price of the product to distribution channel such as wholesalers and retailers.
Consumer sales promotion: Dove use social contests. Dove run My Beauty My Say campaign to share their values and consumers can win the prizes with their unique stories. Dove also use sampling. They give consumers free samples so they can increase sales and brand awareness by approaching new consumer.
Personal selling: Dove can sell product after meeting face to face with the consumers by organizing counters in department stores. It will help create opportunities for indecisive consumers to directly experience the product. Consumers can also get advice on how to use the product and can try different products with different scents.
Pricing objectives: Dove beauty bar soap uses sales-oriented pricing objectives. Dove has been a premium product in the market, but the company is keeping its pricing policy reasonable and affordable. Keeping its pricing reasonable and affordable is one their distinctive from different company. Also, women are considering Dove a high-end product, and they are willing to spend money on the product knowing it will help improve their beauty. According to “U.S. population: Most used brands of bar soap from 2011 to 2018” article by Statista, Dove has the largest market share in the soap industry. 86,400 Dove Beauty Bars are sold each day, which equates to 604,800 every week (Gould, 2018). Dove business goal is to become market leader. Therefore, the sales maximization pricing objectives will be suitable for Dove.
Other determinants of price: Competition may strongly affect the pricing strategy for this product. Currently, the soap market is a mature industry, it is not growing rapidly. Dove has a lot of competitors in the soap industry such as Lux, Nivea, etc. Consequently, the price strategy for this product is affected by the competition prices because of several number of competitor products available offer similar core features. Dove charges $1.20/bar for the beauty bar soap as opposed to $1.00/bar for the Safeguard soap charged by their main competitor P&G. Compared to products of its competitors Dove soap bars are priced slightly higher. Dove may choose to keep its price above its competitors. Because of the demand of high-quality features such as moisturizer and softener are high, and Dove has adopted a value-added pricing policy for its products so consumers will generally relate high price with high quality products.
Price discount policies: Dove uses quantity discounts and coupons for this product. If the consumers buy a large number of products, they will receive a quantity discount with 15% savings comparing the price per unit of the product at retail stores. Generally Dove soap have value deals like buy more save more. For example, 20 bars in a pack will generally cost less than buying 20 bars separately. By having quantity discounts, it can motivate consumer to buy the product and helps compete with its competitors. Dove also offers coupons for consumers when they sign up for the Dove newsletter by Email. By this way, Dove can reach out and communicate with its consumers. Dove can send information of new products, beauty tips and advice to the consumers. It also shows that Dove care for consumers by remembering their customers and sending out coupons.
- Artman Les. Clancy, D. (1990) "Distribution Follows Consumer Movement." Monsanto Company.
- Brueck, H (2018). How often you actually need to shower, according to science. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/showering-how-often-2017-11
- Dove-company profile (2015). Retrieved from https://globalcosmeticsnews.com/dove-company-profile/
- Dove beauty bar: our best-kept beauty secret. (n. d). Retrieved from https://www.dove.com/uk/stories/tips-and-how-to/washing-and-bathing-tips/dove-beauty-bar--our-best-kept-beauty-secret.html
- Feldman, A. (2018). The world’s largest household products and personal care companies. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2018/06/06/forbes-global-2000-the-worlds-largest-household-products-and-personal-care-companies/#341c1570659c.
- Gould, W. (2018, April 08). 60 of These Iconic, Affordable Beauty Bars Are Sold Every Second. Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Dove-Beauty-Bar-Sold-Every-Second-44680413
- My Beauty My Say. (n. d). Retrieved from https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/campaigns/my-beauty-my-say.html
- Skene, K. (2014) A PR Case Study: Dove Real Beauty Campaign. Retrieved from https://newsgeneration.com/2014/04/11/pr-case-study-dove-real-beauty/
- Unilever’s sustainable living plan continues to fuel growth. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.unilever.com/news/press-releases/2018/unilevers-sustainable-living-plan-continues-to-fuel-growth.html.
- U.S.: Most used brands of bar soap 2011-2018 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/285772/brands-of-bar-soap-in-the-us-trend/
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