We developed a simple, strategic idea that helped customers understand what to expect from a Unilever product. Profits responded, growing at an average of 15% for four consecutive years.
150 million times a day, across 150 countries, someone chooses to bring a Unilever product into their life. Though it had evolved into a silent, city-facing, holding company, Unilever had an interesting history. Port Sunlight – a model village in north-western England – was built by the Lever brothers in the 19th century to provide decent living conditions for factory workers.
It also had an unwieldy brand portfolio, encompassing 1,600 disparate products. It was clear the company was too diffuse, with an abundance of brands and no unifying driver of growth. There was an opportunity to connect the products and bring Unilever out of the shadows, towards their customers.
Unilever businesses across 100 countries embraced the vitality brand idea. It was used to guide decisions on investment, exit and innovation. In turn this yielded great financial results: over the course of 2004, Unilever’s leading brands grew by 3.7% under the “Vitality Mission”, while operating profit grew at an average of 15% a year for four consecutive years.
The logo, with wordmark, now appears on every Unilever product, on shelves throughout the world.