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MANAGEMT 7044 Strategic Management - Information to analyze

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Read the article below from the newspaper according to a new UNILEVER group strategic decision: “Launch a new product” onto the market.

If you were the Marketing / Business unit manager of this company:

1. What kind of information you would analyze before launching this product to the market?

2.  Could you identify the analysis tools you would used in order to do it?

Unilever enters the gazpacho market:

After several years with a commercial strategy focused on the price and products (formats) adaptation to the consumer, UNILEVER food division in Spain -integrated by products in the environment and ice creams ('Frigo') - is immersed in a policy of capturing new trends and niches of the market This strategy has just been confirmed and reaffirmed with the launch of refrigerated gazpacho, under 'Knorr', the culinary brand of the group. The new line, integrated by the "original" and ecological recipe, is presented in Tetra Prisma container and one liter format. It is already sold at Carrefour at € 2.99 / unit and, according to Unilever sources, will be introduced at El Corte Inglés in a few days. The presentation includes the claim "Re-fresh recipes" and includes: "Ingredients 100% natural, suitable for vegans, without preservatives, source of fiber, gluten-free and made with 2.5% extra virgin olive oil". From Unilever he moves to Alimarket: "We have created a recipe that reflects the fundamental pillars of gazpacho, with 100% natural ingredients and 95.7% fresh vegetables, its richness in vegetables and fiber make it a true ally of the Mediterranean diet and health ".

New subsidiary for development and trampoline for Europe:

The gazpacho 'Knorr' has been developed in collaboration with the new company Papila, created last January and in charge of commercialization. This company has a capital of € 3,333, is managed by Eric Viviant and domiciled in Paseo de la Castellana (Madrid), in the group's offices in the capital. According to what Alimarket has known, the manufacturing and packaging of gazpacho 'Knorr' is carried out by Cordova's Comerandalus, focused on production for third parties. In this way, Unilever uses a formula that it already uses in our country for other items -such as ice cream, "Flora" cookies,, etc.-, because the company has in our country only one factory, located in Leioa (Vizcaya) and dedicated to sauces and margarines.

The incorporation of gazpacho 'Knorr' is Spain is conceived as a springboard for its international launch. "We started with Spain, because it is the gazpacho country par excellence, but we will continue with the same recipe in other European countries, such as France, Switzerland and Benelux, and we want tourists who return to their countries to continue enjoying our gastronomy. through our products ", point managers of Unilever Spain. Therefore, Unilever has developed a product in Spain, under an international innovation policy. "We are in continuous contact with collaborators, such as Papila, to jointly co-create products that respond to the trends and needs of our consumers."

Knorr' returns to the line of refrigerated preparations:

The launch of gazpacho 'Knorr' marks the return of the brand and Unilever Spain to the line of cold-prepared products, spaces where before the crisis was present with the vegetable and fruit drinks 'Knorr Vie', line that came to harvest a remarkable sale and it was commercialized at European level.

The entrance of Unilever Spain in the category of gazpacho encloses, in this way, a bet for refrigerated food solutions and vegetable raw materials, in line with the healthy brand positioning that the company is reinforcing in 'Knorr', through its actions advertising, the recent launch of home-made wines and their commitment to CSR. The launch of gazpacho 'Knorr' supposes, in addition, a bet by one of the segments of refrigerated solutions of greater projection. In fact, its sale increases in the national retail at an annual rate of more than 10% - as was published in the last market report of Alimarket-, favored by the claim of healthy foods and the evolution towards the taste and quality of the own category. Thus, the gazpacho comes to complement the important business of 'Knorr' in ambient dishes, corresponding to vegetable creams in brik -segment that leads the brand-, soups in brik, broths in pill, dehydrated soups, instant soups ('Cup a Soup' ') and the' Pot 'dishes, added in 2015. The incorporation of this last line -increased in 2017- marked the beginning of the new launch path for Unilever Spain in the food market, a process that has included the presentation of references of margarine healthier; organic Hellmann's mayonnaise; the incorporation of frozen cakes, in alliance with Palacios Alimentación; and the presentation in Spain of ice cream 'Breyers', less caloric.

Income of € 607 million in 2017:

With the arrival of the economic crisis and the closure of its detergent and softener factory in Aranjuez (Madrid), in 2012, Unilever España's business was reduced to the level of € 600 million. In 2016, the turnover amounted to € 616 million and in 2017 it was € 607 million, which is still slightly higher than the revenues of 2015 (€ 604 million).
The divisions of food in the environment, 'Frigo' and HPC (home and personal care) still represent around one third each of the group's turnover in Spain. This business and activity of Unilever in our country will be cut next July, when the transfer by the Dutch group of its margarine division (BCS) to the KKR fund materializes. In this way, Unilever España will be stripped of one of its strongest market leadership, as its brands 'Flora', 'Tulipán', 'Ligeresa', 'Artua' and 'Natacha' add up to a 70% market share. margarine. Globally, Unilever is also involved in a program to end the group's bicephalia, made up of the Dutch Unilever, NV and the English Unilever PLC. The restructuring will involve the integration of business in a new parent company, New NV.


Information to analyze

When launcing this product to the market, the first thing I would do is to define the target audience and know how to reach them. Understanding the target audience and knowing how to reach them effectively is very critical to successful product launch. The reason this is critical is because the information, the channels and the languages you use when communicating with them and when appealing to their demographic may vary from audience to another (Di Benedetto 2018, p. 53). Also, understanding the target audience will give Unilever the direction in their marketing, facilitating more consistency in their messaging which allows them to authentically connect with their customers. Secondly, is to know and have a deep understanding of the problem the refrigerators will be solving is also very crucial to their success. I would ensure that the company tests the refrigerators first to know if it will fulfill the customers unmet needs.

Thirdly, the validity of the product that is launching by making the first sale before it launches to build the brand in the market even before it is launched. Doing this will enable the company to see whether the customers will buy the product based on a pitch which will inform the company on the chances of it selling when it actually exists in the market (Hultink 2016, p.243). Fourth, I will do a competition analysis which will allow the company to be different by figuring out our brand differentiators and also by recalibrating to fill any void that exists. Lastly, I would analyze the possibility of creating a free trial before the launch of the refrigerator aiming to get as much feedback as possible before the official launch. Also, the users will experience the refrigerators themselves by seeing how it works which will enable the company to see whether the refrigerator can deliver it’s market expectations which will also determine whether it will succeed or fail once it launches.

Analysis tools to use

One of the tools would be predictive modeling which takes conventional data that is kept by the marketers where it compiles it and then crunches it so as to reveal the patterns that could confidently predict the behavior of the future buyers. Predictive analytics will allow the company to assess the content or messages they should be putting together more concretely so as to optimize their potential revenue. Secondly, content scoring which takes a look at the singular marketing deliverables effects to revenue (Griffith 2015, p.65). These will enable the company to identify various pieces of content the customers interacted with before which made them purchase the product which attribute to the relative percentage of total revenue that was driven by the customers to the pieces of content. This will inform the company on the content pieces to put together for the refrigerator to successfully sell after the launch. And lastly, if the company decides to do their analysis on digital platforms, they can use mixpanel analytical tool which tracks customers’ behavior informing the company on what the customers are doing on the platforms and the time they are spending in the applications (Barret 2018, p.82). This data will be very useful to the company as it will allow the company to compare the retention rates for the users that is based on the marketing strategy the company used to win the customers over enabling them to see the strategies that resulted to the long-term customers who are very valuable to the company.


Barrett, CB 2018, Market analysis methods: are our enriched toolkits well suited to enlivened markets? American journal of agricultural economics, vol.78, no.3, pp.80-87.

Di Benedetto, CA 2018, Identifying the key success factors in a new product launch. Journal of Product Innovation Management: an international publication of the product development & management association, vol. 16, no.6, pp.45-63.

Griffith, JF., Celsi, M., Ortinau, DJ and Bush, RP 2015, Essentials of marketing research. New York, NY, McGraw-Hill/Higher Education., p.64-71.

Hultink, EJ., Griffin, A., Hart, S. and Robben, HS 2016, Industrial new product launch strategies and product development performance, Journal of Product Innovation Management: an international publication of the product development & management association, vol 14, no 4, pp.233-265

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