Issues in Business Management and Economics
Vol.1 (4), pp. 089-106, August 2013
Article ID BM026, 018 pages
Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 International License
Original Research Paper
Customizing global brands: An evaluation of external factors that affect brand strategies
Accepted 29 July,2013
Institute of Entrepreneurship and Finance,Department of Entrepreneurship and Finance,Kumasi Polytechnic,P. O. Box 845,
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unilever prides itself as a pioneer and a leader in food, home, and personal care innovation. The company has a long history of offering breakthrough solutions in terms of a healthy, safety, and eco-friendliness of its products in the food, home, and personal care industry. The company also prides itself of having a first-class brand portfolio renowned in different regions. This study evaluates the influence of external factors on branding strategies in customizing Unilever brand in the food, home, and personal care category. The study administered questionnaires and conducted interviews to identify the external factors that affect brand strategies and capabilities that make Unilever stand tall among her peers globally. A qualitative method was employed in collecting the data from 100 customers and 10 management staff for the study. The study observed that Unilever customizes to suit the needs of different markets but research and development may be conducted on a global basis. Findings also reveal that Unilever complies with government regulations, better satisfies service host country consumers, climate, cultural differences in terms of colour, religious beliefs, language, tastes in order to capture a large enough share of a host country market. The study further shows that Unilever´s products have some competitive advantages such as low cost, while, facing a number of challenges and multiple factors that play an important role in the firms’ customization global strategy plan. The study found that gender influence brand usage at 10% significant level. Also the study discovered that there is significant difference between Education level and Brand usage at the 5% significant level indicating that educational level influence brand usage. One can conclude that as one attain high education, brand becomes significant in influencing his/her choice of products. For Unilever brands to be continually accepted then there is the need to continue to adapt to the needs of consumers.
Key words: Customizing global brands, unilever, external factors, brand strategies.