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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Unilever engaging third world marketing in austerity Europe


It has been a long time coming. I have been writing about the ultra-fragmentation of the markets for at least a year. Now it is going mainstream with the announcement from Unilever’s head of European business that - "Poverty is returning to Europe”.

Unilever has already started to change the way it sells some of its products. In Spain, the company sells Surf detergent in packages for as few as five washes, while in Greece, it now offers mashed potatoes and mayonnaise in small packages, and has created a low-cost brand for basic goods such as tea and olive oil.

Europe and the US are splitting into two economies – one where premium products and services are consumed and the other where price  is the only consideration.

Eventually the same lessons will be learned in the public sector. At the moment we are trying (and abysmally failing) to run a developed world public sector with funding that could provide a great third world service. The sooner we realise this and match the public sector with the funding available the better.

Bottom line for marketers is that you had better have two strategies – one for the premium and the other for the bargain basement consumer. Your can read more about Unilever’s thought here. Dick Stroud 

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