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Academic MBA Question:

In the increasingly competitive environment of business, the development and launch of new products has become an important competitive tool. In a crowded marketplace, there is greater need for differentiation; in markets that are stagnant there is pressure to create excitement. The Dove brand started its life in 1957 in the US, with the revolutionary new beauty cleansing Bar. With its patented blend of mild cleansers and ¼ moisturizing cream, it is #1 Dermatologist Recommended brand in the US.

Today apart from its moisturizing soap, Dove has extended the brand by launching many new products like: Body Washes, Hand and Body Lotions, Facial Cleansers, Deodorants, Shampoos, Conditioners and Hair Styling products. In India, Consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever launched a brand of soap in 1990s that was considered expensive, frightfully expensive, for the times we lived in. For about Rs 30 for a bar, it was nearly twice as expensive as any toilet soap brand that was then sold in India.

Dove did what it does best all over the world – not use supermodels to endorse the brand. Rather it got real women who used the product to give testimonials of their experience with the brand. In India, Doves brand team in the 1990s decided to adopt the same line of thought for the Indian market too. In some ways the brand was the opposite of Lux, the beauty bar of film stars. Dove showed beauty in ordinary people. Dove extended to shampoos in 2007, the brand decided to take the similar route. However, this time around user-generated content had started becoming very popular. HUL tied up with online service providers and even took content generation offline. Camera crews in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore asked women questions on hair care. In less than two weeks about 1,000 minutes of video footage was recorded and uploaded on popular portals. In a span of 9 days, over 250 women were interviewed and 1,000 minutes of footage recorded. This content when uploaded online elicited a huge response and according to HUL took the online involvement of consumers to a new high. Then talking about damage to hair in the daily routine of real women like how staying in an air-conditioned environment strips hair of moisture and so on, were highlighted. Not willing to give its damage care expert image to the competition, Dove has even extended rapidly into hair conditioners and hair masks.


(Source :

  • Question a: Evaluate the brand extension strategy of Dove.
  • Question b: What are the reasons for the success of Dove in other categories and the potential benefits to the parent brand?


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