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    Unilever Revitalizes Its Mission and Strategy

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    The text book is Modernmanagement 10e by samuel c. certo and s. trevis certo

    Read the case shown below and answer the questions that follow. Study this case will you better understand how strategic planning concepts can be applied in a company like Unilever.

    It's not every day that a corporate giant changes its mission statement. Then again, Unilever is not an everyday company. Formed from the 1930 merger of the British soap manufacturer Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine firm Margarine Unie, Unilever still maintains headquarters in both countries. It operates in 150 nations and sells 150 million items every day, ranging from Dove soaps and Calvin Klein perfumes to slim-fast diet foods and Ben & jerry's ice cream. With 53 billion in annual revenues and 234,000 employees, Unilever's size, scope, and skills provide strength for ongoing competition with Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, DANONE, Reckitt benckiser, nestle, and other major manufacturers of food, household, and personal care products.
    Niall FitzGerald, Unilever's former chairman, change the mission as the company neared the end of its 200-2005 "Path to Growth" strategy, which called for annual revenue growth of 5 to 6 percent and significant improvement in profit margins. When the strategy was first implemented, FitzGerald arranged the 24 billion acquisition of bestfoods to bring in such blockbuster product lines as Hellmann's mayo and knorr soups. At the same time, he began the process of selling off 140 business units representing more than 1,000 brands(including Mentadent, Pond's, and Elizabeth Arden) so he could focus Unilever's organizational resources on a core portfolio of 400 brands capable of maintaining lucrative, market-leading performance for the long-term. As an example, he authorized higher adverting budgets for the top brands and larger investments to develop new fragrances and other high-margin products.
    By the time FitzGerald was ready to retire in 2004, the strategy was showing some success. Where Unilever had just four 1 billion-a-year brands in 1999, it now had 12 such brands: more-over, its profits margins had doubled within the past four years. However, revenue growth was stalled well below the targeted 5-6 percent level and some brands were having difficulty coping with critical environmental element. For instance, Slim fast's mangers were slow to recognize the threat posed by growing consumer interest in low-carbohydrate content, Slim fast's sales had fallen 22 %. Also , sales of Unilever's prestigious frangrance products, including Calvin Klein perfumes, were lower than expected due to weak economic conditions and few travelers passing through airports worldwide, where the fragrances enjoy good distribution.
    To guide development of a new strategy for 2005-2010, FitzGerald decided to revamp the corporate mission statement. After analyzing important trends such as increased urbanization in many countries, the aging population, and increased consumer interest in healthy living , the chairman and his managers crafted a statement declaring theat "Unilever's new mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care with products that help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life." This broad statement helps managers and employees connect their work activities with the well-being of the customers and communities they serve. It also suggests how will Unilever differentiate itself from rivals within the pressured global marketplace.
    Now FitzGerald's successor, Patrick Cescau, has taken over the process of implementing the "Unilever 2010" strategy. He's giving the corporate name more prominence by ensuring that it appears on all company products, communications, and promotional materials. Instead of publicly explaining the corporation's growth goals in detail, he's talking more generally about range of assumptions for sales, profits, costs, and debt. He's continuing the former CEO's policy of benchmarking shareholder return against a peer group of 20 competitors to check its performance. On the competitive front, Cescau has to deal with Reckitt Benckiser's strength in product innovation, Procter & Gamble's marketing power, and Nestle' brand-building abilities. And he must keep Unilever's brands at the top of the categories to retain lots of self space in Wal-mart and other big retail chains.

    Read the Case Study "UNILEVER REVITALIZES ITS MISSION AND STRATEGY" on pages 199-200 of the text. Using 450-750 words, answer the following questions. (Remember to reference Lesson 3 assigned readings in your responses

    1. Assess Unilever's mission statement. How effectively do you think Unilever's mission statement establishes the company's direction and important values? What changes, if any, would you recommend, and why?
    2. Identify Unilever strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identified in the case. How might Cescau use the strengths to counteract the threats?
    3. Where on the BCG matrix would you place Unilever's 400 core brands? Where would you place any newly developed products being introduced? Explain.

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    Solution Preview

    The response addresses the queries posted in 745 words with references.

    // You are required to read the case study attached with the query. For the first part, you are required to write about the mission statement of Unilever. You should be aware about the importance of mission statement. I am not supplying the exact mission statement but the meaning of it. I am providing you some assistance on these points. See the text below: //
    The mission statement of Unilever limited for the period of 2000-2005 was based on the "Path to Growth" strategy. The organization achieved the mission in an effective way and attained good profit margins. By following the strategy, the organization was able to acquire best foods for bringing the innovative food products in the product line of Unilever. The company was able to make its portfolio lucrative and leading for the long term performance in the market. It was effective because the company was able to increase the brands in the portfolio (A vitality mentality, 2008).

    For the period of 2005-2010, the company proposed its mission statement to be "Unilever 2010" strategy. It mainly focuses on adding vital forces to life of the customers and differentiates the company from its competitors. The mission statement concentrates on the benchmarking policy of shareholders returns in comparison to its competitors. The mission statement effectively establishes the company's direction and corporate values because with effective strategic implementation, the company has become able to achieve success in the ...

    Solution Summary

    The response addresses the queries posted in 744 Words, APA References.