Case study on Hindustan Unilever digital marketing strategies

Case Study: Hindustan Unilever’s Digital Marketing Strategies 2024 Updated

Our 2023 case study examines Hindustan Unilever's up-to-date digital marketing strategies. HUL has adopted digital platforms strategically, and uses AI and AR technologies to increase campaign efficacy and user engagement. This case study provides useful insights into HUL's triumph in digital marketing, which you can employ to enhance your marketing tactics. Don't miss the opportunity to advance your marketing expertise - read the complete case study now!
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Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) include items including food, beverages, toiletries, soda pops, and leftovers that are frequently purchased as basic or insignificant things.

They are products with a quick turnaround and a comparatively low level of effort. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are another name for fast-moving consumer goods.

Every day, 2.5 billion people use products from Hindustan Unilever Limited to look better, feel better, and enjoy life more.

The company has become one of the top consumer goods companies in the world because its 400 brands are trusted in all 190 countries that they serve. 

The corporate strategy of FMCG companies like Hindustan Unilever plays a crucial role in providing business elements with market bearing.

The detailing and execution of corporate strategy also aids in equipping organizations with the consistently changing business environment, aids in the advancement of a key vision, and shines a spotlight on overall business objectives and goals.

When a company operates globally, the role of corporate strategy becomes incredibly important.

Hindustan Unilever is stepping up its efforts. Through its established distribution network in both traditional and modern retail sources, as well as with a respectable ability to adapt successful global brand ideas to suit neighboring business sectors.

The conglomerate is in a fortunate position to have the choice to profit from the district development gauge.

There is no doubt that Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal will be Hindustan Unilever’s main competitors in the global market for toiletries and cosmetics in the next years.

These two companies are major forces in new product development and are more responsive to market changes than Hindustan Unilever Limited.

L’Oreal also has the advantage of focusing just on cosmetics and personal care items, as opposed to Unilever and Procter & Gamble, which are both involved in other industries, such as packaged food.

Many different countries host competitions between groups of rival organizations. As a result, the opposition calls on the company to use greater originality in developing its products and maintaining its brands.

Why should marketers study Digital Marketing strategies?

Because of the quickly expanding industry of digital marketing, there is a greater need than ever for experienced and skilled marketers.

Keeping up with the most recent marketing techniques will give you an advantage over your competitors.

And over time, this advantage will be quite helpful. It will support the development of your brand and pave the way for potential future employment prospects in the area of digital marketing.

Learning about the latest marketing case studies, helps you rapidly examine and comprehend real-time data, gives you insightful information about consumer behavior, and improves your ability to think critically and solve problems.

Having current information will aid in the implementation of comprehensive and creative initiatives.

These tactics help your marketing campaign succeed and produce results that are advantageous for both you and the business client.

The demand for knowledgeable and talented marketers is more than ever due to the rapidly growing field of digital marketing.

Keeping up with the newest marketing strategies will put you ahead of your competitors.

And this benefit will be advantageous in the long run. It will help your brand grow and open up opportunities for future work in the field of digital marketing.

It enhances your capacity for critical thought and problem-solving while assisting you in quickly examining and comprehending real-time data, providing you with valuable knowledge about customer behavior.

Implementing thorough and innovative activities will be made easier with current knowledge.

Let us now discuss Hindustan Unilever Limited’s marketing strategy in detail.

History of Unilever

In 1885, William Hesketh Lever founded Lever Brothers; a Switch-built processing facility for cleaners all over the world.

He began improving nutrition in 1917 by establishing groups for canned food sources, frozen yogurt, and fish.

Unilever enhanced innovation in the Thirties in tandem with the expanding business. As the company grew, new objectives were sent to Latin America.

The basis of Unilever’s company continues to be its founders’ spirit of innovation and their considerate treatment of their employees and networks.

When the British manufacturer of cleanser Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine organization “Margarine Unie” came together in 1930, Unilever was created.

Unilever logo

Both businesses pursued identical raw materials, engaged in broad-based selling of household goods, and used similar delivery methods. They collaborated on projects in more than 40 countries.

In the 1930s, Margarine Unie grew as a result of mergers with other margarine firms.

In a series of experiences spanning three centuries, Unilever’s prosperity has been touched by the important events of the time, including financial growth, suffering, world wars, shifting consumer lifestyles, and technological advancements.

Additionally, they have always created products that help consumers get more out of life by reducing the time spent on household chores, enhancing nutrition, and enabling people to appreciate food and take care of their houses, clothes, and bodies.

Beginning in the early twenty-first century, the Way to Growth process focused on internationally recognized brands. More than ever, how businesses are assisting people in “feeling better, looking beautiful, and getting more out of life” – a sentiment dear to Lord Leverhulme more than a century ago. 

Legacy of HUL and Acquisitions of Portfolio Companies

Visitors to the Kolkata harbor in the summer of 1888 spotted crates full of Sunlight soap bars bearing the embossed label, “Made in England by Lever Brothers.” With it, a new era of branding and marketing for fast-moving consumer goods began.

Soon after, in 1895, came Lifebuoy and other well-known brands including Pears, Lux, and Vim. The popular Dalda brand entered the market in 1937, and Vanaspati was introduced in 1918.

Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company, Unilever’s first Indian affiliate, was founded in 1931.

Lever Brothers India Limited and United Traders Limited were then established in 1933 and 1934, respectively.

In November 1956, these three businesses united to establish Hindustan Unilever Limited.

HUL was the first of its foreign subsidiaries to issue 10% of its shares to the Indian public.

Hindustan Unilever Limited logo

The former Brooke Bond first arrived in India in 1900. The business introduced Red Label tea to the nation in 1903. When Brooke Bond & Co. created India Limited.

In 1984, Brooke Bond became a part of the Unilever family as a result of a global acquisition.

The former Lipton’s ties to India were established in 1898.

In 1972, Unilever purchased Lipton, and Lipton Tea (India) Limited was established in 1977.

Since 1947, Pond’s (India) Limited has operated in India. In 1986, Chesebrough Pond’s USA was acquired internationally, bringing it to the Unilever family.

HUL has actively responded to the stimulation of economic growth ever since its inception.

Sensible diversification, always in keeping with Indian ideas and aspirations, has accompanied the growing process.

The 1991-starting liberalization of the Indian economy distinctly indicated an inflection point in the growth curves of HUL and the Group.

Without any production capacity restrictions, the corporation was able to investigate every single product and opportunity category after the regulatory framework was removed.

Deregulation simultaneously allowed for mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships.

The former Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO) amalgamated with HUL, effective as of April 1, 1993, in one of the most prominent and well-publicized developments in India’s business history.

A 50:50 joint venture called Lakme Unilever Limited was established in 1996 by HUL and Lakme Limited, another Tata subsidiary, to market Lakme’s market-leading cosmetics as well as other pertinent items from both businesses.

Lakme Limited later relinquished its 50% ownership in the joint venture to the corporation in 1998 after selling its brands to HUL.

In 1994, HUL and the US-based Kimberly Clark Corporation established Kimberly-Clark Lever Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture that sells Kotex Sanitary Pads and Huggies Diapers.

Hindustan Unilever Limited – Company Highlights

IndustryConsumer Goods
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Parent CompanyUnilever plc (61.90%)
CEOSanjiv Mehta
ProductsFoods, cleaning agents, personal care, skin care and water purifiers
Revenue515 billion INR (2022)
Number of employees21,000 (2020)
Predecessor Co.sIndian Vanaspati Manufacturing Company (1931–1956)
Lever Brothers India Limited (1933–1956)
United Traders Limited (1935–1956)
Hindustan Lever Limited (1956–2007)
Founded1933; 90 years ago
Websitehttps://www.hul.co.in/

Formal Change of Name to HUL and Recent Deals

The “Pureit” water purifier was introduced in 2004 with the advent of the Hindustan Unilever Network, Direct to Home company in 2003.

Following approval from shareholders at the 74th AGM on May 18, 2007, the Company’s name was formally changed to Hindustan Unilever Limited.

The same year, Brooke Bond and Surf Excel broke the $1 billion sales barrier. Wheel then did the same in 2008, reaching the $2 billion sales threshold.

HUL celebrated its 75th anniversary as a corporate entity in India on October 17.

The HUL head office relocated to the new campus in Andheri (E), Mumbai, in January 2010 from the iconic Lever House, at Backbay Reclamation, Mumbai.

HUL introduced “Prabhat” (Dawn), an initiative connected to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), in 2013 to interact with and support the growth of the regional communities surrounding its production facilities. In 2013, Unilever opened its first aerosol facility in Asia in Khamgaon, Maharashtra.

The operating framework for “Winning in Many Indias,” which was piloted in 2013, was officially introduced in 2014. With the opening of offices in Lucknow, Indore, and Bangalore in addition to the already established sales offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, the number of sales offices increased from four to seven.

Indulekha, a high-end hair oil company with a strong Ayurvedic reputation, was acquired by HUL in 2015.

HUL announced the signing of a contract for the transfer and sale of its “Modern”-branded bread and baking business to Nimman Foods Private Limited.

Hindustan Unilever brands
Brands of Hindustan Unilever

In order to purchase the ice cream and frozen desserts business of Vijaykant Dairy and Food Products Limited (VDFPL) and its parent company, which includes its flagship brand “Adityaa Milk” and front-end distribution network across regions, HUL signed an agreement with VDFPL in 2018.

To reach the currently untapped and quickly expanding market niche, HUL announced the acquisition of VWash in 2020, the industry leader in female intimate hygiene.

Horlicks and Boost, two iconic health food and beverage brands, also joined Hindustan Unilever Limited’s portfolio of foods and refreshments in 2020 as a result of the merger of GSK Consumer Healthcare with HUL, making HUL the largest F&R company in India.

Target Market Segment of Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever Limited is the most important contributor to India’s $70 billion FMCG industry and is in fact a de facto ruler of the market.

The company is a part of the daily lives of millions of consumers in India with its 50+ brands, which span 15 different categories including skin cleansing, skincare, hair care, fabric solutions, home and hygiene, deodorants, tea, coffee, life essentials, color cosmetics, oral care, ice cream & frozen desserts, foods, and health food drinks.

Hindustan Unilever Limited Target Market Segment

HUL has been in the Indian market for more than 90 years and its official website states that “on any given day, nine out of ten Indian households use one or more of their brands”.

In India, 90% of households use at least one HUL brand. Out of which 52.95% are male & 47.05% are female. People who prefer HUL brands are mostly young generation of 18-24 years that covers 37.37% of the total audience.

With a current market worth of USD 75 billion, it has also broken into the top 15 list of consumer essential stocks globally

Hindustan Unilever Business Model

The strategy for Unilever begins with consumer insight that reveals brand advancement and covers the following topics :

Hindustan Unilever, according to Gartner, has the world’s top flexible, quick assembly lines.

The productivity and eco-creation of 306 processing facilities have received great attention.

Coordination: Hindustan Unilever’s decision to focus its efforts on a global Ultra Logistic control organization demonstrates its desire to enhance customer service, cut costs, and minimize CO2 emissions.

As opposed to using roads, we are increasingly using rail and half-breed cars.

Promoting: Unilever uses a variety of strategies to break through in a media landscape that is sharply fragmented. Effective advanced marketing is fundamental and influences purchasing at all stages of the dynamic cycle and over all channels.

Deals: To succeed in the commercial center, Unilever closely collaborates with retailers, ensuring that all brands are continually available and appropriately displayed across all channels, from markets to online commerce.

Understanding the needs of the customer: Unilever uses knowledge of patterns as well as the ability to foresee them in order to maintain the upper hand.

Joint effort: Unilever collaborates with governments, NGOs, and other partners to promote change that is both beneficial to society and profitable for business. We also work with partners in our flexible chain to improve products and packaging.

Advancement: The R&D (innovative work) mission of Unilever is to build brands through advantage-driven development made possible by science and innovation.

Sources: Its annual procurement program, worth €34 billion, includes farming raw materials, of which 51% are obtained in a reasonable manner.

Hindustan Unilever’s Product Offerings

Each of Hindustan Unilever’s Personal Care, Foods, Home Care, and Refreshment categories has a selection of brands that aim to promote steady, serious, beneficial, and conscientious growth supported by interest in promotion and advertising.

A growing number of Sustainable Living brands, such as Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Axe, Dove, Heart Brand, Lux, Magnum, Omo, Rama, Rexona, Sunsilk, and Surf, are owned by Unilever and have deals worth at least €1 billion.

They manage their portfolio well and, in 2015, acquired a Prestige healthy skin range for personal care and focused on several of our food brands in different baking, cooking, and spreads areas.

More than 190 countries employ Unilever, which is accessible to seven out of ten families worldwide. Some topographies are brand-new, while others date back more than a century.

Despite the fact that the brand operates in certain unpredictable and dangerous industries, its size and scale increase risk and ensure consistency.

Each of Unilever’s Personal Care, Foods, Home Care, and Refreshment categories has a selection of brands that aim to promote steady, serious, beneficial, and conscientious growth supported by interest in promotion and advertising.

Unilever has 13 brands with sales of at least $1 billion and a growing number of sustainable living brands, such as Axe, Dove, Heart brand, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Omo, Rama, Rexona, Sunsilk, and Surf, that effectively manage its portfolio.

Hindustan Unilever’s Branding Strategies

A brand is a name, word, sign, image, plan, or a combination of these, intended to distinguish the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers from the competition.

Hindustan Unilever is the most well-known brand in the country.

The FMCG giant maintains a strict usage policy for its logo and other pictures, designs, and so on.

Unilever’s brands have unique branding strategies, yet they share the company’s logo, strategy, philosophy, and message.

The 5M of Hindustan Unilever’s Advertisement

The effectiveness of commercials can be measured using a variety of methods, including consumer neuroscience, radio airplay, online streaming, and digital ad ratings.

Unilever is promoted and advertised on a variety of platforms, delegations, or media.

While online mediums include web-based business, web-based media, web index showcasing, and so on, conventional mediums include print, radio, TV, POSM, retailers, and merchants.

The journey of HUL in India is synonymous with the evolution and growth of the middle-class population in India.

Needless to say, the pillars of HUL’s Advertising are the traditional TV and print ads.

However, Hindustan Unilever’s main focus is switching from traditional media channels to contemporary ones like social media.

With more people and brands using social media, there is a big chance to draw customers to brands.

Hindustan Unilever’s main goal is to create omnichannel communications that highlight the company so that customers may connect with it from wherever they need to make a purchase.

Hindustan Unilever’s Notable Ad Campaigns

Hindustan Unilever’s Campaign 1- #APlayingBillion

Launched in 2015 and a part of their Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat campaign, this ad was led by HUL’s brand Lifebuoy.

The commercial raises awareness of the problem by portraying a group of children who miss out on the innocent pleasures of childhood because of recurrent illness in a heartbreaking film.

The three basic hygienic practices are the focus of the new campaign.

It had famous Bollywood actress Kajol who has long been associated with Lifebuoy as the face of the campaign.

Numerous reports claim that one-third of Indian youngsters experience recurrent illnesses. Adopting three basic hygiene practices, such as washing hands with soap, drinking clean water, and using a clean toilet, can easily prevent this.

Hindustan Unilever’s Campaign 2- #DaagAchheHain

Launched by Surf Exel, India’s first-ever detergent powder started by Hindustan Unilever in 1957, this campaign is probably the most recognizable ad campaign by the brand.

Engineered by Lowe Lintas. The initial campaign, which was created by Mr. Arun Iyer from Lowe Lintas, featured two adorable siblings: one who stumbles in a puddle, and the other who punishes the puddle for injuring his sister.

The campaign has since then evolved and been somewhat modified into “RangAchheinHain” to bring together the community feeling of festivities.

Hindustan Unilever’s Campaign 3- #BinBoy

The “The Bin Boy” movie has been released by Hindustan Unilever Limited as a part of their CSR program.

Ogilvy Mumbai produced a video for HUL to raise awareness about trash management.

The majority of individuals recognise the significance of waste segregation but do not recognise their personal obligation.

That duty has been placed at the audience’s feet by way of this humorous yet impactful movie. To emphasise the importance of the boy’s message, the plot and build-up are upsetting and entertaining.

It centres on a young boy’s unusual protest, which attracts a lot of attention.

It emphasises how crucial it is to separate wet, dry, and hazardous waste every day.

Hindustan Unilever’s Marketing Strategies

All activities and endeavors that FMCG marketers plan and carry out are done so in an effort to reward FMCG consumers and gain their loyalty.

As a result, they may be seen as a combination of the item’s value, delivery organization, and limited-time techniques.

Marketing Mix of Hindustan Unilever

The market segments for each of Unilever’s brands vary depending on their selling points and incentives.

Depending on the type of products the brand aims to advertise, the price varies. Almost all of the specialised tools available to advertisers are used by Unilever.

More than 190 countries can find Unilever products. Unilever’s brands all have unique marketing approaches, yet they all have the same logo, strategy, values, and message.

25 icons that represent the 400 brands owned by Unilever are shown in the logo.

Unilever employs more tha/n 165000 people worldwide and has a huge network of distributors and retailers.

Most Unilever products are packaged or packaged in plastic. They can be purchased at stores, malls, online, and other places.

Top Organic Keywords attracting traffic for HUL are

  • hindustan unilever
  • hul
  • hindustan unilever limited
  • hul share price
  • hindustan unilever products

Hindustan Unilever’s SEO Strategies

Optimizing your online presence is the best approach to improve your online visibility ranking and reach. And the process of doing that is SEO.

Search Engine Optimization refers to optimizing a website to improve its ranking on search engines and increase visibility and online presence.

It helps generate organic traffic and adds credibility and transparency to any business.

SEO also helps with quality lead generation and conversions. It is a great cost-effective strategy to improve the growth of your business.

Hindustan Unilever's SEO Strategies

Being a market leader in the Indian FMCG sector, the website of HUL gets many clicks on a daily basis.

According to SEmrush data, It has 50 authority score & over 299.6K organic search traffic per month.

Hindustan Unilever’s Social Media Marketing Strategies

In today’s day and age, it is extremely crucial to have a strong social media presence. HUL’s marketing team was quick to grasp this.

PlatformNo. of followers
FacebookHindustanUnileverLimited394.4K Followers
Instagramhindustanunileverlimited14.7K Followers
TwitterHUL_News103.4K Followers
YouTubehindustanunilever327K Subscribers

 HUL has been active on Twitter since August 2013 and now has over 103k followers. It has so far posted around 10.4k tweets.

On YouTube too, they have a stronghold with 327k subscribers and 240 videos. Famous ad campaign videos like the BinBoy have more than 5 million views

HUL has been prominent on Facebook as well, putting up posts with trivia about past ad campaigns and the history of the company.

Hindustan Unilever is slowly building up its brand on Instagram as well where it already has 12.4k followers and 127 post.

Hindustan Unilever’s Website Strategies

HUL has a very well-made website with detailed information about the conglomerate and the various brands in its portfolio.

Hindustan Unilever's website strategies

Targeting a varied age group its website has a well-rounded and highly optimized website that includes all the updates & latest news section about the company, which is great for improving its online visibility, generating leads, and increasing revenue.

Hindustan Unilever’s Paid ad Strategies

Paid ads refer to the concept of generating ad campaigns through a service provider and paying them an agreed-upon amount when their ads generate leads. It works on a commission basis.

Paid ads are great for directing quality leads and traffic to the website of any business. They are more flexible in terms of budget and concept in comparison to traditional marketing practices.

They are profitable as they have high ROI. Paid ads are measurable and bring about almost immediate results.

Hindustan Unilever’s paid ad strategies on various social media have helped them garner substantial clicks and thereby revenue.

Pay-per-click ads are placed at high-engagement areas online and on partner sites to generate high-quality leads that end in conversions. They have placed social media ads on their official account and in high-traffic areas to attract the right audience.

Most of HUL’s ad campaigns are promoted on social media and through direct marketing and hence have a wide reach.

Hindustan Unilever’s Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing is one of the most profitable and trendy marketing practices. It refers to the idea of influencers or those with an online following promoting businesses to their followers. It works based on the trust and loyalty that these opinion leaders have earned which puts them alongside experts.

It is far more budget-friendly than celebrity endorsements without compromising on the reach or quality of leads.

It reduces marketing efforts as influencers come up with creative ways to market the product which reduces the burden of ad conceptualization on the parent company.

And lastly, it generates high-quality leads with a high chance of conversion because the audience is already engaged with the product through the influencer.

Through its numerous brands, HUL has partnered with various popular social media influencers and plans to take the influencer marketing game forward in the future.

Conclusion

Hindustan Unilever has followed this marketing technique because consumers in underdeveloped economies are particularly cost-focused.

Unless a business can find a way to attract customers with bargain prices together with excellent products, it may give local competitors an advantage.

The company acknowledges that growth should also be attributed to constructive development.

HUL’s successful program for improving its image is supported by a sizable amount of showcasing and publicizing activities that span most media channels. Although there are many untapped opportunities in uncharted economic sectors, the likelihood of danger remains the same regardless of the situation.

To explore and improve your knowledge in digital marketing, you may consider enrolling in the 4 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course offered by Digital Scholar.

The outstanding research and development (R&D) department of HUL, improved and distinct product offerings, and market research are fantastic important factors that cause a business to maximize its latent potential and excellent piece of the overall industry in an unfamiliar market.

There needs to be excellent coordination and integration between the brand managers in the showcasing division to maintain a more successful brand incentive.

FAQs

1. What are the key components of Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategy?

Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategy includes a combination of social media marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). The company focuses on creating engaging content that resonates with its target audience, leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to potential customers.

2. How has Hindustan Unilever adapted its digital marketing strategy to the changing consumer landscape?

Hindustan Unilever has adapted its digital marketing strategy to keep up with the rapidly changing consumer landscape. The company has embraced new technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality to create more engaging experiences for customers. In addition, Hindustan Unilever has prioritized mobile-first strategies, recognizing that more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to access information and make purchasing decisions.

3. What has been the impact of Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategies on its brand awareness and sales?

Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategies have had a significant impact on its brand awareness and sales. By leveraging social media and influencer marketing, the company has been able to reach a wider audience and generate more engagement with its target customers. In addition, Hindustan Unilever’s content marketing efforts have helped to establish the company as a thought leader in its industry, which has further boosted its brand awareness and credibility.

4. What can other companies learn from Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategies?

Other companies can learn several lessons from Hindustan Unilever’s digital marketing strategies, including the importance of leveraging social media to reach out to potential customers, the value of creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience, and the benefits of partnering with influencers and bloggers to promote your products and services.

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Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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