Unilever. A Strategic Analysis

Term Paper, 2012

10 Pages, Grade: A


Executive Summary

Unilever is a London-based fast-moving consumer goods company that sells its products in nearly 200 countries. However, it is neither the largest packaged consumer goods or food company as it has fiercely competitive rivals. In recent years, new corporate leadership has instituted changes, including a new mission and a new vision. These have resulted in a more positive relationship with consumers, a better public image, and an increasing presence in developing countries. Still, our strategic analysis of the company shows impending threats that can damage Unilever's margin of profit and global stake in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. New brands, mounting competition, and an increase in taxation and regulations are mounting obstacles to Unilever's continued success. In order to overcome these and other future vulnerabilities, Unilever needs to continue its product and information technologies developments, introspection, campaigns, and external monitoring.

Company Profile

Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch company that consists of over 400 brands “focused on health and wellbeing” (Unilever, 2013a). Unilever sells its products to more than 190 countries and belongs to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. Specifically, it is the second largest packaged consumer goods firm after Proctor & Gamble (P&G), and it is the third largest food company after Nestle and Kraft Foods. While Unilever is based in London, England, it sells food, home, and personal care products over all major continents. Unilever was formed when the Dutch margarine company Margarine Unie merged with the British soapmaker Lever Brothers in 1930. The two companies decide to combine since they were often competing for the same raw materials, oils and fats, to make their products. Today, Unilever has adopted a new mission to focus on twenty-first century consumers alongside its new corporate vision to “create a better future every day” (Unilever, 2013b).

Strategic Analysis

Strategic analysis is an examination of a company in order to determine its future direction or to better understand the best prospective pursuits (Armstrong, 1986). In order to realize Unilever’s current and future strategies, we have undertaken three different methods of strategic analysis – PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, and SWOT. In order to give a thorough analysis of Unilever, we will use these three methods to identify the industrial, internal, and external factors that impact the company’s future.

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PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL analysis focuses on the external environment in which a company exists. This form of macro-analysis consists of an inquiry into a firm’s political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal environment. The goal of this analysis is to align the company’s vision and performance with the business environment.

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Political & Legal Analysis

Due to Unilever’s widespread commerce, it is subject to laws, regulations, and politics of every country, region, and locality is sells its products in. Consequently, Unilever has developed a tactical response to political and legal issues. Unilever must continue to adhere to regulations in every country in which they distribute their products. Furthermore, it must adhere to emerging regulations such as new low-impact environmental policies. Changing free trade policies, especially within the European Union, can have adverse effects on potential profits. Ultimately, any political or legal strife would damage Unilever’s reputation in the marketplace and therefore the company’s profits (Unilever Communications, 2013).


Excerpt out of 10 pages


Unilever. A Strategic Analysis
University of Cambridge
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unilever, strategic, analysis
Quote paper
Richards Macdonald (Author), 2012, Unilever. A Strategic Analysis, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/215742


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