Unilever's Business Strategies Assignment Sample

Unilever's Use of Porter's Generic Strategies for Competitive Advantage

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Introduction Of The Business Strategy (MB927/MG931)Assignment

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The report will be discussed about case study of Unilever's business strategy. The case study will explain how the company uses the porter generic strategy to gain competitive advantages. As an international brand with a well-built presence in the worldwide market, the company has set its cut-throat situation based on essential factors, which provide a strong edge over competitors in the large market. The report will also highlight the goal and objectives of the company to improve the health and well-being of people (Olson, et. al. 2021). The company's business strategy growth is concerned with corresponding customers' requirements, preferences, needs, buying patterns, desires, and wants.

Theoretical approaches based on competitive advantage and on legitimacy

A company’s connection within its industry determines whether business productivity is above or below the industry standard. The elemental basis of above-average productivity in the long term is sustainable in competitive advantage. It combines the range of performance for which the business seeks to achieve average performance in an industry (Brown and Brown, 2019). The 3 generic activities include differentiation, focus, and cost leadership, focus strategy has two variants which are differentiation focus and cost focus. Firms can avail the competitive advantage by lowering costs and differing their productivity from competitors concerning prices (Liang, et. al. 2022). The business can also gain a competitive advantage by choosing a focus strategy for niche marketing of products. Unilever is a multinational company with high identification in the target market segment. The current business environment is convincing Unilever to attain a significant advantage over others to stay forward of the competition. The increasing competition in the business has made it difficult for a company to sustain the increased market share and market management position without using significant efforts. As a multinational brand with a strong presence in the global market, the company has set its competitive position based on critical factors, which provide a strong edge over competitors in the large market.

Unilever has adopted a combination of differentiation, focus, and cost leadership strategies to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors which is the significant theory called Market based view theory (MBV) for strategic management of the company. Cost leadership is an important strategy which is the part of MBV that a company uses in various customer segments to pursue the competitive advantage. The company uses this theory to protect the market leadership situation through effective value chain management. This allows Unilever to expand its market value by focusing on middle-class customers. The company offers coupons and discounts to achieve sales targets. Unilever uses a differentiation strategy by combining it with cost leadership to accomplish growth objectives. The Market based view theory allows the company to differentiate its product by launching a focus on customer health and innovation (Ali and Anwar, 2021). The company positions its products in a way to stand out and is different from competitors. The company adopt a focus strategy to serve the market segment based on niche marketing. Unilever applies this theory to lower costs and offer the best value to customers.

Legitimacy theory states that the company continuously tries to ensure that they carry out business operations with societal norms and boundaries. Corporate in Unilever included a broad series of connections with culture. The utilization of stakeholder theory is adopted by the organization for legitimacy theory it means dependably overseeing a diversity of relations every day with consumers, employees, shareholders, governments, supplier, local community, and a lot of others in a large society. The company commits to delivering corporate performance as an essential part of our operating tradition.

Unilever’s approach is that corporate social responsibility that covers the firm's impact on society in three distinct areas i.e. business operations, voluntary contribution in making communities, and their relationships with business partners through the value chain. A framework for the approach is created to demonstrate varied day-to-day relations with society. Stakeholders groups are identified as employees, consumers, local shareholders, suppliers and trade customers, government communities, and societies where the company does business.

There is also extensive concentration in society on a firm's impact on the environment. The company has the willingness to participate in hard work to mitigate harmful environmental consequences. Social Reviews have drawn attention to data that Unilever frequently aggregates and collects globally (Hamm, et. al. 2022). Stakeholders map in main areas of social interaction such as employment values, responsibilities towards the environment, consumer commitment, wealth creation, practices, and communities in which the company operates.

Analysis based on extensive research of Unilever operations and strategies

Unilever is a leading personal care, home care, and food supplying and producing company. The products of the company are offered in more than 150 nations worldwide. The goal and objectives of the company are to improve the health and well-being of people. The company focuses on improving the livelihood of many people across the globe with an effective supply chain and environmental footprint of the products. The firm has an awareness of research and development which assist the company to introduce new products to the market by safeguarding its leadership position. The company supplies its product through wholesalers, distribution centres, storage depots, group-operated facilities, co-operatives, and several other food suppliers. The financial strength of the company depends on profits, stock, revenues, stock market prices, and other financial variables. Unilever's mission is to meet hygiene needs; personal care and nutrition by collaborating with brands that help customers look good, feel good, and get more (Kornberger and Vaara, 2022). The company's vision is to develop sustainability in its business operation to increase business performance rapidly.

PESTLE analysis of a company outline expansion opportunities in the worldwide consumer goods market. Unilever faces threats in its macro-environment. The biased strength of countries provides an chance for the company to develop its market share. Unilever has a chance for global expansion through free trade relations. Economic factors determine the company's performance by increasing wages in developed countries, which will enlarge the economic stability and high growth. This will help the company in increasing its sales and higher disposable income. Social factors affect the company's consumer goods business performance significantly. The company should grow healthy products that directly deliver to customers increasing interest (Wahab, et. al. 2019). The company should minimize energy consumption and should adopt more energy-efficient technologies in their business operations. Rising business technologies are an opportunity for a company to increase its productivity and efficiency. The company can use new operation processing equipment which can enhance inventory monitoring to support the distribution network and supply chain. Environmental factors influence the company's macro environment. The increasing interest in the business environment is a chance for Unilever to improve its ecological programs to attract customers who are concerned about the environment. Unilever can improve its sustainability programs to make strong competitiveness against other companies in the consumer goods industry.

Unilever's business strategy is to be a global leader in sustainable business which delivers consistently delivers good products, better services, and superior performance. The company has accelerated the development of its portfolio into higher growth spaces. The company has built its position in skin care, nutrition, plant-based foods, and hygiene. The company has grown by delivering superior quality products and taking action on environmental and social issues. This will improve the health of nature and people's well-being (Silvestre and ?îrc?, 2019). The company focuses and invested in a growth market to strengthen its position worldwide. Unilever captures the chance in E-Commerce by launching innovation in their business, which will help the company in making good customer relations.

Issues and key implications for competitive advantage and legitimacy

Business strategy expansion is concerned with corresponding customers' needs, requirements desires, buying patterns, wants, and preferences, with the capability of the company. Business strategies are based on the resource and skills available in the company, most important on the issue of core competence. The concept of competitive advantage has a significant aspect in implementing business strategy. The major challenge the company faces today is how to have a competitive advantage. Unilever believes in growing sustainability and responsibility to serve the best in society. The company conducts its operations with integrity, honesty, and openness while concerning the interest of the employees. The company's human resources are required to comply with the regulation and laws of the country where they are operated. The company is committing to a working environment while promoting diversity. The firm believed in a place of work where there is respect for civil rights mutual trust, and no prejudice. They support the mental and physical well-being of workers, ensuring a safe and healthy working environment.

The company's corporate social responsibility in Unilever includes a broad range of connections with civilization. The company responsibly manages a diversity of relations every day with shareholders, consumers, employees, suppliers, governments, and many other parties who are connected to the firm (Sachs, et. al. 2021). The company is dedicated to producing, developing, marketing, and selling all its products and services responsibly. Unilever should conduct marketing activities in line with community expectations.In today's quickly changing business and economic environments, companies compete for revenue, customers, and market share with products and services that meet customers' desires. Rivalry has brought about many technological changes and also customers are demanding better quality products and services with lower prices. This has increased the rate of competition globally and has brought a decline in the product life cycle. This has led to much importance on the creation of competitive advantage over competitors. The objective of Unilever is to accomplish the company's performance and gain a competitive advantage.

The strategic options available to the organization

Unilever expands its successful brand to many other

markets and started to compete globally. In entering and competing in foreign markets a global strategy

used by Unilever is preferable to localized strategies because Unilever can unify its operations and

focus on establishing a brand image that is uniform from country to country. It implies Unilever’s

success in building strong character brands

Unilever expands its successful brand to many other

markets and started to compete globally. In entering and competing in foreign markets a global strategy

used by Unilever is preferable to localized strategies because Unilever can unify its operations and

focus on establishing a brand image that is uniform from country to country. It implies Unilever’s

success in building strong character brands

Unilever expand its successful business in many markets that started competing globally. For entering the global market the company has focused on establishing a strong brand image in many countries. The corporate strategy of the company plays an integral role in offering business entities with formulation and implementation of business strategies. The company is growing its efforts to build long establish roots in developing countries with a well-establish distribution network. All the brands of the company have different market segment based on the value and features propositions.

The products of the company are found in more than 160 countries and have different brand strategies such as design, logo, ideology, and message. Unilever grows its business by delivering superior products while concerning the environment and sustainable performance. This will benefit society by improving their lifestyle and improve the health of the planet. The customers of the company are divided into various segments in terms of income, age, etc, with a large number of products such as homecare, healthy food, cosmetics, etc. The customers purchase the company's products from super shops, retail stores, and online websites (Lieberman, 2021). Marketing and advertisement of Unilever take place on different promotional channels such as social media, radio, television, digital Ad rating, and many other channels.

Unilever has continued to invest in important resources in technology, channel-specific innovation, and channel expertise. The company's objective is to make the brand simpler agile and faster and more focused on greater accountability and empowerment. The company has unlocked its capacity through digital and agility transformation by building strong customer trust (Trihatmoko, et. al. 2018). The company offers a healthy and safe working environment for employees and treats them with respect and integrity.

Recommendations based on thoughtful consideration

Strategies based on market opportunities and business strengths can boost the company's performance in the long term. Unilever is the strongest consumer goods industry brand that goes through markets efficiently competing with other companies. The company has increased its product portfolio through acquisition and merger activity and has increased its revenue rapidly. The company limits its business diversification which directly influences consumers' behavior. The company should diversify its business by entering its business operations outside the customer goods industry. This will reduce their market-based risk and enhance their business flexibility. The company should also launch an innovative product that can increase the attractiveness of the company's products and services, by concentrating on the needs of rising health-conscious customers. The company has the opportunity to make its brand more environmentally friendly and sustainable to attract a large number of customers. Market development can grow a company by increasing the sales and revenue of its products in the new market segment (Faith, 2018). The company also faces tough competition which can reduce its financial performance and market share. The company should launch innovative ideas in their product and services which will enhance its competitive advantage.


The above case study has discussed the business strategies implemented by the companies to manage their operation and achieve objectives and goals. The theories used in the report are the combination of all the actions and decisions taken in an organization to accomplish business objectives efficiently. The report has discussed the company Unilever implementing different business strategies through recommendations to gain a competitive advantage while maintaining sustainability. A company can achieve a competitive advantage by lowering its cost and different productivity from competitors while concerning prices. Unilever focuses on changing the lifestyle of many people across the globe with a successful supply chain and environmental footprint of the products. The utilization of two theoretical approaches one based on competitive advantage and one based on legitimacy plays an important role for the contribution to business entity with formulation and implementation of business strategies.


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