Unilever introduces cross-discipline brand approach

Unilever is trialing a new cross-discipline approach to branding that will see marketers work with counterparts from other areas in a bid to receive wider input on strategy.


Dubbed internally as “brand republics”, each team includes around 30 people from business divisions including marketing, branding, R&D, market research and design.

Teams will get together for three or four days at a time to “immerse themselves” in the brand and work on the product and brand idea.

The aim is to get a broader skill-set working on the brands and strengthen the brand stories and marketing that is produced.

It is “road testing” the multi-discipline, international brand teams on its billion Euro brands such as Lynx and Dove, as part of the “crafting brands for life” marketing strategy initiated a year ago.

Marc Mathieu, Unilever vice president of marketing, says: “We are looking to institutionalise it, but [for now] it’s something we’re road testing. Half of the meeting is about the content and half of it is journey.

“Each [member of the team] has had the shared journey and experience of the brand and share a common point of view and a certain level of camaraderie, which cannot happen otherwise despite using technology like email and Skype to communicate,” he says.

As a separate initiative, Unilever is hosting two-day “hackathon” events with its marketers and agency partners in a bid to encourage collaboration and establish a new “Unilever way of marketing” in line with “crafting brands for life”.

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