Unilever is unarguably one of the prominent brands that has added value and impacted the world through its numerous products. If you take stock of the products you use ranging from tea to detergent, bath soaps, seasoning cubes, and so on, you are very likely to discover that Unilever is very much present in your home.
Particularly in Nigeria, most of Unilever’s products are recognised leaders in their various market segments since they have become preferred and trusted brand in the heart of a great number of consumers. With over 400 brands under its umbrella in more than 190 countries, Unilever has strategically stamped its name in the sands of time and has become a legend as a consumer goods company. Follow through as we explore the different aspects of this universal brand.
Unilever’s purposeful journey started as far back as 1800 as a merger of many small family businesses. The company leveraged different commodities starting from butter the Jurgens started in 1860 in the Netherlands. In 1927, the company merged with another thriving butter company owned by a Dutch family, Van den Bergh. Together they worked to develop and trade a new product, which we know as margarine, a more affordable substitute for butter. Their business was called Margarine Unie.
In 1884, William Lever who started his business under the name, Lever Brothers, had produced a new soap he named Sunlight. This distinctive soap, made up of copra or palm kernel oil had the ability to lather easily unlike the soap brands before it. To add to its uniqueness, Sunlight was packaged differently and eventually became one of the first brands to gain visibility through advertisement. These adverts were done using creative mediums such as small cards inserted into soap packaging, featuring the Sunlight brand in cartoon drawings or calendars.
The Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie merged in September 1929 to form Unilever. In a bid to increase their market options, in 1943, Unilever acquired T. J. Lipton, Batchelors Peas, and then Pepsodent in 1944.
Moving forward, the company launched new products and acquired more companies like the British-based Lipton Ltd, Brooke Bond, the maker of PG Tips tea, Chesebrough-Ponds the maker of one of their popular brands, Vaseline. It also acquired the enterprise Ben and Jerry, Slim Fast, Knorr, Hellmann’s and a whole lot of others. These acquisitions have all combined to make Unilever the empire it is today.
While Unilever was deepening its root overseas, it also launched its brands in Africa in 1923. In that year, Robert Hesketh Leverhulme started his trading business under the name, Lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd in Nigeria. The business focused mainly on soap trade and subsequently in 1925 opened a factory in Apapa. The company’s name was changed to Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited in 1955 and while it expanded to food products, another factory was launched in Aba in 1958.
After the introduction of Omo detergent in 1960, Lever Brothers got more attention as it met the need of many consumers. This achievement led to the commissioning of a manufacturing factory, in 1964, for the Omo brand. Unilever became a publicly listed company in 1973, due to the indigenisation decree made in 1972. This saw the company selling 60% of its shares to the Nigerian public making it a Nigerian owned company.
The company continued to broaden its range of products and began to source for its raw materials locally. In order to achieve their new venture, the company invested in crop production, oil palm milling and tea plantation. In 1995, Unilever merged with Unilever Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Unilever U.K. This merger gave Unilever a certain level of control in the Nigerian market. However, in 2001, the company was changed to Unilever Nigeria Plc. Since then, the company has continued to evolve and expand.
Unilever is a purpose driven brand that has operated with a clear vision which is basically to make sustainable living commonplace. This vision has transcended in all aspects of their operations
In every region, Unilever combines its multinational expertise with local cultures in order to blend with consumers. This way it continues to penetrate deep into its target market. Its long-term strategic choices range from an active portfolio management, a focused approach to innovation, investment in digital marketing. Adding to this, they have employed consistency, competitiveness in innovations, profitable improvement, and social responsibility as their major market strategies.
Unilever operates with simple core values such as;
- Integrity and
Unilever has some sets of clear priorities, which guides its campaigns and operations;
- A better future for children
- A healthier future
- A more confident future
- A better future for the planet
- A better future for farming and farmers
Unilever has proven to be a people centred brand from its approach of executing its operations from manufacturing, down to distribution. It seeks for the healthiest alternatives when producing its products.
One visible way they have made impact over the years is by initiating transformational change in the society through ending of deforestation, improving the quality of water people use, heading agricultural enhancement programs, increasing sanitation and hygiene, training small holders to farm sustainably, and women empowerment etc. They have accomplished most of these projects through partnership with government and NGOs
For its quality and consistency in pursuing its purpose, the brand has received several recognition, which include:
No.1Top spot in the Personal Products sector of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index
No.1 Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 Globe Scan/Sustain Ability annual survey
‘A’ Grade for Climate Change, Water, Forests and Supplier Engagement in CDP’s 2018 Global Supply Chain report.
With its wealth of experience, in depth market strategy and clear vision, Unilever will continue to be an acceptable and remarkable brand.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you desire to build a brand that will stand the test of time? We can help! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Most children born from the eighties can attest to the fact that they have tasted the popular Kellogg’s cornflakes. For some, it even became the quickest breakfast their mothers could fix before they dashed off to school while for others it became their favourite go-to cereal whenever they were hungry.
Whichever the case, it is an undeniable fact that the impact of the Kellogg’s brand has been felt by many people and also in many homes. The brand’s consistency for more 100years now has strengthened its relevance, establishing it as a leading brand globally.
For the last century, the Kellogg Company has done business under the trademark, Kellogg’s. This American multinational food-manufacturing company has its headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. Kellogg’s is known for producing cereal and convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, and toaster pastries. Some of their most popular products that have become well-known brands include Corn Flakes, Keebler, and Cheez-It.
Follow through as we take a detailed ride through the rich qualities of this outstanding brand.
While trying to make granola, a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners, in 1898, W.K. Kellogg, and his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, mistakenly altered the process and flaked wheat berry. Not relenting, W.K. continued to experiment until he flaked corn, which gave birth to what we now know as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
Following his successful breakthrough, in 1906, W.K. Kellogg began his company, “Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company” and went ahead to hire 44 pioneering employees. Working closely with the founder, they created the first batch of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and fostered W.K.’s vision for great-tasting, better-for-you breakfast foods.
Kellogg’s, in 1914, took its first step towards expansion by introducing the flagship brand, Corn Flakes, to Canada. As time went by, the Kellogg Company spread its nourishing grains abroad, by commencing operations in countries like Australia, England, Mexico, Japan, India and etc.
In 1923, the Kellogg Company took another bold step and became the first in the food industry to hire a dietician, Mary Barber. Mary pioneered the Kellogg’s Home Economics Department and defined the roles different foods played in proper diets, thereby educating their consumers.
During the time the United States sunk into Depression, in 1930, W.K. Kellogg saw it as an opportunity to add value to more people with the campaign, “I’ll invest in people.” To achieve this, he created more shifts and hired new employees. He went on to start the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, whose mission — to help children realize their potential — is also in line with that of the Kellogg Company till date.
To increase its visibility, the company used the slogan “Kellogg’s puts more into your morning” on television shows on Saturday morning from 1968 to 1970.
As a result of spreading its grains, one of the soils it fell on is the Nigeria’s soil. Though it is yet to make huge harvest, the brand has gained tremendous recognition. On the 1st of December 2017, the joint venture of the reputable cereal maker, Kellogg’s and Singapore’s Tolaram Group, Kellogg’s-Tolaram Nigeria Limited, commissioned a 6 billion naira factory, with a capacity to produce 10,000 metric tonnes of cereals per year. This move has definitely put the Kellogg’s brand on another level since it can now produce its product here in Nigeria rather than importing it.
Having realised that breakfast is the most essential meal of the day, Kellogg’s has built its walls around this. “At Kellogg, we LOVE breakfast. To us it’s so much more than just a meal. We passionately believe in the power and promise that comes from eating the right breakfast. It’s the first fuel for our bodies—nourishing us for today, tomorrow and for life.”
From the simple and concise words, the company used to describe its vision, it is without a doubt the brand has established itself as an enriching brand, “To enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.”
Its purpose is simple but well defined, “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.”
The company sees its values as its DNA which could be interpreted to mean what runs through the entire organisation. Their values serve as a guide for every business transaction, their interaction amongst themselves and with the communities where they work. Here is a quick rundown of their values;
In Nigeria the Kellogg’s brand leverages;
- Partnership with the local production company, Tolaram and its distribution subsidiary.
- Assets provided by its partnership to produce high quality, low cost products in the region
- Brand recognition in order to gain market share in the mid-range and value channels.
THE BRAND’S SWOT ANALYSIS
- It has an existing supply chain
- It has well-known and experienced partners, locally and globally
- It has experience in handling new markets
- It has experienced low profit in recent years
- There has been a loss of market share to general mill
- New products must be developed to suit the Nigeria market.
- The Nigerian market is still an emerging one open to businesses of all kinds
- Landing new products would require low price
- As a foreign brand, a new product must be developed for the Nigeria market
- It has strong competitors like Nestle and Unilever.
- Its operation is capital intensive.
The company continues to uphold the values its founder, W.K. Kellogg, which was instilled over 100 years ago. Today their flaked corn is enjoyed in 180 countries around the world putting it ahead of its pairs in the snack food industry.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Brands choose to tell their stories any way they please but the ones that stand out are those who tell stories that resonate with the communities they serve. For sixty years plus now PEAK MILK has maintained the story of Africa through its symbolic pic story and visual identity elements of the palm tree, locals in a canoe, trade interaction with merchants, and so on.
With its rich creamy taste, Peak Milk has continued to live up to its name, and has gained the reputation of the number one brand in the dairy industry in Nigeria. Over the years, the brand has been recognised for its quality and leadership in the market. These remarkable attributes piqued our interest to do a review on this legendary brand. Sail with us to the wonderland of this iconic dairy brand.
While most people seem to know the product, only a few are familiar with the company behind the brand, Friesland Campina. The company which was founded from two great Dutch dairy companies, Friesland Foods and Campina, began its journey in the dairy industry in 1871.
Friesland Campina is a company birthed from a rich history. From its name Friesland which is a region in the north of the Netherlands characterised by the green meadows, blue skies, many lakes and splendid Frisian dairy herds and then Campina is also a wooded region of grasslands and meadows in the south of the Netherlands, it can be perceived that the company is a product of the Netherland culture.
The global company is well rooted in the culture and commerce of the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Way back in 1954, while Nigeria was still under the British colony, Friesland Campina sailed its way from Netherlands through several oceans to Nigeria. Having surveyed and seen the potentials in the Nigerian market, the company introduced its first brand, Peak Milk. Since then the dairy product has evolved and has maintained a strong leader position.
However it was not until April 1973 the company was incorporated as West Africa Milk Company (WAMCO) and finally commenced operation in 1975 making it an affiliate of Royal Friesland Campina of the Netherlands. Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria has its headquarters located in Ikeja Industrial Area of Lagos and is recorded to be one of the largest dairy cooperative in the world. Since it began operations in Nigeria it has made extensive distribution to all the states.
With its strong influence, the company continues to retain its leadership in the production, processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of its dairy products in Nigeria. In 2015, it was recorded to have made a turnover of twelve billion
At the inception, Peak Milk was seen as product for wealthy people and couldn’t be afforded by the common man. Knowing what they stood to lose with the rising of other milk brands, the company adjusted its product in order to accommodate everyone. This led to the introduction of different sizes even down to sachets.
The company behind Peak Milk ties its vision to the purpose they refer to as nourishing by nature. This stands for better nutrition for the world, a good living for farmers, now and for generations to come.
BRAND MISSION STATEMENT
From its mission statement, Nourishing Nigeria with Quality Dairy Nutrition, it is obvious the brand is driven by the need to nourish its consumers.
The strategy behind this exceptional brand is quite straight to the point which is to add value; from its nutrition, to nature, to both young and old people, to consumers and customers, to citizen and down to the society. This value adding mind-set has been transferred to all their employees worldwide.
The company has broken down its plan into the following;
- Win with nutrition
- Serve the 24/7 consumer and customer
- Lead with sustainability
- Elevate our essentials
BRAND CAMPAIGNS AND PROJECTS
Most recently, the brand has been running a campaign it named PECADOMO which is an acronym for ‘Peak Can Do More’. The idea is to gain new markets by highlighting several other things that the milk product can be used asides regular usage
Peak Milk is one brand that has made a strong impression in Nigeria with its involvement and commitment to nation building and community development. Severally in the past it has supported charity projects, schools and communities through its corporate citizenship programme which kicked off in 2004.
The programme has seen the commissioning of over 41 solar boreholes, supported over 18 public secondary schools amongst many other projects.
With a well mapped out and structured brand like Peak, we can bank on the fact that it will be here for more years to come and may probably still be leading the dairy industry here in Nigeria. It points to the need to build a brand that transcends the founders.
Key Takeaway: Regardless of its leadership position in the market, PEAK is not relenting in its drive to remain a relevant, readily available and trustworthy brand. This is a vital lessons for beginners and the likes, do not allow your successes stop you from pushing the boundaries and frontiers.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the famous and oldest automobile brands in the world which stands out for the quality, durable and reliable vehicles they create is Toyota. Established in 1933 by the Toyoda family as a subsidiary of the Toyoda Automatic Loom works, they started out producing automatic loom works and textiles before diversifying into automobile production with the production of the model AA passenger car in 1936. Headquartered in Toyota city, Aichi Japan, earliest productions were directed by the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda and the company was named after the family’s name – TOYODA.
However, it was later renamed TOYOTA in 1936 after a competition which had 27,000 design entries was held in that effect. The design entry bearing the Toyota name was chosen and the TOYOTA brand incorporated as the company’s name. This was because whilst Toyoda took 10 Japanese strokes to write, Toyota took 8 strokes which in Japanese culture signify luck and good fortune.
Remarkably, the Toyota brand was introduced into the Nigerian automobile market 32 years after it was founded through various distributing outlets. Later on Toyota (Nigeria) Limited was incorporated as the sole distributor of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
The Toyota brand has over the years endeared themselves to the heart of their customers especially through its visual identity system specifically the well-known Toyota 3-ellipses logo. This has contributed greatly to the successes recorded by the Toyota brand. As little children we could remember playing with this emblem on our parents Toyota cars. This article aims to unravel the wonder behind this globally recognized logo.
HISTORY OF THE LOGO
The debut logo was designed in 1935 bearing the company’s name as at the time – TOYODA. It had the shape of an octagon with the TOYODA inscribed in bold uppercase red font. This was seen on the AA model car and G1 truck produced in 1936.
With the renaming of its name from TOYODA to TOYOTA, a new logo was designed to capture this effect. However, this new design had TOYOTA transcribed into Japanese language and centered in a red circular background.
After about 10 years later, the logo design was further re-designed. This time, it had the brand name inscribed in English language; scripted similarly with “Times New Roman” in a bold uppercase black font colour.
Later on, the succeeding logo font was modified using the “Bold Toyota Type” font and inscribed in black font colour.
This font colour was later changed into an attractive red colour which is today known as the Toyota Red. This had a captivating feel, attracting more customers to the brand.
Conclusively, the well-known 3-ellipes logo was introduced at the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motors Corporation on the 2nd of October, 1989. The previous red logo element was added to the 3-ellipses emblem forming one of the most popular automobile logo in the world today seen on all Toyota vehicles. Subsequent years have seen various modifications in typography, colour, staging platform and visual dimensions being made to the Toyota logo.
As part of showing their value and enthusiasm in promoting their visibility and acceptance, Toyota has a website exclusively dedicated to provide detailed information on their Visual Identity System (VIS) covering these six core elements – logos, tagline, typography, photography styles, colour palette and design layouts. Certainly, their visual identity matters a great to them, like it should be for every other brand.
TOYOTA LOGO SPECIFICATIONS
Toyota Motors Corporation is visually identified using any of these 3 logo types: (i) the Toyota Brand logo (ii) the Let’s Go Places logo and (iii) the Vehicle logo.
The Brand logo is used to represent the parent brand and is also used when more than one Toyota product is advertised. In addition, it appears where the slogan (tagline) is used as a headline in a publication. Still, it is not used were the vehicle logo appears.
The vehicle logo is used when marketing a particular Toyota vehicle. Some of Toyota’s vehicle brand includes; Corolla, Camry, Sienna, TACOMA, RAV4, Highlander, 4RUNNER, SEQUOIA, TUNDRA, C-HR, Land Cruiser, Avalon etc. This logo however, is not used alongside other logos or elements.
The Let’s Go Places Logo conveys the brand essence and culture. It is not used without the staging platform when used as a logo. Also, it comes in three forms; the horizontal stacked, horizontal and vertical.
Toyota logos comprises of 3 elements: (i) the typography i.e. font size, font style etc., (ii) the Toyota symbol and (iii) the staging platform which could also be called the background fill.
The minimum size that the Toyota logo can be reduced to – in both Print and Digital – is 9mm and 24 pixels respectively. This also tells the minimum height that the staging platform can be. In addition, on publications, all logo designs carry a little clear space around them. This clear space is measured in X unit. This is derived by dividing the staging platform into 6 rows and 6 columns. Each cell represents X unit. Two units (2X) of this measurement tell the amount of space that is left both horizontally and vertically around the logo design in a communication.
Toyota’s logo font style is the ‘Bold Toyota type font’. The Font colour could be black or red depending on the background of the publication whilst size and space dimensions are stipulated in Toyota’s VIS manual.
When the staging platform is in Toyota Red and the typography in black, the logo is placed on a light or white background while when the staging platform is on a dark publication background, the typography becomes white but the staging platform remains red. The Toyota VIS makes provisions for 1-colour designs with no other colours apart from black, red and white.
Logo Colour Palette
Toyota colour palette comprises of Red, White and Black with the primary colour as Red. Red represents energy, visibility, passion, excitement and the Toyota taste for adventure. White stands for clarity showing Toyota’s sincerity in creating an impressionable product to its customers.
MEANING OF THE LOGO
The Logo Symbol
According to online sources, the two inner intercepting ellipses in the Toyota symbol represents the unification of the hearts of Toyota customers with the heart of Toyota products while the largest oval encapsulating the inner ellipses, represents the world embracing Toyota. The background space in the Toyota symbol spells Toyota’s technological advancement and the boundless opportunities ahead of them.
Also, in another explanation, the two inner ovals that overlap to form a “T” stand for Toyota and the centered oval forms the shape of a steering wheel which represents the Toyota vehicle itself.
Furthermore, recent discoveries shows that upon a closer look at the Toyota 3-ellipses symbol, it is seen that all the letters that spell the word TOYOTA are found in it.
INCORRECT USE OF TOYOTA LOGO
In order to maintain consistency and encourage sustained brand awareness, Toyota advocates for the correct use of their logos on all communication platforms. Some possible misuse of Toyota logos are:
- Using the 3-D logo in brand communications
- Changing the logo colour
- Distorting the shape of the logo shape
- Filling up the staging platform with an image
- Adding a shadow to the logo
- Altering the logo artwork
- Changing the shape of the staging platform
- Using the logo within text
- Changing the logo typography style
- Changing the type size or colour of the tagline.
There is obviously more to a logo beyond – it preserves a brand’s history, tells its story, and expresses its culture in ways unique to the brand alone. We hope you found this insightful for your own brand?
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
Do you need an expressive logo for your brand? We would love to work with you. Shoot an email to email@example.com
From what looks like a rocket heading to the moon inside a red circle, to what has now been redesigned to represent a rising sun still inside a red circle, Sterling Bank is certainly on the move to something new. Through their different branding approaches, it could be perceived that they are on a mission to increase their visibility and customer base. With proper observation, this branding strategy seems to be working for them as they have gotten more people engaged on their social media platform and a lot of new accounts being opened.
THE LOGO TRANSITION
Sterling Bank, usually referred to as the one-customer bank, has travelled for as long as fifty eight years in the banking industry but recently felt it was time to change the strategic position of their brand. The bank which was founded in the year 1960 as the First Merchant Bank has continued to evolve over the years to becoming one of the fastest growing commercial banks in Nigeria. In recent times, one of the evolutions the bank has undergone is the revamping of their logo.
The old logo showed their previous brand position which was “aiming for the moon”. This concept was associated to their desire to reach the stars and it reflected in the type of services they rendered to their customers, their values and the brand disposition in general.
DEFINITION OF THE NEW LOGO
Contrary to the old logo, the new Sterling bank logo took a new dimension. They say their new logo represents the evolution of their new identity as “The Rising Sun”. This, they reported to mean the alignment of their brand to the current strategic positioning of the bank.
The new logo which has now become their identity is said to reflect their progression from the traditional banking to a new and agile force that delivers forward-moving disruptive solutions.
This is what has informed their journey from the previous “aiming for the moon” to the present “The Rising Sun”. Also for them, this means growth. This could be observed in their leverage on technology and delivery of some of the most innovative and market-disruptive solutions. Some of the solutions they have provided include; Specta- Nigeria’s fastest consumer lending platform, FarePayB- Africa’s 1st contactless Transport Card, and I-Invest- World’s Mobile 1st Treasury Bill App.
Asides the buzz Sterling Bank ignited on social media about their new logo, the bank went further to make their new logo more visible by partnering ride hailing services like Taxify and Uber. They branded some of the vehicles which can be seen on various roads, silently putting the bank’s identity in the minds of consumers.
Due to this strategic move, Sterling Bank seems to be stronger, in their word “agile”, more innovative and relevant to their customers. With their visibility and new brand position, they are definitely giving other banks a run for their customers.
Although, in brand sense, the concept of a new identity is a welcomed development, the concern remains, will Sterling Bank be able to maintain this new position and deliver as much as they have promised. Like we educate people all the time, branding goes beyond logo designs and outward appearance. Nevertheless, we hope they get it right,
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Share your thoughts with us, leave a comment.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
We came across this pack of writing notes on the table of a top level business executive.
It got our attention severally and we are certain it gets that of other visitors as well.
We call it brandcasting; souvenirs like this are not mere gifts that we give away, they are transmitters we strategically place at the right places for our brand to be silently announced to more people.
Invest in souvenirs that folks will really use, we recommend items that other people will also see and get curious about.
Is your brand presently sitting on people’s tables, walls, cars, keyholes, etc?
We refer to it as the stickivity question, when customers eventually need your product/service, will they remember your brand?
If you need help with making your brand memorable, we are here to provide custom solutions. Let’s hear from you, send an email to email@example.com