Unilever Case Study


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Unilever Case Study



Type of Industry

Consumer goods


London, United Kingdom, and Rotterdam, Netherlands


5,098.2 crores EUR

Area Served


Number of Stores



Beiersdorf, ConAgra, Danone, Henkel, Mars, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser


Product diversification  

Target Group

People of all ages


Consumer goods



Unilever Case Study Introduction

The British-Dutch transnational consumer goods giant, Unilever has succeeded in emerging as the most successful company in the consumer goods industry. Co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam, the Company has spread its business worldwide, operating in both developed and emerging economies. Ranging from food and beverages to beauty and personal care products, Unilever has succeeded in every related business genre efficiently. The Unilever case study is essential to understand how the Company has succeeded in sustaining its market hold for so long. A SWOT and PESTLE analysis is required to strengthen the Unilever case study in a thorough and explicit manner.

Unilever SWOT Analysis


The primary strength of Unilever, as the Unilever case study reveals, is its strong brand presence. The Company has got strong brands in its product line and the brands are globally popular. This brand popularity has helped Unilever in sustaining its market hold in various economies across the globe. Moreover, as the Unilever case study reveals, a broad product mix should also be considered a strong point of Unilever. The broad product mix is an indicator of Unilever’s business growth and it has helped the Company in maintaining its profitability. It has to be noted that Unilever’s marketing mix is yet another strength of the Company that has helped the Company to take the risks of mergers and acquisitions to enhance its product portfolio. Moreover, a strong global market presence has definitely added to the business strength of Unilever in a thorough and explicit manner.


The imitable nature of its product, as the Unilever case study reveals, should be considered a major weakness of Unilever. It should be noted that small and medium sized companies are able to imitate Unilever’s product alleviating the market growth rate for the Company explicitly. Moreover, the Unilever case study reveals that the limited business diversification of Unilever is yet another primary weakness of the Company that has limited the scopes for the Company to spread to unexplored markets in emerging economies. Besides, the Unilever case study reveals that the over reliance on retailers has also added to the weaknesses of Unilever.


Despite weaknesses, Unilever, as the Unilever case study reveals, is provided with certain growth and expansion opportunities. For instance, there are opportunities for Unilever to diversify its business and to thereby enhance its chances to penetrate into new markets in developed and emerging economies. Moreover, the Company has the opportunity to indulge in product innovation for health. Health related product development will enhance the chances for Unilever to target newer and potential customer segments worldwide. Besides, Unilever has the opportunity to enhance its business through innovating products that are meant for environmental conservation. This will help the Company in enhancing its market reputation as a socially responsible business entity.


The consumer goods industry is characterized by stiff competition. This should be considered as a serious threat to Unilever’s business. The Unilever case study reveals that tough competitive rivalry offered by key player in the industry pose serious threat to the business of Unilever. Moreover, it has been observed that the limitation in production also poses threat to the future growth prospect of Unilever. Moreover, the Unilever case study reveals that, increase in the popularity of substitute products manufactured by retailers can also be a serious threat to Unilever’s future business. In order to survive, Unilever has to overcome such hindrances.

Unilever PESTLE Analysis

Political Environment

Political environment plays a crucial role in deciding the future of a business. This holds true to Unilever too. The Unilever case study reveals that significant political stability in majority of countries of operation has provided Unilever with the opportunity to expand and grow its business. Moreover, growing rate of free trade across the globe, supported by political leaders of both developing and developed countries, has also added to the business advantages of Unilever. But it should be taken into account that the present political instability in European Union (EU) should be considered a serious threat to the European business of Unilever.

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Economic Environment

Economic environment plays a decisive role in determining the success or failure of a business. The Unilever case study, in this respect, reveals that economic conditions like increase in wages in developing countries have posed threats to the business growth and development of Unilever. It should also be noted that such increase in labor wage has put hindrances in the Company’s way of acquiring a formidable workforce in the developing nations. But there are certain economic conditions that have added to the advantage of Unilever’s business. For instance, high growth rate of the economies of developing nations has provided Unilever with the opportunity to gain financial strength. Besides, economic stability of majority of developed countries has also provided chance to Unilever to sustain its market hold and profitability.

Social/Socio-Cultural Environment

The higher demand of healthy products on the part of majority of the members of societies in which Unilever operates has given chance to the Company to enhance its product line and product diversity. Rising health consciousness should also be considered as an opportunity for Unilever to integrate innovation in its production process. Besides, the erosion in the rate of gender discrimination in terms of employment worldwide has also provided opportunities to Unilever to enhance its workforce and talent pool.

Technological Environment

The technological environment characterized by advancement and development has provided opportunities to Unilever, as revealed by the Unilever case study, to usher automation in its production processes. This has made Unilever’s production process more efficient and cost-effective. Moreover, decreasing cost of technology diffusion in developed nations should also be considered as a business growth opportunity for Unilever. But it should be noted that the higher demand for research and development (R&D) and the resulting investment should be considered a threat to Unilever’s profitability in the long run.

Environmental Factors

The steady carbon neutrality policies of Unilever have helped the Company to establish itself as an environment-friendly business entity. Moreover, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of Unilever have also earned the Company global fame and reputation of being a environmentally and socially responsible business entity. Besides, thorough investment in business environmentalism has also enhanced the global market reputation of Unilever.

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