P&G and Unilever defend strategy of marketing corporate name in addition to brands

unileverP&G logoMarketing the name of a parent company, in addition to those of its public-facing brands, helps build trust with consumers and creates loyalty across its product portfolio, two of the world’s largest FMCG firms have claimed.

Unilever and Procter & Gamble defended the strategy of promoting their corporate identity after recent criticism from Network Ten’s executive general manager Russel Howcroft, who told a panel discussion that companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble should let their brands do the talking and keep the corporate name in the background.

“I don’t buy a Unilever and yet these days they do like to brand their advertising,” Howcroft said. “It’s like the parent wants to own the child and yet I am buying the children, not the parent.”

“There is this desire as a parent to claim ownership over your successful children, and as we all know, it’s much better if you’re a great parent to stay in the background and let your kids fly with their own brand and their own voice.”

P&G Asia communications director Damon Jones said while the “overwhelming” communication is focused on its brands, marketing the P&G name does deliver benefits for the company.

“We believe that helping consumers understand the company behind the brand, and links to other brands from the company, can provide important benefits such as awareness, favourability and trust,” he said. “So as part of our overall communications mix, we do proactively reinforce the association of our individual brands with P&G to drive scale when and where this is consumer relevant.”

He said P&G’s sponsorship of Olympic Games presented an opportunity to demonstrate the value of its various brands through a campaign to highlight the role of mother’s around the world.

“P&G’s world-wide sponsorship of the Olympic Games is designed to celebrate and acknowledge her role, which is a relevant insight across many of our products,” Jones said.

Unilever told Mumbrella that making it easier to identify the company’s brands “is good for consumers and for our business”.

Our research suggests consumers increasingly want to understand who is behind the brands they buy, how they are sourced and how they are made,” a spokesperson said. “We know that standing visibly behind our brands increases consumer trust and as a result people who buy one Unilever brand are more likely to buy others across the portfolio.”

Steve Jones


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