By Sophie Preece, Business Management Degree student
We had the privilege of spending the morning at Unilever; hearing from various senior managers about Unilever’s many brands and their approach to the environment, society and their marketing strategies. Unilever has over 450 brands and operates in 85 different countries.
We learnt that by 2020 they hope to have halved their environmental impact, source 100% of their raw materials sustainably and help 1 billion people improve their health and wellbeing. We also looked at Unilever’s Crafting Brands for Life strategy which has three main values: put people first, build brand love and unlock the magic.
The day ended with a talk from Paul Polman, Unilever's CEO as well as a challenge led by Jeremy Bassett (The Unilever Foundry Director) with each team coming up with ideas and pitching them back. The challenge was simple; how can we reduce waste coming out of the bathroom? We had 15 mins to come up with an idea covering:
- why is there a need for our product?
- what it is and how does it work?
With only 1 minute to pitch our idea, this was indeed a challenge. We came up with a product called "U Refresh". We aimed to take Unilever's values of: Put people first, build brand love and unlocking the magic with the idea of having refillable product dispensers in the bath or shower and consumers can buy the brands they love and keep them topped up using just one bottle.
Once finished, the consumer can get the bottle re-filled at the place of purchase (supermarket, Boots etc.) and gain loyalty points and discounts on their future purchases. This way, it reduces the amount of plastic waste from finished bottles and can help to incentivise the consumer to continue this process.
It was a very interesting and useful day. It made me more aware of the impact we are having on our environment and how we all individually need to take responsibility over how we approach our use of packaging, resources etc.
We were shown multiple campaign videos and it helped to visualise how Unilever impacts our everyday lives and the importance of being socially responsible. It was a great opportunity to network and speak to current graduates and apprentices to understand better what it is like to work for Unilever. A very enjoyable day which I would definitely recommend students attending!