Project Branding

Project Branding


Dove before and after Masterbrand

Brand Resonance Pyramid [7]

“since its launch, in 1957, Dove has been promoted as a beauty bar, not a soap. Enhancing beauty has always been central to its value proposition. Therefore, it makes sense that Dove focuses on social needs tied to perceptions of beauty”[1].

Pre Master brand

At the base of the pyramid, Dove began as a soap brand. It saw itself as a beauty bar with ‘quarter cleansing cream’ in it.

Studies showing that the Dove soap didn’t dry the skin like other soaps set it apart from the others. Its performance was clearly obvious. This is the second level of the pyramid “David Ogilvy’s proposition for Dove soap has become legend. It was an idea conveyed by the simple image of velvety cream being poured gently into a bar of soap”. This image was used in all types of advertising, from TV to print and billboards, and became an indelible branding signal. In fact, this signal like other memorable signals, became the foundation for Dove’s unsurpassed success as a brand [5].

Dove Soap is not shaped like other bars, but that the viewer’s hands were taken into   consideration when it was designed. “You see that the shape of this new bath and toilet bar is different … curved so it doesn’t slip from your grasp .. Dove is modern! Curved to fit your hand.” [6] The advertising aspired to project honest and authenticity, preferring to have natural looking women testifying to Dove’s benefits rather than stylized fashion models [8]. The feelings portrayed by the real people gave the authenticity and honesty identity to the brand too. This is the third level of the Pyramid.

With the successful Dove beauty bar, the customers had a better self esteem. The brand wanted more women to feel beautiful. This resonated with how the customers felt abou themselves with Dove or is it Love ad in India. This is the top level of the Pyramid.

Dove was tapped to become a Masterbrand in February 2000 [8]. Dove unveiled its “The Campaign for Real Beauty”.

“Dove’s much-lauded “Campaign for Real Beauty” offers a vivid example of how companies can use conflict to their advantage. The campaign brought “real women” together worldwide to stand up against industry-imposed beauty ideals. Older women, large women, skinny women, and less-than-pretty women united in camaraderie against a common foe. Dove identified a latent “out” group and claimed it for its brand” [2].

Dove has upended the norms of beauty and started to be seen as a beauty brand. This is the base of the Pyramid.

No longer could Dove communicate mere functional superiority, because functionality meant different things in different categories [8]. With this maneuvering, Dove came to be not just a soap but many other things. When Dove launched in India in the 1990s, one of its ads said, ‘Dove is not a soap’. Could we add, it’s also a shampoo, a conditioner, a deo and something else [3]. This is the second level of the pyramid.

In India where Dove costed twice other brand soaps, customers got a good value by using it only for face as it didn’t last as long as the others, because of the moisturiser in it [3]. The ads in India tapped upper middle-class women. Being able to afford the soap even if for face only, gave a sense of upper mobility to the women using the soap. Not all product extensions were successful. The rules were different based on the country, if it was developed or not. The Dove body wash better suited for houses with running water, didn’t take off well [4].

Dove has started to come off as a nurturing brand which was able to move into Dove Men+Care and Baby Dove in April 2017. This new alignment with personal care of the whole family is a powerful one. With the Sketches and online user generated content of women taking hair baths in malls and putting up pictures of their beautiful hair after has made the brand seem miraculous. This is the third level of the pyramid.

Dove’s market increase from 2.3m to 4m brand shows that customers love their products. This is the top level of the Pyramid. Everyone continues to feel beautiful using Dove and all the new products.

Before the master brand, customers identified the Dove brand and associated it with a beauty bar and smooth skin. After the master brand, it represented a host of other personal care items for a wider audience, men, women and kids.

Dove met the customer’s functional needs of cleanliness and aesthetic superiority through visible performance, while also meeting the customers social and psychological needs of being seen as a class that could afford beauty and make purchases beyond utility.


Deepening the engagement with Dove’s product, customers were not only willing to try the products but also appear infront of camera with their testimonials and happy ending stories. They went in droves and interacted on the website as well as upload their pictures of how they use the products.


Only when the customer has been successfully steered from identity to meaning to response to relationship, Keller believes, can brand response be converted into the intense and active loyalty that creates significant brand value [7].  Dove has successfully made this journey with the customers and has made itself a stalwart of consumer history.


Considering Johnson & Johnson lawsuits regarding talc and cancer, Unilever has maintained that it would not use carcinogenic ingredients in its products. Brand ethics are important in the long run.



  5. Adamson Allen, BrandSimple: How the Best brands keep it simple and succeed.
  6. Kugel Frederik, Kugel 1957, Telivision Magazine – Volume 14, Issues 7-12 page 117
  7. Brands and Brand Equity, HBR article.
  8. Dove: Evolution of a Brand, Case study.

Nexus of Forces

“In the Nexus of Forces, information is the context for delivering enhanced social and mobile experiences,” said Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner. “Mobile devices are a platform for effective social networking and new ways of work. Social links people to their work and each other in new and unexpected ways. Cloud enables delivery of information and functionality to users and systems. These forces of the Nexus are intertwined to create a user-driven ecosystem of modern computing.” [4]

With the above Chris Howard emphasizes how each of the forces affects the others in                  driving a new technology platform.

Which semiconductor company is winning the B2B social media marketing battle? This    would seem a nonsensical question few years ago. This is a publitek report showing how times have changed. But now we know that ‘every company is a media company.. or soon will be” [8]. Atmel, a semiconductor company is referred to as ‘a media company, selling semiconductors’ in the Marketing video, which is now a Stanford case study.


As new channels are adopted by the consumers, companies too should get proactive and meet the client where they are. Depending on the customer segment, the channels can be different. Some of that is already done by the claws and consolidation of social bigs like Facebook when they acquired tbh (to be honest).

Social media makes customization easy by analyzing the value that consumers attach to existing or proposed components of current or hypothetical “virtual” products [1]. Starbucks allows you to make a virtual Frappucino on a social site where they can understand the popular choices before investing in them [1]. Adagio teas rewards customers creations liked by other customers, with points which can then be redeemed. This activity is on Facebook which makes social sharing easy. In ‘Creating Customer Value’ article, we learn that customers are willing to create content for ‘social capital’.

“Trending now” and “you might also like” suggestions from recommendation engine leverage the collective behavior. You might also like feeds the like of a customer in one segment to the rest of them. This is a customer-centric approach where we make the customers aware of solutions appropriate to their context and situation.

For a B2B company like Atmel, engaging the hacker and maker community globally on social media was a big part of their marketing makeover.

“Customers are no longer at the mercy of what a brand is telling them” [Johnson]. With social media, prospective customers find out about the product from other users.

Since social media is accessible to all, marketing must put in more effort to be Authentic, Relevant and Transparent to engage customers. In ‘Branding in the Social Media’ article, Douglas Holt provides some examples like Coca Cola’s Digital Magazine that did not take off. He also shows how it is a different ball game than the traditional branding. Johnson points out in his book that customers reward marketing campaigns that are closely linked to developments in the world around them. It is not always that a  company gets to change the norms of the world like how Dove’s Real beauty Campaign rewrote the beauty norms but you still have to be in the social media game and play the traffic.


93% of B2B purchases start with an internet search [6]. This shows how important it is to be available to the customers on the internet changing from one directional communication to online conversation [6]. Content marketing, SEO and other web analytics are even more important now. Since the information is widely available, it is important to have a consistent brand image and relationship across all channels. Mello Yello of coke has this consistency in messages across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other media. Atmel calls this integrated multichannel approach.

Atmel realized that now brand management is done in collaboration with customers when Sander Arts says, “It is the age of the customer. Customers engage differently; we don’t own out brand anymore”.

For a tech company like Atmel, customer conversion can be tracked through datasheet, application note and other document downloads.

Texas instruments had an article ’25 functions for 25c’ along with a link for an ebook. Usually ebooks are available on a company’s website but by making that link available earlier in the funnel, the company is doing a good information management by ensuring that the consumer does not have to go through exploration of competitors and evaluates the value of their products right away. Tech companies are stacking up their digital assets with ‘how to’ videos and information on how the new products add value by simplifying an application.

Unification of customer information across purchasing, communication and social media channels can break down silos to afford marketer a 20/20 vision of the business [Johnson]. Johnson also talks about web personalization by marketers which will be even more stickier than content marketing.


All digital assets of a tech or semiconductor company like Atmel (now Microchip) available on the internet, can be pervasively accessed from anywhere on any of the mobile devices. When a company is highly engaged on the social media with its customers, the power of the mobile can be used by being available anywhere.

Mobile computing allows sales engineers to be out in the filed talking to customers [4]. While information makes it such that 70% of the buying process is complete before prospects engage with a live person [6].

Digital Information is also the backbone for analytics that can increase Market Intelligence and Business Intelligence. It can be used for targeted analytics like the ones offered by Vendavo and Pros which can save you more than 2% with their dynamic pricing capabilities with more visibility provided to the salespeople. Data Analytics can help manufacturers manage their supply chains [8], thereby inventory. Johnson too refers to Mckinsey’s The Dawn of Marketing’s Golden Age article, in which an industrial products company used analytics to reset many price points over a wide product portfolio.

With Cloud adoption, businesses can become agile by being able to work from anywhere as well as let other companies take care of maintaining the data center while the business focuses on gleaning the value out of it. Companies can increase efficiency and reduce risk if they can collect and process data quickly enough to impact a campaign as it is still happening [Johnson].

Johnson points out the impact of digital and the needs for companies to quickly turn customer data into actionable insights in his book, the Future of Marketing. According to him, marketing can be made ‘relevant’ by using the insight to target campaigns to individuals. Also these insights can be used for customer retention. It takes more money to acquire a new customer than keep an already converted customer.

With terms like Marketing Technology getting popular, you can see how the dividing line between marketing, communications, IT, data and customer services in blurring as mentioned in Johnson’s book.



  1. How technology can drive the next wave of mass customization, McKinsey on Business Technology.
  3. Gartner Nexus of Forces study
  5. Johnson Nick, The Future of Marketing.
  6. Arts Sander, Is there glamour & ROI in semiconductor marketing?
  7. Which semiconductor company is winning the B2B social media marketing battle?