In our second post featuring London-based CPG conglomerate Unilever, we address some of the implications of their worldwide ice cream brand portfolio. Brands in the portfolio have one thing in common: the Heart logo but over 20 different names accompany such logo worldwide.
As part of their corporate strategy Unilever has acquired local players and brands within multiple segments, the ice cream segment is no exception. Such growth strategy represents a challenge for Marketing professionals. Prior to 1998 the heartbrand did not existed; different companies across the world used their own logos and names. In 1998 Unilever introduced the Heart shaped logo that replaced most of previous designs in several countries, but local names were carried on. This is not the traditional Multi-branded strategy that consists of having two or more similar and competing products by the same company under different brands.
One of the main advantages that a single logo strategy has is graphical consistency; this facilitates customers to associate a logo to a product category (ice cream) and to a brand. I personally experienced this, while the brand is called Holanda in Mexico during a trip to Spain I was craving for Ice cream, via the logo I was able to immediately recognize the brand Frigo.
Along the same lines maintaining a name that customers are already familiarized with represents less of an impact when companies try to standardize logos across the world; this can translate into maintaining brand loyalty. Another implication of implementing a multi name strategy is ease of pronunciation; the majority of times there is no one size fits all solution to such challenge. A single name across the world might represent a challenge for customers; in some markets it might harder to pronounce and as a consequence remember a standardized brand name.