Fitting the Market, Unilever Customizes for India

Unilever saw an opportunity among low-income consumers in India who wanted to buy the company’s high-end detergents and personal care products, but could not afford them. The company responded by developing low-cost packaging and other options that allowed it to offer dramatically less expensive options. This flexibility not only opened a new market for the company, but also allowed it to develop brand loyalty that consumers could take with them when their income increased and they could afford higher-end products from the same manufacturer.

Regional norms have an impact on products such as detergent, too. For example, while in the U.S. people are accustomed to using both hot and cold water for laundry, some regions use only cold water and require detergents that will get clothing clean in those conditions.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.

Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 162.

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Answer to Jeopardy Question from August 26

Name this small, important island adjacent to the mainland of China. It has an area of 23 square miles and it one of the most densely populated places on earth with 247,500 people per square mile.

The answer is: Hong Kong. For comparison purposes, here are the population densities per square mile of some other cities around the world. Lagos, Nigera –142, 821; Dhaka, Bangladesh– 138,108; Jakarta, Indonesia — 130,026; Mumbai, India –127, 461; Seoul, South Korea — 49,101; Sao Paulo, Brazil — 41, 466; Mexico City, Mexico–40,037; and New York City, United States — 11, 480.