Nivea , the skin care products company, is part of the German Dusseldorf conglomerate. As of 2009, Nivea’s skin care product line is marketed in more than 150 countries. The product line has been around for about 10 decades, originating with a scientific breakthrough of the first skin cream that did not separate into water and oil. That, coupled with intelligent marketing based on marketing research, has led to a strong positive brand image, which accounts for much of Nivea’s success.
Nivea, founded in 1911, began marketing in the 1920s when it changed its logo and began selling its product around the world. Early on, Nivea”established its brand identity as a pure and gentle product that families could rely on. Early advertisements featured the Nivea Girl. In 1924, it broke from tradition and began advertising with the Nivea Boy. This helped Nivea convey the message that Nivea skin cream was for the entire family. Its brand image has transcended the decades with the help of a foundation built upon advertising that stresses family relationships and values
In the 1970s, Nivea had to defend itself against true competition for the first time. It relied heavily on marketing research, which helped it to formulate a two-pronged response: (1) defense of its core business through a new advertising campaign-Creme de la Creme and (2) the introduction of new products, which helped keep the brand fresh and introduced new sources of sales
In the 1980s, marketing research indicated that brand was becoming increasingly important. In response, Nivea began branding with sub-brands. These sub-brands included skin care, bath products, sun protection, baby care, facial care, hair care, and care for men. It used an umbrella strategy with the sub-brands, meaning that it used its core brand to encompass all of the sub-brands. The goal was to establish individual images that were distinct but consistent with Nivea’s core image. Nivea focused on strengthening the brand name and linking the new sub-brands with the core brand’s traditional values. The result was an explosion in sales
Nivea was able to continue its success into the 199Os, and sales grew rapidly throughout the decade: The growth was due in large part to the introduction of new products, each based on extensive marketing research. The most successful products were its anti wrinkle cream and an entire line of cosmetics.
Nivea entered the new millennium as the number one skin care and cosmetics company in the world. However, Nivea, a nearly 100-year-old brand, found itself in need of a makeover to evolve its strongly entrenched-brand image of being a mild, reliable family product. The company had to revamp its product portfolio and marketing and branding strategy in order to address the changing needs and aspirations of its consumers and to appeal to a younger,
more modern audience. This initiative placed a great emphasis on marketing research to transform the Nivea brand into a new, youthful identity.
However, Nivea, did not want to restrict itself to an exclusively young audience, but sought to extend the Nivea legacy and the Nivea line of products to more mature women. The launch of Nivea Vital, a line of products for mature women, was not without its share of challenges. Older women had not been given due attention by most beauty products companies, and hence there was a lack of understanding of awareness about how older women feel about beauty and aging. The company relied on marketing research to fill this gap. An unprecedented ad campaign featuring a mature woman was planned. Nivea was fearful that showing an older woman in an ad campaign could negatively impact the brand, making it appear old aiid less
modern, thereby losing the support of its younger consumers. Marketing research was used to carefully test the choice of the model for the ad, and her beauty and selfconfidence helped Nivea prevent this harmful side effect to its brand image. The model, a 5O-yean old woman, turned out to be the perfect model for the brand, and the campaign had the opposite effect of what was feared. Consumers felt that Nivea, by daring to show a mature and beautiful model, was truly a modem brand
The company still faces many challenges. Its greatest challenge is in the U.S. market, where the brand is not as strong as it is in other parts of the world. The U.S. market poses many obstacles because it is the largest and most dynamic market in the world. Nivea hopes to overcome these obstacles through the use of extensive marketing research. This research will lead Nivea to launch more products and to develop focused marketing strategies. Nivea seeks consistency in its marketing, which can be problematic when trying to communicate the same message across various cultures and countries. However, Nivea will d~ whatever it takes to maintain this consistency, because it believes it gives it an edge over competitors. It helps consumers relate all its products to its core brand and identity. Nivea will continue to rely on marketing research to retain and refine the consitency in its marketing across global markets