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Unilever SWOT and PESTLE analysis


Our mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.


Unilever is multinational corporation which formed by Dutch and British companies joint venture. Unilever owns 400 brands worldwide and runs operations in 100 countries. Unilever employed 174,000 worldwide and had revenue 40.5 billion Euros in 2008.

Unilever is dual listed company consisting of Unilever NV in Netherland, and Unilever PLC in UK. But both companies have same directors and effectively operate as a single business.

In the 1890 William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Brothers wrote down his idea for Sunlight Soap, his revolutionary new product that helped popularise cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England.

Company Logo

Company changed its logo in 2004. Which represent the diversity of Unilever, Which contains 25 signs and blue colour.

This shows company identity expresses the vitality at the heart of our brands, our people, and our values. Each icon within our logo represents an aspect of our business, showing that we add vitality in everything we do.


A research method which includes to consider about Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and threats use for to know about company internal and external factors which could be have good or bad impacts on company planning and then organisation can plan its strategy how to tackle with those factors.

In which:

Strength and weakness are internal factors of the organisation.


Opportunities and threats are external factors of the organisation.


Internal attributes of the organisation that are helpful to achieve the objective.





PEST is macro environmental scanning tool which is very helpful to scan environment. But the model has been recently extended furthermore now it calls PESTLE analysis which provides more efficiency towards scan the environment for future strategic planning.

PESTLE stands for Political, Economical, Socioculturel, Technological, Legal, and Environmental, and it is very useful tool for develop new planning.


Political and legal factors have huge impact on the business for develop new strategies. These factors can affect, how company operates, its costs, and the demand for its products. It includes:

The UK government support the fair trading commitment for both the local consumers and foreign producers. (News BBC, 2005)

During the 1960 the political risks of emerging countries began rising. A number of countries nationalised Unilever businesses. Governments restricted the payment of dividends and services fees. As a result of harmful effect of nationalisation policy, in the 1970's many US companies e.g. IBM and Coca Cola left India.

Unilever also disliked them, fearing knowledge leakage, loss of trademarks, and moral hazards issues. However Unilever became a master at delaying tactics, using its extensive contacts and goodwill in many countries to modify regulations, and generally bargain with governments.

During 2008 company had increased of 4.3 % in total waste compared to 2007. This increased from 7.56 kg/tonne to 7.89 kg/tonne has been driven by three factors:

Legislative changes which required different methods of disposal for non-hazardous waste, under capacity in effluent treatment and the planned disposal of accumulated and inherited hazardous waste.


Economic factor has major impact on how business operate and make decisions in the future. This includes:

UK is seventh largest economy in the world and third largest economy in Europe. During the recession time UK is in its worse time. Companies are not doing new investments but doing redundancies that is why consumer markets are shrinking and peoples are losing their purchasing power.

Unilever market is becoming highly competitive especially in Europe. P&G is major competitor in the Europe. And also there are so many discounters in the European market resulting from EU free trade policy. It has very bad impact on Unilever profitability.


Social factors include the cultural aspects and its influences vary region to region. This includes:

As Unilever is one of the largest FMCG Company in the world. Millions of people enjoy the products of the company every day around the globe. It means company have huge impact on the people life style. It is a responsibility that company consider very seriously.


Technology is necessary for the success for competitive advantage and is provide power to globalisation. This includes:

Technology plays a vital role in company history. Right in the 1930's Unilever continue to diversify. Business continue to boom in 1950's with new technology being invented to boast production and improve quality.

Unilever is global leader in research and development, believing that powerful vitality based innovations are crucial to delivering sustainable growth. In 2008 Unilever appointed first chief research and development officer. 6000 plus R&D professional came together in one unified organisation. Company spent 927 million Euros on R&D worldwide. And company also have five laboratories around the world that explore new thinking and techniques to help develop our products.


Growing awareness about climate change is affecting companies very hardly and it can be create new markets or destroy existing markets. It includes:

Now a day's climate change is big issue for companies. People like to buy the products which will not be harmful for environment. And Unilever are working towards it.

Unilever depends on the natural environment for supplies of raw materials and water. Sustainability is a business issue. In 2008 we piloted a way to measure our product categories against four indicators covering water waste, sustainable sourcing and green house gas emission. This data will inform future development and innovation across our categories.

Facts and figures 2008

In 2008 we made further solid progress. We achieved underlying sales growth ahead of our target range and faced with unprecedented input cost pressure, protected profit by early pricing action and saving programmes.


Unilever is multinational and one of the largest FMCG providers to the world. Company runs its operations in 100 countries with 400 brands. Company operates 270 manufacturing sites with 174000 employees and generate 40.5 Billion Euros of revenue during the 2008.

13 international brands have contribution in sales more than 1 Billion Euros. And 25 top brands contribute for more than 70% of sales.

In 2008 Unilever appointed first chief research and development officer. 6000 plus R&D professional came together in one unified organisation. Company spent 927 million Euros on R&D worldwide in 2008.

Unilever has strong competition from local and multinational manufacturers.

Company has huge impact of political and legal system. And Unilever became a master at delaying tactics using its extensive contacts and good will in many countries to modify regulations and generally bargain with Governments.

Millions of people enjoy the products of the company every day and it is responsibility that company consider very seriously.

Technology plays a vital role in company history. In 1930 when company became Unilever, company continue to diversify. Company depends on natural environment for suppliers of raw material and water. Sustainability is a business issue company is taking steps very seriously towards friendly environment.


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