Unilever Strategy and Strategic Decision-making Process

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The case looks at prescriptive strategy as applied to multi-product group of companies. Unilever is based in over a hundred countries where multiple products are being made in each. However, the market is mature which means that growth is stagnant and innovation is almost non-existent. In order to improve on growth and sales, the strategies that are needed look at how to come up with new products that have high profit margins and penetrate new markets. The prescriptive approach was used to come with a strategy to improve growth and profit. In order to improve on innovation, both the prescriptive and emergent strategies can be used since both support innovation. From the case study, not much profit was made when the ‘Path to Growth’ strategy was first implemented (2001-2004). The strategy was initially based on cost cutting. There was a need to also build volumes through existing portfolio of branded products through innovation and marketing. By focusing on increasing sales in developing countries where growth prospects were high and increasing investment in personal care products where profit margins were higher, it was possible to improve the profit portfolio. 2 In what way is the Unilever strategic planning process prescriptive? How, if at all, does it help innovation? There are different types of strategic planning that are currently in use, since this is a widely debated area of management. However, it is concluded that there are two main schools of thought, the prescriptive approach or the emergent approach (Lynch, 2012). As defined by Lynch, (2012) prescriptive strategic planning is the term given to a strategy whereby the objective of the strategy is defined in advance and the main elements are designed and develop... ... middle of paper ... ...gic_analysis_tools_nov07.pdf.pdf/ accessed: 15 Jan 2014 Recklies, D (2001) ‘The value chain’, Recklies Management Project GmbH, http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/fisheries/docs/ValueChain.pdf accessed 12 Jan 2014 Riley, J (2012) Boston Matrix and Product Portfolios http://tutor2u.net/business/strategy/bcg_box.htm accessed: 5 Jan 2014 Saha, A (2011) Mapping of Porter’s value chain activities into business functional units, http://www.managementexchange.com/hack/mapping-porter%E2%80%99s-value-chain-activities-business-functional-units accessed: 18 Jan 2014 Tanner, J.F. & Raymond, M. A. Principles of Marketing http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/5229?e=fwk-133234-ch02_s05 accessed: 15 Jan 2014 http://www.brs-inc.com/models/model18.asp accessed: 10 Jan 2014 http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/matureindustry.asp accessed: 10 Jan 2014

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