Beauty Marks: Five Wrinkles to Steal From Dove

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Customer Experience
Customer Experience

As a mass market brand with millions in its coffers, Dove has advantages that not all companies share. But we've identified five strategies from the Campaign for Real Beauty that any company from any industry can adopt:

Innovate marketing: The imaging and irreverence of Dove's media and marketing message had never been tried on a mass market level or brand image perspective in that category. Dove's ability and willingness to do something different attracted new customers and created buzz.

Find the passion: The Campaign for Real Beauty went way beyond identifying customer needs and values. It identified passion and even anger. By tapping into the pent-up frustration with the beauty business it plays in, Dove was able to find the relevant customer agenda and expand on it.

Differentiate global messaging: Dove's media executions and messaging treat different countries and customers differently. For example, a Campaign for Real Beauty billboard in the U.K. featuring Irene, a 96-year-old woman, asked "Wizened or Wonderful?" while the U.S. version in Times Square asked "Wrinkled or Wonderful?" Likewise, a U.K. billboard featuring Dove real woman Tabatha asked "Fat or Fit?" while the U.S. version asked "Overweight or Outstanding?"

Take it to the local level: Dove marketing executives have insisted that global positioning is important and that "without a crystal-clear statement, you cannot control what happens when people amplify it." Dove's Stamford, CT-based marketing office has participated in self-esteem workshops for young girls and has worked with local Girls and Boys Clubs to help their camp participants with creative exercises that foster confidence.

Be a citizen: As customer consciousness about the beauty industry expanded, so did Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was added in 2004. The outreach to moms and their daughters was added in 2006. The "Evolution" YouTube campaign was added in October.

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EXPERT OPINION