Unilever looks to creative commerce


The majority of Unilever’s growth is coming from the long-lasting effects of brand building, and the FMCG giant’s chief digital and commercial officer is keen to rethink how its brands use what have been seen up to now as performance media.

Why it matters

By its very nature, the short-term impact of performance marketing is more easily measurable than the slow burn of brand building. But it’s increasingly evident that it’s never been a binary divide and that each of these bleed into the other: performance marketing has an effect on brand building and vice versa.

Three things Unilever is investing in

  • Retail media. “Who said that by investing in retail media, you can only invest in converting to sales?” chief digital and commercial officer Conny Braams asked an audience at the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity. “Why don’t we pick up the challenge and say, no, we need to treat it more strategically and whilst we convert to sales, build brands as well?” 
  • Ad-supported streaming. “Of course, this is a brilliant opportunity to be related as a brand with premium content, but we can also create our own branded content.” (eg SheaMoisture and The Next Black Millionaires on Roku.)
  • Influencers/creator marketing. Influencers and creators help convert to sales, but they also “make sure that our brands stand out in culture … and that they transmit trust, because in an era where trust is becoming scarce, trust is really critical. Influencers have built relationships with people, and people are listening.” 

Key quote 

“The biggest opportunity in the fast moving consumer goods industry is what we call the creative commerce revolution. If we apply creativity throughout the end-to-end consumer journey we know we can bridge the gap between performance and brand and we will have found a way to be first in mind, first to find and first to cart” – Conny Braams, Chief Digital & Commercial Officer at Unilever.



This article first appeared in warc.com

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