NEWS10 August 2009

Keeping up with consumers is crucial, says Unilever boss

Europe Financials

UK— Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman has highlighted the importance of consumer focus for the business as it reveals its latest quarterly financial results.

Polman said that driving “consumer and customer thinking into the heart of the business” was one of three key areas of organisational change being pursued across the company.

A “very deep understanding of consumer needs and behaviours” and an appreciation of the variety of ways consumers in different markets are responding to the recession are prerequisites for success, said Polman.

His comments echoed those of Bob McDonald, chief executive of rival P&G, who also talked up the role of insight and innovation when he presented his firm’s latest results last week.

The firm is working to increase sales volumes through spending more on innovation, advertising and promotions. Polman said: “If you do the right innovations close to the consumer, work well with your customer and spend behind it, you can get results.”

Innovation was cited as one of the reasons behind its strong growth in emerging markets in the period, which drove a 1% increase in revenue, to €10.5bn.

Net profit was down to €758m for the April-June period, down on the same period last year.

1 Comment

10 years ago

We (the MR industry that is) should be making sure that comments like this are given due prominence in the general press - not just in the business pages. Anything which emphasises the importance of consumer insight raises the level of public estimation of market research.Publicity for our industry should be at a high level right now.

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