Arun answered on
Mar 29 2020
ARTICLE REVIEW 1
Summary of the article
The article is about the futile efforts of Unilever Company to introduce deodorant in the market place of china. It started its business operation with Rexona deodorant that was widely available in other international markets and well accepted by the local communities. But in case of china, where the traditional thinking to promote sweating and no so stink smell from sweating by Chinese people caused a big failure of the project Rexona deodorant to become a hit amongst the Chinese customers (Van, Tsu, Pham, & Dresselhaus, 2016). Amidst all positive signals of growing economy and discretionary money as well as rising spending by the customers did not work for the Lever Company. The article also mentions the failure of the tampons that are considered by Chinese women as offensive. Company Weetabix wanted to promote the cereal biscuits but it also failed to allure Chinese customers. The article also mentions the success of Sta
uck and Apple companies due to tangible products they offer in china. But Rexona deodorant failed because it dealt with an invisible problem that actually was not considered as a problem in Chinese society but, it was a thinking of western culture. In the western culture, people often feel shunned when they have sweating issues as it also smells bad. But in china, first the sweating is welcomed due to reducing toxic from body and second Chinese people body odour does not as strong as people from western countries. Some of the scientists attributed this to genetic factor.
Overall, the article reflects that how the ethnocentric approach (Booth, 2014) and low cultural awareness can create havoc to the products launches. The short-sighted management of Unilever company was evident in their advertising practices as well that did not connect with Chinese people thinking. Again, unawareness of cultural beliefs is shown by Unilever Company.
Major issues/ problems/topic focused upon in the article
The article presents issue of low awareness by the management of Unilever Company towards the cultural practices of Chinese people. This is a major issue as it hinders the successful launching of the products. In Japan, where an American company launched big sized cups in hope that they would receive the same success in America, faced the issue of tiny hands of Japanese and their difficulties in holding the big sized cups in their hands. Ultimately the idea of selling big cups was withdrawn. Similarly, there are many instances when the lack of cultural familiarity causes the failure of the product launch. The needs creation and fulfilment requires one basic thing that is gaps in need fulfilment and the products offering that fulfils that gap. But in china, where the deodorant was not a familiar idea and not many Chinese people prefer to use it regularly the problem of selling the deodorant was present in the initiation phase of the project. Still, Unilever hoping to change the beliefs and attitudes of Chinese people took this major risk and even after heavy promotion and advertisement of products by cele
ities, succumbed to failure of the product. This entails one thing that cultural factors and attitudes and beliefs of the customers are important consideration to consider by any international company going overseas. Also, it says that these cultural practises, beliefs and attitudes are much hardwired amongst the people to change. This reflects that any international organization first must consider the culture of the local community, its beliefs and attitudes to shape the products offerings.
Reasons for choosing this article
The article shows failure of big company’s initiatives that have wide resources available for their disposal. They are big
ands and they enter into the market with thorough analysis but, the failure of big company such as Unilever suggests that cultural factors are not easy to fathom out. The second reason to choose this article is its focus towards practicing the geocentric approach in place of ethnocentric approach that limits the strategic thinking impact.
The future impact of the article is to understand the common mistakes big companies commit and how to avoid them. The cultural factors and social thinking is a very crucial aspect for product launching. Also, the article promotes the idea to use geocentric and polycentric approach (Goldthau, 2014) to customise the products offerings. The guideline offered by article for future success of product is a very important fact to be listened by the companies. Therefore, article solves a dilemma of doing too much experimentation with the product offerings in new market and suggests that local priorities must be considered for making a product or service.
“China consumer deodorant,” (2018) Retrieved from
Booth, K. (2014). Strategy and Ethnocentrism (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.
Goldthau, A. (2014). Rethinking the governance of energy infrastructure: Scale, decentralization and polycentrism. Energy Research & Social Science, 1, 134-140.
Van Den Akker, D. A. J., Tsu, J. M., Pham, L. A. V., & Dresselhaus, L. (2016). Crossvergence of Marketing Practices between Vietnam and North-Western Europe: Empirical study on consumer behaviour on
anded fast moving consumer goods.