Unilever’s Omo brand detergent, Brazil’s market share leader in the category, has taken consumer tracking to an entirely new level. Fifty boxes of Omo have been fitted with a GPS device to allow the company to follow their customers home.
This segment of the fast moving consumer goods market is dominated by multinational companies like Unilever, Procter and Gamble and PZ Cussons although there is competition from other local manufacturers. This dominance is due to the large amount of capital assigned to marketing by the multinationals, which most local manufacturers ignore either due to lack of capital or ignorance. The key Unilever brands in this segment are "Omo" and "Key". Omo comes in a powder form while Key is a green bar soap. The Omo detergent comes in various pack sizes while the bar soap come in two sizes. These products are mainly produced for hand washing although Omo may be used for machine wash.
File this promotion under “wacky,” and maybe even “creepy.” But implanting fifty GPS devices in boxes of detergent may pay off for Unilever’s Omo detergent in Brazil.
Omo detergent powder is in its mature phase at the moment. It was introduced over 40 years ago and its early stage was marked with great acceptance as the market had very few players predominantly Elephant detergent. This established the brand and led to a very rapid growth phase through the 80s and early 90s. By the late 90s, the product entered its mature phase. Its market share has since been fairly constant with slight increases or decreases yearly depending on marketing activities. This is evidenced by the gradual fall in market share (from 17.4percent in 2008 to 16.3percent in 2009) as seen in Table 1. Unilever Nigeria constantly undertakes several activities to extend the life of the product. These include repackaging, resizing of packs, introduction of improved formulas and constant advertising.