Unit 13 Marketing Strategy of Detergent Assignment

Unit 13 Marketing Strategy of Detergent Assignment

Unit 13 Marketing Strategy of Detergent Assignment


Diploma in Business

Unit Number and Title

Unit 13 Marketing Strategy

QFC Level

Level 5

Part 1


Surf is a well known detergent brand in UK and in many other countries like India, Australia, Ireland, South Africa and many more. It is one of the top selling brands and owned by Unilever. The assignment is about the marketing strategy of Surf and Surf uses various sub brands by segmenting the marketing and providing products matching to the unique needs of the customers.  The company often sell the products of surf with different names in different countries. This assignment includes the situational analysis of Surf where its internal and external environment will be analysed and then the STP analysis will be done to focus on making the marketing strategies of Surf for achieving its objectives.


Situational Analysis

Conducting an audit is very important for any brand to shape a proper marketing strategy. These marketing audits whether external or internal helps the company to analyse the demands of the products, performance in the market and then helps in making the final decisions which shapes the future of the company.  Marketing audit can be referred as to the structured analysis of the external or internal data of the company which gives information about the competition in the market, main competitors, performance of the company, policies of the company and much more. An audit is necessary for the companies for making strategies. It shows how an organisation gets successful and how it fails. Marketing audit can be considered as the strong foundation of future success of the marketing strategies and decisions .

Internal environment Audit

The internal environment of business is often referred to as the Micro environment which are the internal factors which affect the decision making of the organisation like suppliers, customers, competitors, distribution channels, etc. .

Micro enviroment

The Micro Environment

The micro environment consists of the analysis of market, size of the market, market research, marketing mix or strategies used in the market. Internal environment audit is identifying and using the characteristics or resources of the organisation to achieve the set objectives of the company. This analysis can be done by using a tool named as SWOT analysis which helps in recognizing the Strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and threats of the brand. Here, given below is the SWOT analysis of Surf which analyse the whole internal environment of the company (Babatunde & Adebisi, 2012)

SWOT analysis


  • Surf is a well known detergent brand all over the world. Known by different names in different countries, this brand has been successful in establishing its name worldwide.
  • The company claims that Surf is high above the other laundry and detergent brands in UK in terms of Fragrances. It provides wonderful smells and it excites the customers who are fond of smells.
  • Surf provides a good range of products which are designed and made tailoring to the various types of demands of the customers. It provides overall satisfaction to the customers and provides value for money products.
  • Surf has an excellent distribution channels which helps in good distribution of the products of the brand.
  • The company is successful in bringing new campaigns for advertisement and for promotion of its brand (Surf, 2016).


  • The awareness about the brand is not high in rural markets which affect the business of the brand.
  • The prices of Surf are slightly higher than the price at which the competitors are providing the products which is because of high quality according to the company but the analysts says that it is because of high advertisement costs of the company which is ultimately charged by the consumers (Bainbridge, 2016).

Competitors in the detergent market

  • There is a big opportunity for surf to penetrate its business into the rural markets as well.
  • The brand can do market management to match the products with the requirements and needs of the customers so that the customers can become satisfied and become loyal to the brand.
  • As the trend of internet and online business is increasing, Surf can also start selling its products online through its websites or with the collaboration of other shopping websites.
  • The company can also focus on the emerging markets. For this it can also sponsor various events to spread awareness among the customer (Banting & Randolph, 2010)


  • Growing no. of competitors in the industry is a big threat for the company and its products. For e.g. Procter & Gamble and private brands like Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and other supermarkets.
  • The other competitor brands have almost same product line and products which does not make surf as a unique product for the consumers.
  • Most of the products of Surf are aimed at a premium level of customers which does not provide any choice for the lower level of customers and it affects the sales of the brand.
  • The profit margins in the detergent products are low which provides a very low amount of profit for the company (Bainbridge, 2016).

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External environmental Analysis: Internal environmental audit has been done through SWOT analysis and now the external environment audit will be completed through PESTLE analysis where the political, Social, economic, Technological, Legal and environmental factors which affect the business of Surf will be discussed.

PESTLE analysis: Political factors- The political factors are related to the frameworks of government which are important to be followed in the country where the business operates. For e.g. Imposition of the tax on raw materials which is to be paid on the products of Surf. Also, the political unrest affects the business of the company and the distribution and selling of products. The political unrest in other countries also affects the export and import of finished goods and raw materials. The emergence of globalisation also affect the business even if any instability is going on overseas like in 2012 there was a huge hike in the prices of oil which impacted the overall costs of the production of the products (Kotler P. , 2013).

Economic Factors-These factors are related to rise or fall in household consumption, rate of unemployment, rate of wages, etc which brings changes in the demand of the consumer and in turn it will also affect the manufacturer Surf as the demand of some of the products from its portfolio will be impacted due to the change in demands. The detergent brand Surf may have higher opportunities in the economies which are at boom like China.

Social factors: Social factors are related to lifestyle, choice, age or income of the consumers. In UK, the population of the country increased which resulted in the increasing demand of the products of surf. The people in UK have an impact of the products of Surf as a very hygienic, valuable and well established brand and they are ready to purchase the same whether the prices are high or low (Kotler & Keller, 2014).         


Technological factors: Nowadays, Internet is growing widely and people are using internet for almost everything. There are many retailing websites which emerged as a new form of retailing and a medium through which consumers can purchase consumer goods. On the social media platforms, the reviews of any product are shared by the customers who form the basis of sales volume of future for the product. Surf can use social media platforms for its promotion by running competitions, surveys and many contests which helps in making aware the customers about the products and its features. Excellent connectivity makes improved sales for the products of the brand and in this digital age bigger brands like Surf should make efficient use of internet

Legal factors:Surf has to follow the laws and regulations of UK to operate successfully and smoothly over there. The marketing strategies of the brand should be formed and followed keeping in view the laws and regulations (Kotler & Keller, 2014).

Environmental factors:  Surf is one of the leading brands of detergent in UK and it also takes care of environment. Surf also has a competitive advantage in the market as it makes its products effective by creating them in a way which reduces the harmful impacts of it on the environment. It is done through developing technology which needs les water and packaging is made eco friendly.  Surf makes its products keeping in view the needs of the environment. Unilever as the parent brand is working on man projects like Sustainable Living Plan in which the water is saved during the process of washing clothes and people and their life is improved.  These are the features of the brand which makes it successful in the market and helps in saving the environment (Kotler & Keller, 2014)

Competitive advantage : There are many brands performing in the detergent markets of UK but few are dominating which includes Unilever UK and Procter & Gamble which together constitutes most of the market share. Unilever runs brands like Surf, Persil, etc and Procter & Gamble have brands like Ariel, Daz and Bold. The other brands include private labels of Tesco, Asda and other super markets (Bainbridge, 2016). The laundry and detergent segment is a part of the grocery retailing and it includes various detergent products like powders, liquids, softeners, bleaches, etc. The main players of the market of UK are been already discussed which shows that the main players are Unilever and Procter & Gamble which functions in the market with various brands. The main brand which is the focus of this project is Surf, which is the brand of Unilever UK and is also active in many other countries. Surf is worth £1.2 billion market share in the detergent market of UK (Bainbridge, 2016). Surf is launched by the company to provide delights to the customer while using it.

The main USP of Surf is that it provides unique floral and fruity fragrances which make laundry cleaning a pleasant experience. Surf hires the experts which work on its qualities and on how to make it a better product than its competitors. It is made by using the essential oils and natural extracts which makes it a product with good cleaning power and beautiful smells and is delivered to the customers at affordable prices which provides a competitive edge to it (Surf, 2016).

Surf liquid

Surf is among the top brands of Unilever in UK while Procter & Gamble is fighting for maximum share in the market. Surf in UK claims that the customer does not have to spend too much money to buy great products. The market performance of Surf is excellent in the markets of UK. The brand makes itself effective in the market by advertising and promotion campaigns like one of its advertisement tagline says “Surf gives you the Worlds’ Cleanest wash”, “Dirt is good”. With the change in the habits of the consumers, the brands have to reposition themselves which meets the new and constant changing demands of the customers. Surf has been successful in meeting the needs of the customers and captures a handsome share in the laundry detergent markets of UK (Churchill & Brown, 2009).

Evaluation of Current marketing Strategy: Marketing is necessary for every organisation to support and maintain the interest of the customer in the product and brand. The marketing strategy at present of Surf in UK will be evaluated in terms of its growth, sales trends and profitability.

Growth: Surf started its journey in UK in the year 1954, since then it is growing and now established as a brand which is known for quality and value. It has seen tremendous growth. With the change in time and customer’s demands, it also formed various strategies which maintained the position of surf in the market. It offers a great line of products for each and every customer according to their preferences (Unilever, 2016).

Sales trends: Surf is no doubt a leading brand of detergents in UK and worldwide and there is lot of competition in the sector but in spite of that surf managed to maintain its position in the market. The sales trends of Surf show that it has achieved growth in recent years in sales. The sales of surf grew by 9% in 2011 and then it gained around 32% of market share in 2013 whereas Ariel has 24% of market share. Surf has to continue its focus on its marketing strategies to increase its sales volumes and marketing share (Unilever.com, 2015).

Profitability:Surf earns a good amount of profit worldwide and also in UK. This is because it is among the leading brands, trusted by customers, high volume of sales and its marketing and promotional campaigns which create an image in the minds of the competitors. Surf also gets involved in the corporate social Responsibility activities which increase its customer base ultimately due to good image in the market. Surf is among the 13 brands of Unilever which have €1 billion sales which shows that it is one of the most profit giving brands of Unilever worldwide (Unilever.com, 2015).

Part 2:

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP)

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning is the procedure through which the markets of a brand can be divided into segments to target a market and position a brand in that market for earning better profits and for better business.

Segmentation-The first step is segmentation in which the whole big markets are divided into parts according to the nature of the brand. Different segments are evaluated to make the targets which are to be achieved. Here, the Segmentation of surf will be discussed to know that what marketing strategies should be applied to different markets. The segmentation of Surf in UK can be done as follows:

  • Normally women are the main customers aged 18-65 who are housewives or the maids. The middle class consumers are the customers of Surf in UK. Surf is currently sold in most of the urban areas in UK but the needs of it are in rural areas too. Surf basically produces the products for premium customers who prefer quality more than money.
  • Targeting-  The segmentation of whole UK market has been done and then Surf targets the markets where customers are ready to pay higher prices for the quality. The need of the product is in rural markets too with the urban markets, so rural markets are targeted as they are still untapped and the women are targeted who uses detergent the most.
  • Positioning- Positioning refers to the creation of the image in the minds of people/ customers. Surf advertises its products through creative advertisements with attractive slogans like “Dirt is Good”. Surf should design its advertisements according to the regions and segments which are targeted by the company.  Surf should use technology which is innovative and best in removing the stains from the clothes which can satisfy the customers and they like to repurchase the products.

Recommended Objectives and goals

Surf is already an established brand in the urban areas but it needs to get established in the rural areas to gain more market share and to fight the tough competition in the market. The goal of the brand Surf is to become the no. 1 selling detergent brand worldwide in coming 5 years and t achieve that and to become the most preferred and most sold brand of detergent by  it needs to set certain objectives for the coming year 2017.

  • To do proper market research in the rural areas of UK and to evaluate the results to plan the further marketing strategies for achieving the highest market share in 2017.
  • For developing new products meeting the needs and preferences of the rural population
  • To promote the products developed so that the rural population can be made aware about the new products and their usage and effectiveness (Blythe, 2013).

Recommended marketing strategies, based on the application of the marketing mix to your chosen brand

Marketing mix is a tool to develop marketing strategies for the company or a product. It includes the analysis of 4 P’s i.e. Product, Price, Promotion and Place . Here, the marketing mix of Surf will be discussed to recommend the marketing strategies for the same brand in UK.

Product: Product is the main object which is offered to the customer to meet their requirements and needs. Surf has a big product line which is designed for different purposes like stain removal, fragrance and to maintain the quality of the cloth. The products are available with different features like liquid soap, powder detergent, detergent cakes, capsules, blue surf, surf black, etc. The quality of the product differs and the products are eco friendly with the quality of removing the stains. The products are also available indifferent fragrances like lemon, jasmine, lily, morning dew, etc. The products come in different variants like Golden blossom Powder, tropical Lily, Tropical Lavender & washing powder, Spring jasmine & Ylang Ylang and many more (Surf, 2016).

Surf Powder

Price: Price is against which the product is exchanged from the customers. This is important to be considered to fix the price of the product which is comparable to the competitors in the market. Surf has to keep low prices in order to be competitive and to achieve higher market share because many other brands are providing same quality at lower prices. People need cost effective product which provides value for money they are paying. The prices of the products of Surf include the cost of raw materials, production, packaging, distribution and marketing costs (Borden, 2011).

Place: Place is where the exchange of goods and services takes place between the buyer and seller. The products of Surf are sold to the customers through retail channels. They are sold through local retailer shops, supermarkets and nowadays on online platforms too. For proper distribution of the products, surf needs to have smooth relationships with its suppliers and the distributors. Surf has to take care of the availability of its products in the markets so that it can have higher sales volume. Surf also has warehouses to maintain the availability in each area of operation.

Promotion: Surf adopts many promotional tools for the purpose of promotion of its goods. It is very important to promote the products by surf to aware customers about new products, new features of the products or any offer on the product. Then only, customers will be attracted towards the product and make sales. Surf uses promotional campaigns like emotional advertisements, extra 20% powder or cake, 10% off, free goodies and many more offers to attract customers and to boost its sales in the market where there are lots of competitors (Booms & Bitner, 2012).

Surf Advertisements


  • Surf should create new advertisements keeping in view its new target markets. For that effective themes and taglines must be chosen to make an impact on the potential customers.
  • In rural areas, Surf can also indulge in the CSR activities to get highlighted among the customers and to bring them closer to the brand.
  • Surf can offer different offers to the rural population like free bucket with 5kg pack or coupons and prizes so that people get attracted to buy the product.
  • Surf can distribute free locusassignments.to the rural population at first to make them use the product and know about the quality of the product.
  • It can provide extra commissions to the local retailers to offer the products of surf to the customers which will definitely increase the sales of Surf.

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Surf is a well known brand all over the world. Being a part of Unilever, it offers the products which are innovative, value for money and of high quality. It can be concluded that Surf has to consider the factors which affects its internal and external environment while making the marketing strategies. The segmentation, targeting and Position have been done in order to focus on the marketing strategies which are to be made for surf. The main objective of the company is to capture most of the rural markets till the year 2017 and for this it can make certain strategies and recommendations are given that how it can establish its presence in the rural markets.


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