Streamlining deodorants

When a company grows internationally and launches its brands in other countries or buys up brands to complement its range, it then has to work out – retrospectively – which brands to keep, combine or kill. Unilever faced this issue with its deodorant brand Sure – or Rexona to you if you’re outside the UK.

In the UK, Sure has a highly distinctive brand symbol (or mnemonic) used for years with powerful effect in its advertising: the Sure tick. Below it is pictured in a pack that will be familiar to most Brits, next to a pack that will not.

Rexona Germany and some other countries

The pack above on the right is the brand’s sister in Germany around the year 2000. Then an international decision was obviously made to merge the brands. So now the German and international sister looks like the pack on the right.

Notice until now I’ve not mentioned the “name”, only the brand.

Clearly we’re dealing with the same brand. But when will Unilever really merge them and use the same name? It’s the sort of move P&G would make. And if and when the deodorants merge, will they become Sure or Rexona? And will there be an international pack plastered with different languages (like P&G does with Pringles)?

Let’s wait and see. I’ll keep you posted.

(See also some of the problems the Mars Corporation faces.)

Alex Woodruff

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