The Washing Powder Wars: Ariel vs Omo
Dr Amanda Bowen and Yvonne Saini
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Wits Business School - University of the Witwatersrand
Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behaviour
On 12 November 2014, Omo, Unilever South Africa’s premium washing powder brand, was facing the biggest challenge yet to its 50-year dominance of the South African washing powder market. Proctor and Gamble (P&G) had launched Ariel in May of the previous year, and a recent survey had shown that the brand had already gained loyalty among 10% of South African consumers. As Themba Ndlovu, Unilever’s newly appointed marketing manager, prepared for an Omo marketing strategy meeting the next day, he wondered what the company could do to ensure that Omo not only defended its market share, but grew it in the face of stiff competition.