How Brands Alter Their Corporate Identity to Fit the Current Market Environment: A comparison between Dove and Lush

Abazi Xhesika (2022) How Brands Alter Their Corporate Identity to Fit the Current Market Environment: A comparison between Dove and Lush. Faculty of Commerce, Catering and Tourism.

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Human behaviour is unpredictable and how much importance each of us places on sustainable development varies greatly. At the very beginning, when I had only just begun to narrow the field of my research, I believed this paper would show that for a brand such as Dove the altering of CI is mainly to maintain their market rather than as a means of advertising themselves to new customers, whereas for Lush their CI served as boost in their initial market launch. Furthermore, I expected that at Dove the changes made to fit with SDGs were seen by employees as a for-profit business venture, while at Lush the importance would be more emphasised. According to my findings, it is true that Dove has made slight changes decade by decade to match the growing interest in sustainable products, as well as the increasingly stricter regulations imposed by governments in a number of countries. They have made significant progress in the field in the past five years and heave clearly set agendas for 2025 and 2030. Moreover, this coincides with the brand’s worldwide value figures. From 2016 until 2021, the brand saw an incline in the estimated brand worldwide value of 24.1%. The highest rate of growth was seen in 2020, at 10.9%, following the only drop in the chart which occurred in 2019, this being the 7.4% decline. Brand value can be seen as a display of a customer’s confidence and trust in the company and its products. Not only has Dove not seen the same challenges in reaching their customers as most brands in the FMCG sector, but they have actually experienced an increase of confidence. Alas, Unilever’s Dove seems to show a continuously upward trend in brand value in recent years, which means several other factors must culminate in its success. As for Lush, ever since its founding in 1995, they have been at the forefront of the fight against animal – cruelty and have taken leaps into the bettering of their practices in a manner that is beneficial to the environment. They have continuous commitments to reducing the amount of packaging used in their products, as well as their differentiated policy and the standards they hold their operations in.             The company saw an increase in turnover from 2016 to 2017, going up by GBP 266 million. The 2017 to 2021 period saw lower total global turnovers for Lush Cosmetics Limited, falling in total by GBP 214.85 million. The highest actual rate of decline in turnover was marked in 2020, at 17.8%.           We can note that the brand lost its momentum, as previously shown in Chart 2, facing almost as large of a decrease in 2017 – 2021 as they saw an increase in 2016 – 2017. In terms of the quantitative content analysis comparison between the two firms, we saw that Dove had an overall higher frequency of the words used when compared to Lush. For the Unilever Brand, the most common category found across all pages I entered was “Plastic”, as cane be seen in Figure 1. The second most common category was Recycle. As for Lush, the most common is the “Animal” category, holding 26% of the associated words. This is not surprising as Lush first committed to the Fight against Animal Testing. On the side by side comparison between the two in Figure 7 we were able to note that the first comparison is for packaging, in which Dove’s shows much greater results, with over 120 against the competitor’s two.             Interestingly, the pages dedicated to animal rights advocacy, labelled as “Cruelty Free”, show surprisingly identical results, both having a frequency of 24 words.             On the companies’ main pages, the count is low for both of the subjects of this study, however Dove has the words appear a total of 5 times as opposed to Lush, that has no words appearing.             Last but not least, the “Environmental Page” holds a significant amount of words for both of them, with 66 for Dove and 48 for Lush. Referring back to sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.2, we can recall that for both brands it was the area which had the biggest grounds for comparison.           In terms of the intervies, the general impression from Interviewee A was that all actions the company takes are accordingly relayed to the employees, however the true focus of the company in their image is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign and the Self-Esteem Project, with environmental sustainability becoming increasingly important in recent years. Additionally, there was growing interest in activities related to environmental sustainability and climate action by the employees themselves, which might lead to more events organised by the company in the near future. Interviewee B had much less experience with the company, but they relayed that they were aware of the CSR initiatives and the activities related to environmental sustainability. With Interviewee C, throughout the interview, this individual demonstrated that they were knowledgeable of their company’s image and the core of its identity. They were not only well-equipped to answer each point regarding the standing of Lush in the market, but they also showed enthusiasm for the way in which their company consistently strives to bring innovative solutions to the market. Interestingly, learning about the company’s stance on environmental causes is a key part of training for those interested in working in the shops and employees across all levels are encouraged to be artistic with their in-store advertising placements. The impression from Interviewee D was that all pledges and promises the company makes to the general public emphasised just as much to the employees, because Lush is determined to grow by “making the right choices”. Both companies do convey their goals to their employees, however this paper is not focused on evaluating their internal communication channels, but how important are the sustainability goals in reaching the set operational objectives. From the interviews it was clear that Lush places notably higher importance on having their staff (who own 10% of the company), aid and work with the company towards reducing their footprint and becoming pioneers in animal testing alternatives, whilst at Dove these commitments are known and acknowledged by the staff but they are not a priority for all departments.


Budapest Business University


Faculty of Commerce, Catering and Tourism


Kereskedelem Tanszék




Kereskedelem és marketing


Konzulens neve
Konzulens típusa
Assignment, Scientific qualification, Institution
Molnár Zsolt
Mesteroktató; Kereskedelem Tanszék; KVIK

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: 20th century, business intelligence computer programs, corporate culture, corporations, CSR, identity
SWORD Depositor: Archive User
Depositing User: Archive User
Date Deposited: 2023. Apr. 22. 09:01
Last Modified: 2023. Apr. 22. 09:01

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