The Washing Powder Wars: Ariel versus Omo

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CASE STUDY. 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.

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The Washing Powder Wars: Ariel versus Omo: Abstract

The Washing Powder Wars: Ariel versus Omo is a case study by Yvonne Saini and Amanda Bowen.

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. Procter 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.

Teaching objectives

This case intends to enable students to learn about competitive strategy, with a specific focus on competitive pricing.

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