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Unilever's USLP Strategy | Implementing Strategic Management

University: University of Edinburgh

  • Unit No: 9
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 10 / Words 2588
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: SIM336
  • Downloads: 561
Question :

This assessment will cover following questions:

  • Evaluate the context of Unilever strategy based on the business environment and the problem areas.
  • Explain the effectiveness of the USLP strategy from stakeholder point of view.
  • Justify the one strategic choice with the implementation issues.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Unilever


International business is related with all business movement which are performed beyond national borders. Moreover, International business encompasses all commercial activities which take place for promoting the transfer of goods, services, resources, idea, technology, people and many more across national boundaries (Barbosa and Veloso, 2014). This report is based on given company i.e., Unilever which is part of consumer goods industry and founded in 1929. Its headquarter is located at Unilever House London, United Kingdom and Rotterdam, Netherlands as well as they are serving at worldwide level. In addition to this, products offering by them are beauty & personal care, food & refreshments, cleaning products and many more. This report will going to explain Unilever's USLP strategy which is based on business environment, problem area and overall strategy. Along with this, effectiveness of respective strategy and its implementation from stakeholders standpoint. In the end of report strategic choice will be implement i.e., marketing strategy.


Unilever's USLP strategy based on business environment, problem area and overall strategy.

Unilever Sustainability Living Plan is detailed blueprint which result in accomplishing sustainable growth, while delivering purpose (Visser and Kymal, 2015). As individuals are living in uncertain as well as volatile word where temperature is rising, droughts are more frequent, scarcity of food supply is increasing, gap within rich and poor in growing as well as there are numerous people who don't have access to basic hygienic requirement (Bocken, 2017). There challenges are getting increase as global population is continues to expand. In addition to this, Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan main ambition is to accomplish changes within organisation and it was launched in 2010. It is creating sustainable growth through purpose led brands, reducing risk, cutting business costs as well as providing assistance to build trust.

Mission of Unilever - Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. Unilever work for creating better future every day, with brands as well as services which help people look good, feel good and for getting more out of life.

Vision of Unilever - Respective organisation vision is “We will lead for responsible growth, inspiring people for taking small action on daily basis which result in adding big difference. We will grow by winning shares and building market everywhere.”

The business model of Unilever - Sustainability duty as well as an opportunity to do business. Inputs are brand & innovation, operations as well as people and by implementing USLP in this outcome will be gained are lower environment impact, sustainable growth and positive social improvement (Dentoni, Bitzer and Pascucci, 2016). Explanation of respective Unilever's Sustainability Living Plan in relation of business environment, as there are several factors involved within this which have impact on working of respective business firm. Explanation of this are as follows :-

  • Political factors- It involve tax as well as rules and regulation given by government of particular nation. For Unilever it is essential to keep all these factor in mind while conducting their operations. Thus, national bodies has introduced some policies related to environment that should have to consider by respective Company. Within this, their new strategy USLP (Unilever Sustainability Living Plan) provide them assistance as they develop ozone-friendly product which will not have negative impact on environment. Thus, USLP have optimistic impact on business environment as their products are not harmful for surroundings.
  • Social factors- This factor represent another important set of influence on consumer behaviour (Dooley, 2014). Social factors involve culture, subculture, social class, reference group as well as family. Implementation of new strategy i.e., USLP (Unilever Sustainability Living Plan) have positive impact on social factor of respective organisation within business environment. Apart from this, people are getting more aware about social factors such as product using by them are eco-friendly or not as well as it should be hygienic. Thus, respective strategy of Unilever's help them in taking better place within business environment (Weybrecht, 2017).
  • Environment factors- Unilever Sustainability Living Plan have positive impact on environmental factors of business environment. As with the assistance of USLP strategy Unilever is manufacturing such products which are eco-friendly and have no negative effect on any factor of environment (Tost and et. al., 2018). Such practices help organisation in taking better place within business environment and also in attracting large number of customers.

Problem area in USLP - They strategy of respective organisation was much effectual as well as getting well known day by day. Most of the consumers mainly from least development nations contact to company by themselves with this outstanding business strategy. In this there is no doubt that Unilever's CEO Paul Polman was targeting the consumers from developing nations as well as spread his business as per to that manner. But, now onwards strategy given by Paul Polman is not successful within every sectors. May be he re-established the growth of financial performance again but shortfalls are there because he promised many things (Dooley, 2017). In addition to this, USLP major challenges are failure in reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) impact and water footprint (Schroeder, 2015). Apart from this, changing behaviour is also hardest challenge because it is not possible to meet its goals without changing behaviour which is not easy job. Three years ago the Unilever measured the carbon footprint of 2,000 goods which was found on average of approx. 68% of greenhouse-gas emissions within their life cycles occurred only after they got into the hands of consumers, mostly through the energy intensive procedure of heating water (eg, for tea bags or washing powder).

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Effectiveness of the USLP strategy and its implementation from stakeholders standpoint.

It is said that USLP is a kind of blueprint used by the management team of the company in order to attain the vision by increasing social impact of the company at the competitive marketplace by reducing negative image by developing eco friendly goods and services. It has been identified that effectiveness of USLP strategy is that it assist in driving value for the overall business, consumers and to the people. This is considered as one of the most effective strategy which help in enhancing the overall image of the company at the competitive market area. With the help of USLP plan, it is said that company will be able to set out to increase the growth rate of the company with the help of environmental footprint (Dötsch and et. al., 2015). With the help of implementation of this method or plan, company will be able to enhance their overall profitability of the company as they produce goods and services which do not harm environment, animal, surroundings and many more and create positive social image. There are various positive outcomes which is generated by implementing USLP strategy from the point of view of stakeholders which are as follows:

  • Profitable volume growth:It refers to the growth or development in physical volume of sales which in simple words says that large number of customers purchase goods and services which as a result leads to develop positive brand image of the company which is the ultimate target of Unilever (Pilot, 2014). This as a result, increase investment by the stakeholders as company develop positive and strong public image at the competitive marketplace. In the present context of Unilever, it has been said that USLP strategy assist in enhancing the overall profitability of the company which as a result attract large number of stakeholders.
  • Cost leverage and efficiency: It is said that the increased volume growth allows in order to optimise the infrastructure and minimising the average cost which as a result increase profit margin of the company (Dyllick and Rost, 2017). This will help in attracting large number of stakeholders towards the organisation so that the overall investment will be enhanced. In the present context, it is said that by implementing USLP strategy within the organisation in an effective manner, managers will be able to reduce the cost of the products.
  • Innovation and Marketing investment: It is said that innovation as well as marketing investment is driven by enhancing or improving the efficiency as well as growing the ability of investment. It has also been identified that new, improved and innovative products and services are the outcome of effective investment in the department of Research & Development. This as a result helps in strengthening the overall brand image of the company, attracting large number of investors towards the organisation and retaining potential customers for a longer period of time.

With the help of above mentioned, it has been concluded that there are various benefits gain by stakeholders or by the company due to effectively implementing the USLP strategies within the workplace (Eich, 2016). This will enhance the overall profitability of the company at the competitive marketplace by producing eco-friendly and high quality products and services.

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Choose and justify one of the three strategic choice

Unilever is one of the world's top makers of packaged consumer goods as well as it is operating in approx. 190 countries. Along with this, Unilever have large brand portfolio of over 400 brands within two divisions i.e., foods and home & personal care. In addition to this, Unilever is comes under top three food company at worldwide level with Nestle as well as Kraft. Main factor behind success of respective business firm is constant focus on coming up with innovative products (Everitt, 2018). There are several strategies has been implemented by Unilever such as marketing strategy, innovation strategy and many more. Out of this explanation of one are as follows :-

Marketing strategy - For an organisation it is important to conduct marketing of their products and services within market area. Because without such practices it is not easy to attract large number of customers from market area. Thus, Unilever has implemented several marketing strategy within their working explanation of these are as follows :-

  • New channel winning in the market place - For Unilever investing in marketing as well as advertising is also competitive advantage. As they earned the tile of Most awarded advertiser at 60thCannes Lions International Festival of creativity, b ringing home of total 44 awards. In addition to this, respective business firm explore new media opportunity as well as partnership for reaching more consumers (Kreckova, 2015). Furthermore, Unilever has developed new channels for wide their ability of going to market as well as for reaching fast and more consumer's such as direct selling, home vending, e-commerce, out of home and segmented the market.
  • Leverage Bigger brand - More than 54% of Unilever business has been make up by top brands. Since, Paul Polman arrival in 2009 respective organisation is engaged within an procedure of brand nationalization as it result in reduction within their large portfolio by removing 30% of the number of references within 2013 for focusing on 15 billionaires brands (Oosterveer, 2015).
  • Brand with purpose via program - main motive behind designing marketing strategy is to win market sharew within emerging market, Unilever associate programs as well as purpose to their brand that identify and respond local requirement of individuals. For instance, In Africa region with Vit A deficient children, Rama and Blue Band margarines are fortified with 7 vitamin's including vit A. In addition to this, Brand with purpose strategy is another competitive advantage of Unilever to establish strong brand equity.

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After going through entire discussion it has been recommended to Unilever's that they have to provide proper training session to staff members. So that, they will conduct their operations in such manner which will not have negative impact on environment. Because such practices help them in gaining attraction of more and more people in effective manner. In addition to this, it is important for Unilever's to take feedback from consumers related to products offering by them. Because if any modification required then it will analyse through feedbacks taken from customers. Such practices help in making customers satisfying by fulfilling their requirement and wants as per their desirable manner. Apart from this, it is essential for Unilever's to analyse business environment in effective manner as it will help in identifying several factors which involved within it. There is requirement to analyse market on periodic basis because several modification take place in it which need to be consider for conducting activities within effective manner.


After going through above discussion it has been summarised that, International business is related with all business movement which are performed beyond national borders. Moreover, International business encompasses all commercial activities which take place for promoting the transfer of goods, services, resources, idea, technology, people and many more across national boundaries. Along with this, it is essential for an organisation to implement such innovation within their working that will not have negative effect on environment. Because such practices help them in attracting more and more customers and also in taking better place within business environment by serving customers in effective manner. Apart from this, government of every nation also has designed rules and regulation related to environmental impact for organisations which is important for company to implement within their working for gaining positive outcomes.

Related Sample: Business and the Business Environment - Unilever

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  • Barbosa, L. and Veloso, L., 2014. Consumption, domestic life and sustainability in Brazil. Journal of cleaner production. 63. pp.166-172.
  • Bocken, N., 2017. Business-led sustainable consumption initiatives: Impacts and lessons learned. Journal of Management Development. 36(1). pp.81-96.
  • Dentoni, D., Bitzer, V. and Pascucci, S., 2016. Cross-sector partnerships and the co-creation of dynamic capabilities for stakeholder orientation. Journal of Business Ethics. 135(1). pp.35-53.
  • Dooley, K., 2014. Organisational Behaviour: Business Models for a Profitable and Sustainable Future. Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS). 3(1). pp.247-257.
  • Dooley, K., 2017. Value chain systemicity: Promoting organizational creativity and environmental sustainability in low velocity industries. Journal of cleaner production. 140. pp.1903-1913.
  • Dötsch M and, 2015. Reducing salt in food; setting product-specific criteria aiming at a salt intake of 5 g per day. European journal of clinical nutrition. 69(7). p.799.
  • Dyllick, T. and Rost, Z., 2017. Towards true product sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production. 162. pp.346-360.
  • Eich, R., 2016. Where in the Heavens are our Earthly Leaders?. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership. 9(1). p.3.
  • Everitt, A., 2018. The rise of social purpose and its impact on brand success. Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. 6(3). pp.221-227.
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