Brand Management Sara Lee: The Unno Launch
Brand Management Sara Lee: The Unno Launch
1. What were Grupo Sans’ brands and what brand identity did they have?
Grupo Sans, a leader in Spanish underwear market in 1970s and 1980s, was founded in 1960 in Mataró. Becoming a part of Sara Lee Corporation, the multinational company with the biggest at that time textile division in the world, in 1991, contributed to the growth and development of the company, and has led to the fact that 9 years later(in 2000) Grupo Sans’ income accounted for more than one-fourth of Sara Lee’ income in Spain.
Source: Google Images
Name Year Target Group Values Name Year Target Group Values Name Year Target Group Values
Abanderado 1963. 1st underwear brand of Grupo Sans. Men and young boys. Was the market leader for men’s underwear in Spain by the year 2000. Traditional, solid, masculine, attractive price, best materials. Princesa 1969. 2nd underwear brand of Grupo Sans. Young girls and grown-up women. Traditional, feminine, attractive price, best materials. Princesa 1969. 2nd underwear brand of Grupo Sans. Men and young boys. Comfortable, sophisticated, attractive price, best materials. Love at first sight!
As we can see, all 3 underwear brands of Grupo Sans shared the same values: to provide their customers with the highest quality product at an affordable price. A distinctive feature of the underwear of the group was conventionality of products, which was important for the main target audience: adults and the elderly. This led to the fact that although with existing brands Grupo 1
Sans managed to become the market leader in Spain with market shares of 35% in slips and boxer shorts, 45% in men’s T-shirts, 23% in women’s T-shirts, 15% in panties, and 37% in baby’s romper suits, there was a gap in target audience between 15 and 35, who perceived the underwear as too traditional and nonfashionable, and thus didn’t want to buy it. That, and several other factors, have led the management of the company to the decision to create a new, non-traditional and modern brand of underwear – Unno. 2. When and why was the Unno brand launched?
The year 1994: Here comes digital era with cell phone and Internet businesses. A new generation of brands had appeared in Spain, all attacking the youth segment and bombarding it with new concepts, new technologies, and new brands. Suddenly the understanding comes that youth is the segment that consumes most and, with the advent of social networks and other modern means of Source: Google Images communication, represents opinion leaders.
Meanwhile, Grupo Sans faced difficulties in achieving further growth due to static situation on domestic market, at which 90% of sales were made. Spain had the lowest birth rate in Europe and there was zero population growth. Moreover, underwear quality was constantly improving and it took longer for garments to wear out. That is why Group Sans had to target teens in underwear industry in order to increase profit and achieve further growth.
It could be made by means of line extension of the group’s traditional brand (such as Abanderado, for example) or by creating a new brand, which would specially address young people aged 15 to 35. The problem with first choice was described by Josep Maria Sans: “Boys growing up wanted their own brand once they became teenagers. Abanderado couldn’t satisfy that need because the kids had worn the same brand as children and it was also what their parents wore. The same was true of the Princesa brand in the case of girls…” That is why in 1999 the company decided to adopt a new concept, and establish a new brand Unno which became successful due to several reasons: 1) Employing the seamless garments now possible with the new technology 2) Simple and understandable for teenagers brand name “Unno”, which communicated that the product was the first, the best and unique. 3) you?” 3. Was it really preferable to laungh the Unno brand than to extend one of the existing brands (Abanderado and/or Princesa)?
The marketing campaign, with slogan “Are you wearing it, or aren’t At the moment of the launch of the new line of underwear that used the new technology, Grupo Sans was facing a dilemma: should the new line be launched as an extension of one of the group’s existing brands (Abanderado, Princesa and Ocean) or should it be launched under an entirely new brand that the company would create from scratch? 3
Given the fact that Grupo Sans’ brands have a big share of the underwear market and both are well-known brands by the consumer, the initial thought would be to extend either of these brands to launch the new solution. However, as strong as these brands were at the moment of the launch, they were targeting very specific segments: while Abanderado targeted adult men and boys, Princesa targeted adult women and girls.
This meant that, even if these brands were very successful in these segments, it could be hard to extend them onto other target segments such as the one Grupo Sans identified: young adults between 15 and 35 years old. This new segment didn’t want to wear any of the other brands because they saw them as “something their parents wear”, something uncool and boring. As the following positioning map shows, none of the existing brands could easily be extended to cover the targeted segment. Moreover, if one of the brands was to be repositioned in order to fit the new segmentation, its sales from existing customers could drop significantly.
In addition to this, Grupo Sans wanted the new line to be perceived as something innovative and cool and decided to give the new line the highest priority in the company. Therefore, it made more sense for them to launch the new product and new technology under an entirely new brand: Unno. That way, they could focus on building the brand from scratch and making sure it was perceived the way they wanted. 4. How would you assess Unno as a brand name?
Makes think of leader Brand “the first to do something” Unifies brands for women and men Short, “cool” name – just what teenagers want May lead to confusins “Unno” or “You no” in English, for example Unno – one piece Sounds Italian – this is good for fashion industry
The goal of launching the Unno brand was to create a new product line that was perceived as something modern and innovative. We believe that the name Unno fits perfectly with this goal because of several reasons. First of all the word “Unno” is an alteration of the word Uno, which means one in Spanish. This is perfectly in line with Grupo Sans’ strategy for the new brand: to be the leader in the new technology and in the new segment they target. Moreover, it can be associated with being the first to get into this market, being the first mover. In addition to this, the brand “Unno” also signifies the unification of Grupo Sans’ male and female brands.
As a name, Unno sounds cool and is short enough for people to remember easily. Young adults, Unno’s main target, will feel identified with the brand and the name will help them perceive the brand’s image. Moreover, the name sounds very Italian, which can be beneficial thanks to the positive perception of Italian fashion. Finally, the name “Unno” perfectly portrays the new technology Unno represents. A one-piece garment that feels like you
are not wearing anything. It becomes one with your body.
5. What were Unno’s main communication objectives in 1999 and 2000? Why?
Even though there were specific communication objectives in 1999 and 2000, the main objective of Unno’s advertising was to sell the concept of a one-piece garment that moulded to the body’s shape, didn’t leave marks, and stretched to fit. The brand was communicating the idea that comfort was the main product benefit, and that it was like not wearing anything at all. Unno’s communication was also aimed at achieving brand awareness for being the first and only brand selling this kind of product at that moment. But, advertising and commercials were not exactly the same in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, the year of the new product and brand launch, the main communication objectives were to inform about the benefits of the new technology used in the new product. The company focused on letting people know what were the benefits and the garment qualities of the Unno innovative underwear.
These garment qualities were mainly that it was seamless and hugged well the body, so it was pretty well related to the idea of 6 “selling comfort” to people. In order to communicate all these features and create brand awareness, most commercials had a very long audio which exposed the main benefits of the new technology. Moreover, advertising was made using provocative images as to attract people’s attention and make them know the brand and the product. The year after, in 2000, something changed. The fact that they had ran out of stock, made the company feel that not as much communication efforts were needed, so they decided not to allocate as many resources as they did while the brand’s launch and to shorten the length of the audio in commercials. So, in general terms, communication changed in the sense that less was spent on it and adverts got short, but the slogan was kept the same as the company wanted to keep on communicating what were the product’s benefits and to generate brand awareness.
The reason why the company was communicating such things was mainly to educate customers about the new technology and its benefits, in order to make them first try the product and then wanting to change from the traditional underwear to the seamless and hugging one. They decided to communicate it in an innovative differentiated way, with the half-naked models in ads, to attract people’s minds in order to recognize the product and create brand awareness. This kind of advertising was done due to the fact that they were targeting the young people segment and had to find a non-traditional way to advert non-traditional underwear. On the pictures below we can see the kind of provocative advertising that the company was doing, as well as the slogans: “Are you wearing it or not?” “You’ll feel as if you’re wearing nothing”
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 26 December 2016
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