Omo set to shine

Omo, a long established brand of washing powder from Unilever, has been re-launched with a new formula in the GCC.

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By  Roger Field Published  June 1, 2006

Omo, a long established brand of washing powder from Unilever, has been re-launched with a new formula in the GCC. The move is intended to re-invigorate the brand, which has been available in the region since 1992 but has seen sales fall in recent years owing to management problems. Omo is one of the market leading washing powders, along with Ariel and Tide, in Bahrain and Qatar, and also has a strong presence in the UAE and Kuwait. But Saudi Arabia has proved more difficult for Omo, which has seen its market share fall significantly in the Kingdom in the past few years. “In Bahrain and Qatar we are almost market leaders beside Tide and Ariel, so we don’t have an issue there. Our focus is on the UAE and KSA to become stronger there. In the UAE, our market share is 11%, but our total share of the market in the GCC is brought down by KSA, where we had a significant drop,” said Rasha Sakr, senior brand manager, Omo and Comfort. “The brand was always there but for the past two years there has not been proper management support behind it. Now we have a full team that was appointed earlier this year to turn around the business and take Omo forward. We’re investing heavily in the brand to regain our competitive edge and strength,” she added. Omo’s management team intends to see the brand gain a far greater share of the market, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where it is trailing behind its main rivals, Tide and Arial. “Our aim is to regain our market share and become more competitive,” Sakr said. In the initial stages, Unilever is promoting the brand with a television campaign that started in June. Omo differentiates itself on from its rivals by focusing on stain removal, although the re-launched product features a longer lasting frangrance. Omo is available in 150g and 500g top-load formats and 1.5kg, 2.5kg, 4kg packs for top-load and front-load machines, Sakr added.

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