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Dove revitalises product portfolio

An updated portfolio, including new shampoos and conditioners, is set to drive Dove's sales in the Middle East.

Unilever is planning to more than triple sales of some of its Dove branded products in the Middle East, senior brand managers at Dove have told Retail News Middle East. Dove is hoping to generate sales increases by modifying the ingredients and packaging of some of its existing lines and by launching completely new products in the region.

Dove’s hair range, which includes shampoos and conditioners, is being re-launched with new ingredients and packaging in a move supported by a US $1 million advertising campaign. The range grew by 50% last year and increased its market share by 2% compared with 2004.

Omar Batayyah, Dove hair brand manager for the GCC, said the changes are intended to make the products milder and to ensure the shampoos help preserve essential moistures and proteins. The shampoo range will be re-launched under the slogan “Keep the good stuff.”

Packaging of the product has also been rejuvenated to give a more premium look, and Batayyah added that the re-launch is the biggest event for Dove shampoo since its launch in 2002. The shampoo is being supported across the GCC by a US $1 million advertising campaign, using above-the-line and below-the-line advertising.

“We are going to use TV, outdoor, radio, print and in-store to communicate the change. It’s going to be a massive campaign,” Batayyah said. He added that he hopes to see sales of the products increase by at least 20%.

Among completely new products that have been introduced in the region are three types of Dove facial cleansers, each containing moisturising cream, according to Khalid Kayal, brand manager, Dove Skin. “Their proposition is basically facial cleansers with one quarter moisturising cream,” Kayal said. “The proposition is that they clean with special care to reveal healthy, natural, beautiful skin.”

The facial cleansers will be available in three types; Demoisture, which is a soap-free product containing vitamin E, vitamin A, minerals and anti-oxidants; Gentle Exfoliating, which includes soft massage petes; and Fresh Touch, which is made with cucumber extract and green tea. Each of the products will be available in a 250 ml tube format.

Products being updated include Dove’s Intensive Cream range, which was previously available only in a 150 ml ‘tin’. Dove is introducing 250 ml pots and 75 ml pots to this range, in a bid to ensure a wider category of consumers is encouraged to buy the product.

“By doing this, we are really covering 95% of the required sizes in the market in terms of consumer needs,” Kayal said. “We hope to increase sales three-fold at a minimum. These sizes are available in Europe. Each of those sizes actually contributes to an almost equal size segment.”

Kayal added that the smaller size is aimed at consumers such as women who want to carry the product in their handbags. “It is a very handy product that will definitely help consumption but also it is very important for the consumers to have something that they carry with them and can use whenever they need to,” he said. “The 250 ml is good for heavy consumers who really use the product a lot, either for themselves or with their family.”

Dove Intensive Care was launched in April 2005 in a 150 ml tin, and the new launches are based on strong sales achieved by the product. “It’s been a very successful launch so far and it made a lot of sense for us to introduce the new sizes now despite the demand that is coming and having the product available for the consumers,” Kayal said.

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