DATE: 3rd November2008

The preparation of this report is a sound example of teamwork. The experience is a valuable one because not only did the report increase our understanding and knowledge on the assigned topic, i.e. µThe Information Life Cycle¶, it also taught us important lessons of how to incorporate out theoretical knowledge to enhance the understanding of practical implications. In addition, it also gave us a thorough opportunity to learn from others; despite conflicting ideas, the teams managed to join efforts and reach unanimous decisions at the end. It re-defined our skills of working with others to reach a final goal, and improved our communication as well as tolerance levels. However, this would not have been possible had we not been given the opportunity to present this report. Therefore, we would like to express the deepest appreciation to our course instructor, Ms. Sarah Mazhar, who has been a continuous source of guidance throughout the report and has always been there to answer our queries. We would also like to express our gratitude to Mr. Ghulam Moin-uddin, IT Manager Unilever, who offered his assistance and helped us by arranging a meeting with Ms. Falak Jalil, Assistant Brand Manager of Sunsilk. We also thank Ms. Falak Jalil, who took out time from her busy schedule, to have a discussion with us. The report would not have been possible, had she not provided us with the essential knowledge of the brand, and its application of µThe Information Life Cycle¶, to enhance its sales and profits. Lastly, we express gratitude to Vaqas, a generous friend who first introduced us to Ms. Falak Jalil and made it possible for us to reach her.


1. Introduction 1.1 Unilever International 1.2 Unilever Pakistan Limited 2 2 2


Introduction of Sunsilk 2.1 The Marketing Mix 2.1a Product 2.1b Placement 2.1c Packaging 2.1d Price 2.1e Promotion

4 4 4 5 5 5 6


The Information Life Cycle 3.1 The Creation Stage 3.1a Authorizing/Modifying 3.1b Indexing/Organizing 3.2 The Storage and Networking Stage 3.2a Storage/ Retrieval 3.2b Networking Utilization 3.3a Accessing and Filtering

8 9 9 13 15 15 17 19 19













Unilever is a multi-national corporation, formed of Anglo-Dutch parentage that owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It was created in 1930 by the merger of British soap maker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie. In the 1930s the business of Unilever grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America. Since then Unilever has made tremendous growth, going through economic crises like the First World War and the Great Depression. Today the company is fully multinational with operating companies in over 100 countries, employing about 179000 employees. With the onset of the 21 century, Unilever implemented a strategy known as µPath to Growth¶ to transform business and to launch their Vitality mission. With 400 brands spanning 14 categories of home, personal care and foods products, no other company touches so many people's lives in so many different ways. 150 million times a day, someone somewhere chooses a Unilever product. From feeding one¶s family to keeping one¶s home clean and fresh, Unilever brands are part of everyday life. Unilever¶s mission is to add Vitality to life. It meets everyday needs for nutrition; hygiene and personal care with brands that help people look good, feel good and get more out of life.

Unilever Pakistan (70.4% Unilever equity) is the largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company in Pakistan, as well as one of the largest multinationals operating in the country. The company had a turnover of Rs. 23.3 bn (Euro 309 mn) in 2007, and enjoys a leading position in most of its core Home and Personal Care and Foods categories, e.g. Personal Wash, Personal Care, Laundry, Beverages (Tea) and Ice Cream. It operates through 4 regional offices, as well as 4 wholly owned and 6 third party manufacturing sites across Pakistan.


Figure 1 Market distribution of Unilever products

Since the time Unilever Pakistan began its operations in 1948, the Company has been closely connected to the Pakistani people and its brands have been an integral feature in our daily lives. In fact, the nature of its business enables their brands to be the pulse and heartbeat of the 164 million people in Pakistan. Unilever Pakistan Limited has the following goals: y y y y y y Maximize sales Increase market share Maintain sustained profits Make a positive difference to the lives of low income consumers Create new opportunities for growth Improve the overall quality of life in Pakistan, by promoting education, nutrition, health and hygiene


Launched in 1954, in the UK, sunsilk had quickly become Unilever¶s leading international shampoo brand. By 1959, it was available in eighteen countries worldwide. In the 1980¶s, Pakistan had a largely underdeveloped market in terms of personal care products. The launch of Sunsilk in 1983 introduced FMCG industry in Pakistan to redefine the lives of its people.

Sunsilk is one of the star products of Unilever, and comes under the category of personal care products. Products in this category are more developed and have a broader scope in Pakistan because of the growing economy. Sunsilk is a twenty-plus urbanite girl, who doesn¶t wait for things to happen. She¶s charismatic, confident, approachable and a go getter. She portrays a perfect 21st century woman who makes her dreams come true by sheer hard work. Although the target audience is purely women in twenties, but Sunsilk has a mass appeal and is used by people of multiple classes, professions or age groups. Furthermore, the brand has various types of shampoos and conditioners designed for individuals with varying hair types; as a result each consumer becomes intimate with the brand. The quality of the product is maintained through extensive chemical testing which takes place after every month. Thus Sunsilk secures its place in the consumer mind by frequent innovations in the product and maintaining its quality.

Figure 2 innovations in sunsilk


Being a mass product with a market penetration of about 90%, Sunsilk¶s aim is to be the supplier of choice for its customers and to ensure that consumers have ready access to its products through different distribution channels. Unilever makes sure that the product reaches every consumer no matter where he is located. The product reaches the end consumer through retailers, supermarkets and small stores. Its easy availability is of the factors that determines its high consumer demand.

Sunsilk¶s approach to responsible packaging seeks to take into account environmental, social and economic considerations. In 2007 it created a Responsible Packaging Steering Team to define a revised strategy. The global re-launching of Sunsilk with improved SKU¶s was the result of the following approach towards packaging which consists of five key principles: Remove: to eliminate, where possible, unnecessary layers of packaging such as outer cartons and shrink-wrap film ± an area where our retail customers are increasingly setting reduction targets. y y y Reduce: to reduce packages to the optimal size and weight for their contents. Reuse: to reuse packaging from the materials we receive at our factories. Renew: to maximize the proportion of packaging from renewable resources and to investigate the technical feasibility of biodegradable and compostable materials y Recycle: to increase the use of recycled, recyclable and single-material components in packaging for easy sorting and recycling at the end of its use. Reducing packaging and waste can have business benefits, too, as it can lead to cost savings. Apart from that the outlook of the product matters as well. Sunsilk is known for its bright, catchy colors which instantly attract a customer so that they can spot a Sunsilk bottle from a vast array of different shampoos. The colors also go along with the brand image of Sunsilk which portrays an outgoing personality of a young woman.


Sunsilk is the market leader and it therefore sets the market price. As stated earlier, Unilever¶s goal is to maximize profits, increase market share and improve sales. The price of the product determines all these factors. Sunsilk claims to practice value-based pricing in which the customers¶ perception of the product¶s price provides a starting point for developing the marketing mix of the product. The research department


determines this price usually by using focus groups, hence taking into account the affordability of the product by people of all incomes. Unilever makes use of a process known as µdemand planning¶ to estimate local demand. Through this technique they keep track of the weekly sales and production- sales going out and stock coming in. Sunsilk is Pakistan¶s leading shampoo and it has no shelf life. Hence the stocks constantly flow in and out. The forecasted demand is updated every month. This demand planning also helps in setting up the market price of Sunsilk. Sunsilk major competitor is Procter and Gamble¶s Pantene. Being a market leader, Sunsilk has the advantage to set the market price. Even though Pantene revised its pricing policy recently but Sunsilk maintained its original market price. Sunsilk does, however, take inflation into account. Since Pakistan¶s economy is not stable, inflation can prove to be detrimental to Unilever¶s organizational goals. To maintain constant profit margins, Sunsilk makes use of price indexes and hence the market price is subjected to inflation.

Table 1 price of sunsilk

PRICE RS. 115 RS.5

Sunsilk communicates responsibly with its consumers through advertising and marketing. Its marketing strategy is guided by four principles: It is committed to building trust through responsible practices and through transparent communication ± both directly to consumers and indirectly through other key stakeholders and thought-leaders; y It ensures that its products are safe and that it provides clear information on their use and any risks that are associated with their use; y it fully support a consumer's right to know what is in our products and will be transparent in terms of ingredients and the health and beauty properties of its products; y It uses a combination of channels, which includes product labels, websites, call centers and/or consumer leaflets to communicate openly with our consumers.




It has introduced new marketing guidelines limiting advertising to children under 12 and banning the use of 'size-zero' models.

To promote its brand, Sunsilk distributes flyers and free sachets at the road side and at malls, and door to door campaigning. It sends in its hair experts to schools and organizations to check the hair type of the people of the region to come up with better versions of their shampoos and recommend a suitable type of shampoo to such consumers. Free washes and gift hampers are also distributed to consumers to maintain goodwill and brand loyalty. Online advertising and communication are a growing trend. With people everywhere being able to access online material, new internet marketing guidelines ensure that campaigns aimed at a particular market are sensitive to cultural differences. Sunsilk has its share in official Unilever website ( and its µGang of Girls¶ website specifically targets teenage girls and has proved to be very popular amongst them. It provides an active forum to communicate with the consumers where various hair issues are addressed and suggestions are made. Television advertising is the major mode of communicating with the consumers to keep the brand fresh in the minds of its customers, to attract potential customers and breed interest and excitement in the much stagnant FMCG industry. Sunsilk brings about innovations in its advertising campaign frequently, launches new advertisements and welcomes change for the good. It features the famous Pakistani model, Iman Ali as its brand ambassador. Tariq Amin, the famous hair stylist, supported the ad campaign in 2007, indicating his approval of the brand and its many innovations.

A t t r a c t i ve

A ve r a g e

C heap



consumer responses to sunsilk¶s advertisements




1 2 .1 2







Figure 3 The Information life Cycle



Successful management of any large organization requires extensive and effective use of information. Effective use of information is necessary to make quick and informed decisions, to stay in touch with market dynamics and to stay ahead of competition. For these very reasons, and many more, brands like Sunsilk need to have with them up to date information regarding their competitors as wells as their customers. The use of the Information Life Cycle is therefore, of utmost importance for market leaders as such, which helps them maintain their leadership and increase their market share and growth. To keep up to date with their customers and to initiate and increase brand loyalty, Sunsilk carries out researches at a local level to gather information and make use of it to improve their relations with the mass audience it caters to, In a country like Pakistan, which has a growing economy, the FMCG Industry (Fast Moving Consumer Good Industry) has reached a more stagnant point; it does not appear as appealing and exciting as before. Therefore, to create and breed interest, innovations are introduced. Innovations on Sunsilk¶s part involve a change in packaging or formulation or both. Researches regarding innovations are carried out by international agencies for Sunsilk, and the information gathered is used to make concrete decisions which affect the brand at the demographic and international level.

INITIAL LAUNCHING OF SUNSILK: PROCESS OF INFORMATION COLLECTION As mentioned, Sunsilk is one of the earliest brands of Pakistan, which had, largely, an underdeveloped market at the time. Initial launching took place keeping in view the demographic elements. Countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh that share similar demographic elements (like age, occupation types, economy, technology lifestyle, domestic lifestyles, income statuses, etc.) were assessed and the brand was launched on a test and trial basis in these countries. During this period, the brand was imported from Thailand. Since the demand was high, local production was soon introduced. At present, Unilever has seven production sites spread throughout Pakistan. Sunsilk is produced at the plant located in Rahimyarkhan, where most FMCG products of Unilever are produced. 95% of the raw materials are obtained locally; other chemicals etc are imported.


CREATION OF INFORMATION AT A LOCAL LEVEL: RESEARCHES CARRIED OUT TO IMPROVE SUNSILK¶S RELATION WITH CONSUMERS: At the elementary level, there are three basic sources of data collection used by Sunsilk:


It informs the company about consumption patterns on part of everyday consumers. The extensive consumer research is carried out to ensure that the brand meets the changing tastes, lifestyles and expectations of its millions of customers. Focus groups are conducted on a regular basis to be well informed about consumer preferences and tastes, as well as their reactions to a change in strategy. Based on the information collected form these focus groups, trends are identified, as well as other important data integrated, which is important with reference to future implications. Consumer surveys are also conducted for the same reason, on a regular basis. Information regarding consumption patterns helps in the Demand Planning Process, a comprehensive technique used to keep track of weekly sales and weekly production. The process enables sales teams (and customers) to develop demand forecasts as input to service-planning processes, production and inventory planning and revenue planning. Consumption Patterns are also important to Sunsilk because they help the brand gauge the effectiveness of its advertising techniques and promotion strategies. Consumption patterns help Sunsilk identify any faults in advertising packages, and initiate improvements in its campaigns. They also provide a foundation for understanding and analyzing consumers¶ motivations, attitudes, behavior, shopping patterns and demographic characteristics.

Figure 5 consumer buying motivations


Study of a selected sample of retail outlets, which gathers information on the brand's sales volume, sales trends, stock levels, effectiveness of in-store display and promotion efforts, and other associated aspects. Retail Audits provide manufacturers with essential facts on how Sunsilk is performing compared with its competitors, and on trends and changes in market conditions and sales results. They also provide critical information on the use of promotional activities at the retail level such as special displays or pricing, and on distribution and stock conditions in retail store. . In a marketplace where consumers can find the same product in many different outlets, complete retail coverage is essential to help manufacturers develop the right marketing and sales programs, and to help retailers understand their competitive positions. Retail Audits integrate information from a variety of sources to provide accurate, decision-ready reporting and coverage of a broad array of retail channels. The Retail Audits measures and tracks sales volume, selling price, observed promotion and merchandising execution, encompassing an organization¶s own brand as well as competitive brands. From category-level all outlet sales volume to singe item performance in one market, Retail Audits provide manufacturers and retailers the complete view across all channels of trade. These help Sunsilk make acute comparisons by helping the brand gauge its sales% and its % of the market share and then compare it with other brands in the market. The comparison is important because it paves the way for improvement and perhaps even innovations in a brand. It helps the brand integrate and sustain its growth and success over a long period of time as well as keep ahead of competition and maintain its share in the market. The improvements inevitably give way to increasing brand loyalty.

Figure 6 Sales growth rate Mar-Apr 2oo8



Ad tracking, also known as post-testing or ad effectiveness tracking is continuous in-market research that monitors a brand¶s performance including brand and advertising awareness, product trial and usage, and attitudes about the brand versus their competition. Ad-Tracking may also involve one-one interviews and responding to questionnaires to collect the required information A process known as store shelf condition tracking is also made use of frequently to measure the effectiveness of promotional techniques aimed at packaging. Hidden cameras at larger retail outlets, like super markets, record the time taken by a consumer to focus on a Sunsilk bottle, placed on a shelf. The time taken for a consumer to locate and focus on a bottle of the brand help manufacturers device and identify the strengths and weaknesses in their packaging strategies. The information gathered is vital for Sunsilk¶s success as it helps in further improving the relation between Sunsilk and its consumers. This enhances Sunsilk¶s brand loyalty, which is important for the brand¶s survival. RESEARCHES CARRIED OUT TO INTRODUCE INNOVATIONS: Researches for innovations for Sunsilk take place in Thailand and India. Thailand, being the representative for Southeast Asia, conducts research for the region. Researches are, however, carried out by international agencies which include Millward brown and AC Nielsen. These agencies make use of various techniques and specialist practices to help Sunsilk make an informed and accurate decision. Frameworks unique in nature are offered for marketing strategy development. Qualitative assessments of brand perceptions are carried out along with a quantitative measurement of brand performance. The agencies identify key factors of how the brand i.e. Sunsilk impacts customers and where potential points of advantage lie. These agencies also help Sunsilk understand the market it operates in; this is essential for successful brand planning and strategic marketing. By knowing what make your customers tick, actual purchasing behavior is analyzed at a category, segment and product level. These researches focus on people and categorize them, so that the brand may understand who the actual and potential consumers are, and where the advantage lies with Sunsilk in influencing them.


Researched carried out by these agencies are demographically balanced to represent the national population of individual countries and are readable at the regional, local market and retail account level. By providing an insight about how Sunsilk is performing, compared to its competitor, existing distribution, pricing and promotion techniques can be worked upon. These researched also help one assess how important each part of the marketing mix is in determining the product¶s performance and in fine-tuning Sunsilk¶s marketing plans to improve performance.

GATE KEEPING: After the required information and data is collected, it is essential for Sunsilk to keep it secure and safe. Gate keeping is the name given to the whole process of securing the data from outsiders, as well as insiders in an organization. The data is kept secure by ensuring that µALL data¶ is accessible by highly trustable people only, who also hold key positions in the management hierarchy. Subordinates access the information at different levels, with the permission of the gate keeper, who decides how much information will be made available to whom, in accordance with his work needs. The process is discussed in detail during the second stage of the life cycle, i.e. the Storage Stage.


INTEGRATING INFORMATION COLLECTED: Information integration is a collection of technologies that combines database management systems, web services, replication, federated systems, and warehousing functions into a common platform. It also includes a variety of programming interfaces and data model. Sunsilk uses the ISIS; integrated management information system, as is used throughout Unilever, to integrate the information collected. The ISIS helps managers gather and analyze information and take sourcing decisions. It supports local, regional and global management of the brand, at Unilever. Access to ISIS is limited to internal organization employees only. Outsiders, like suppliers, can have access to the ISIS through invitation only. For example, when a supply manager for Sunsilk wants to send out requests for information, quotation or proposal, he or she will select the appropriate suppliers who will be informed through e-mail. They will then receive login and password details.


Using the information integration technology, managers for Sunsilk can access diverse types of data (structured, unstructured, and semi-structured). They can transform that data into a format that provides easy access to information across the management hierarchy.

INFORMATION MAINTENANCE: Information in the databases of the brand manager of Sunsilk is updated every month, on basis of the research data collected and made available. It would be worthwhile to mention here, that the three basic types of data collection, i.e. consumer information, retail audits and ad-tracking, are carried out on a monthly basis. Information is re-used for the brand as well. This is done when marking trends in consumption, consumer reaction to a strategy change, sales growth etc. information is also re-used to set bench marks at times and to estimate figures that is, previous data is made use of in order to forecast future conditions and circumstances, so that risk and losses are minimized. The Information Creation Stage, is therefore of utmost importance to Sunsilk and is the most active stage of the Information Life Cycle. Through this Stage, Sunsilk can innovate and manipulate its campaigns and production techniques, and also identify its strengths and weaknesses, with regard to customer buying behavior. Nevertheless, the second and the third stages of the Information Life Cycle are of equal importance, as will be explored in the sections following.



This stage of information life cycle consists of Storing and Retrieving and Distributing and Networking of information. For a company like Unilever information is a key element to achieve its goals and maintain its place as a market leader. The Unilever has its headquarters in Avari Towers, Karachi and plant in Rahimyarkhan.


AT HEADQUARTERS, KARACHI At headquarters in Karachi the information is held in 3 Severs: IBM REGATTA, IBM P570 SERVER and IBM DS4800. Every employee gets the information from there. There is an intranet of Unilever Pakistan where all the information is stored regarding every product. All the employees from the CEO to Brand Manager and lower level managers and employees get the information from this. They access the entire system of 3 servers through Wi-Fi that is present in the building or cables. IBM REGATTA and P570 Server are the back ups of one another and they are the basic processing domains. IBM DS4800 holds the entire information. Users at Unilever access REGATTA and P570 and from there they access DS 4800 where they find the required information. The employees access the server through their work stations. Each work station has a separated ID and IP address and server recognizes who is accessing the information and provides only that amount of information to the user which he/she is allowed to access. Each end user has an appropriate level of access defined. Brand Manager and CEO are the only people who have access to complete information.

The information at IBM DS4800 server is stored in the form of databases. These databases are made on the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. There are three soft wares that Unilever uses under ERP: 1. ORACLE version 7 2. MFG-Pro 3. SAP.


IBM DS 4800 Information Storage


END USERS (Work stations)
Figure 7 Storage and Retrieval Process

The information on the servers is highly confidential and needs a reasonable level of security. If this information goes into wrong hands (competitors) Unilever can suffer severe losses in terms of their future planning and product innovation. To counter this problem Unilever has employed an appreciable security measures. There are two security measures, Physical Security and Data Security. PHYSICAL SECURITY IBM REGATTA is on first floor and IBM PS570 and DS4800 are on third floor. These servers are in separate and special rooms. These rooms have CCTV cameras installed both on doors and inside. They have digital doors that need the 7-digits key password to open the first lock. The second lock is operated through biometric control that scans the thumb print. Only the Database Administrator has the authority to access these rooms and work on the servers.


DATA SECURITY Data security is provided both on the server and on the work stations of all the employees. On server the data security is provided through passwords on each and every file along with basic operating system passwords. Each product folder and database file has password. The workstations of each employee are protected with three passwords. The first password is to access the BIOS setup, second is to access the hard disk and finally the third is to log in windows. Along with these the Unilever has started replacing desktop PCs with laptops so that the employees can take them along where ever they go and thus trouble makers never get chance to access any information. Moreover these laptops are LENOVO N2000 series laptops that have biometric features like finger print along with passwords that add more to security.

AT PLANT, RAHIMYARKHAN At plant there used to be a central sever a few years back which used to hold all the information regarding production process and techniques. It had all the information regarding formulae, inventory control and all that is done on plant. However, now this server is no more. No information is held at the plant now. All the information is shifted to Karachi Headquarters.


AT HEADQUARTERS, KARACHI The networking and sharing of information over here is done in two ways. One is the intranet called UNME. This intranet allows the end users at Unilever Pakistan to access its servers and retrieve information. Once the users are in the building they use their work stations to access the intranet. They then send request to the server asking for particular information. The server confirms their ID and authority first through automatic process by checking the IP (internet protocol) address and then asking the user to enter their ID and Password. Once their ID has been, authorized the users can view the information that they are allowed to by the general access level assigned to them. AT PLANT, RAHIMYARKHAN At plant there are Wi-Fi network in the building and a web of cables that connect the end users there to the intranet of Unilever. This intranet lets users to access the domain at Karachi. End users at plant get


all the information at their workstations from Karachi through this intranet. One they have accessed the servers at Karachi similar process carries on. TO SHAREHOLDERS AND OUTSIDERS The information to the share holders is given in the form of financial statements. These statements are published annually and are available on website, for free of cost. These statements are not only for existing shareholders but also for the people who are interested in investing in the company. All the financial statements are in as much detail as possible and cover all the liquid and non liquid assets that the company has. Along with these the company arranges an annual dinner with all the shareholders. It¶s a semi formal meeting where new innovations and ideas are discussed. To outsiders like retailers the details are about the new product under the Sunsilk brand is given through a phone call. Then the retailers visit the office and get further information. The promotion about the new product is done through TV commercials mostly and to some extent through advertisements on websites.



Once the information has been created and stored in the appropriate databases then comes the 3 stage of information life cycle: Utilization In this stage the relevant information is located and retrieved from its storage place for utilization in important organizational decisions. All the information collected in the creation stage is utilized by the analysts and managers to come up with successful propositions. With all the information gathered in the very first stage of information Life Cycle: Creation, the following advantages can be obtained: Increase trade marketing effectiveness and improved account management Reduced costs through the integration of customer-facing and back-office business processes across all touch points including brokers, wholesalers, distributors, and retail outlets Build consumer demand and brand loyalty by understanding and anticipating changing consumer preferences


y y

The information collected helps in marketing applications which enables Unilever in the consumer goods industry to align campaigns with appropriate target audiences; plan and execute highly personalized campaigns with the right message at the right time; use preferred communication channels; and measure, monitor, and refine campaign performance to ensure optimal return on investment. Furthermore, customer analysis obtained in the first stage provides in-depth profiling information; enabling Sunsilk¶s brand managers to better understand their customer and consumer preferences, buying behavior, revenue, and profitability. By integrating customer information from multiple external and internal sources, Unilever can identify and capitalize on emerging trends in key markets and focus their marketing and sales efforts on the highest yielding market segments. It also supports comprehensive campaign management, enabling Sunsilk¶s brand managers to develop and deploy sophisticated multi-step marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Campaigns can target groups or individuals and include different orders, creative approaches, and channels.


Analytics obtained through the qualitative research process provides Sunsilk brand managers with a prebuilt data warehouse designed to support a wide range of analyses, including orders, trade promotions, funds, activities, sales performance and more. Information resource also enables Sunsilk brand managers to sell collaboratively across geographies, time zones, and currencies, and it scales to meet the needs of even the largest global deployments. With Sales information availability, field professionals in the consumer goods industry can accurately plan and forecast by account or store, generate customized presentations and proposals, and easily produce personalized customer communications. It also uses Sales data to seamlessly share information across sales teams, manage authorized product distribution lists, create corporate and account-specific promotions, rapidly create customer account plans, plan sales volume targets, manage trade fund expenditures, easily resolve deductions, and execute effectively at retail outlets to meet the unique needs of each customer and provide superior service and support. Previous sales data stored helps in Sales Volume Planning which enables the managers to manage complex and time-consuming sales planning process. This functionality provides the ability to establish a basis from which future volume will be derived and allocate/aggregate the sales volume up/down an organizational and product hierarchy. Due to availability of in-depth information, account managers can create seasonal assortment plans containing style/color mixes and delivery information for a retailer, and then-via the Internet-retail buyers can view the seasonal assortment plans and make modifications and adjustments as necessary. Once the plans are agreed upon, the demand information can be aggregated and interfaced to back-end supply chain planning system. All the information that is used is initially stored in ERP soft wares. The brand manager, assistant brand manager and other employees associated with the brand Sunsilk, access the data bases to obtain the relevant information. In order to explore the data base, the end user, simply have to type in the key words to search for the desired information. It works just like an electronic dictionary: you just type the word and it takes you to the required field. Once the information needed is located, the user obtains the essentials and discards the unnecessary bits.



Launched in 1983, Sunsilk is one of Unilever¶s top star brands today bringing in a high shares and revenue. The purpose of the report was to incorporate the theoretical knowledge of the information life cycle to assess its practical implication on a brand like Sunsilk. We found that the most active stage is the creation stage, where researches are carried out at the local and international level to introduce improvements and innovations as well as to keep the track of sales growth and consumer buying behavior trends. The data collected is stored in relatively simple databases that are user friendly and easy to operate. The data is transmitted with in and outside organization through reliable sources. Finally the data is utilized- the utilization stage is though the least active stage, yet the most important stage of the life cycle. Here the data is used for marketing applications formulating the marketing mix in accordance with the consumer preferences, setting the goals, making forecasts and most importantly judging the effectiveness and efficiency of the goal set earlier.


AC Nielsen: Research agency Ad tracking: also known as post-testing or ad effectiveness tracking is continuous in-market research that monitors a brands performance including brand and advertising awareness Demand planning: a comprehensive technique used to keep track of weekly sales and weekly production Distribution Channels: medium of distributing a product to the end consumer FMCG: Fast Moving Consumer Goods Focus groups: an informal technique that helps managers and stakeholders assess user needs and feelings Gate keeping: process of securing selective information or data from internal employees as well as outsiders IBM DS 4800: it is a database storage server IBM P570 server: it is a major processing domain server IBM regatta: it is a main processing domain server Information integration: a collection of technologies that combines database management systems and various other functions into a common platform Market Penetration: how many people buy a product once in a year Millward Brown: Research agency Path to Growth: Unilever¶s strategy to transform business and to launch their Vitality mission Responsible Packaging Steering Team: Unilever¶s team, established in 2007, whose sole purpose is to devise different packaging strategies Retail audit: study of a selected sample of retail outlet, which gathers information on the brand¶s sales volume, promotion efforts and other associative aspects. SAP: system application production SKU¶s: Sunsilk¶s large shampoo bottle Store shelf condition tracking: a process where hidden cameras at larger retail outlets record the time taken by a consumer to focus on a brand¶s bottle placed on a shelf



1. Questionnaire

2. Letter of verification

3. Letter of appreciation to the Brand Manager, Sunsilk

4. References



Initial stage of Sunsilk y Idea behind Sunsilk y Why was it launched? y Initial data collection y Estimated demand y Brand personality y Goals Target Audience y Identification y Brand loyalty y Potential Customers y Market segmentation Pricing strategy y How do you set an optimum price? y Check on competitors/ toughest competitor y Effect of inflation on sales and prices Raw material and finished goods y Imported or local y Transportation of raw material and finished goods y Inventory control/Software used Innovations y Why? How frequently? y Packaging y Promotional techniques y Change of slogans and campaigns y New production techniques Means of data collection y Types of researches (how often)? y Basic purpose y Which method is most feasible and reliable y Where do you store the data gathered? y Name of database(customized or normal) y Maintenance and updating of databases y Methods of gate keeping used. Who are authorized to access? y Backups of information/ Where are they kept and how?







6. Storage of data y How and where is the information stored? y Recovery from storage y Usage of utility props to locate information 7. Transmission y What form? Raw or processed? y Intranet or Lan y How is it disseminated in different hierarchal stages(vertically and horizontally) y Dissemination outside the business 8. Utilization y To achieve organizational goals, targets and product innovation regarding sunsilk y How is the selection done y Bifurcation of relevant and irrelevant information relating to long term and short term y Use of information by different departments



1. Falak Jalil, Assistant Brand Manager Sunsilk 2. Ghulam Moinuddin, IT Manager 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Unilever financial statement 2007-08