A foundational principle in marketing is consistency. A brand has to develop who it is, what it stands for, and what makes it different than all the rest. The stronger the brand identity, the greater the chance that consumers will gravitate toward that product when faced with the daunting task of choosing products at the market. Familiarity is comforting when eleventy million choices are placed before you at Target!
NIVEA has developed a brand theme around caring. Though it differentiates its message and delivery depending on the medium and the audience, it remains committed to connecting with consumers over the shared value of caring for those you love.
Active on social media, NIVEA has concentrated on not just posting, but engaging subscribers. For instance, Facebook posts in the last few months have asked friends if they would “care” to share how they protect their lips from dryness via #lipService. A Facebook sweepstakes, #BecauseICare, was created to gather stories and photos of how people show they care for their loved ones. A Mother’s Day campaign also collected stories and photos of ways moms show they care. A 24-second video was posted on NIVEA’s timeline on Mother’s Day that showcased the way daughters believed their mother showed she cared. The brand is also active on Twitter, though it mostly just duplicates what it is doing on Facebook.
An excellent example of how NIVEA expanded on this theme was in a “Protection Ad” it placed in a popular Brazilian magazine, Veja Rio. The ad, created by FCB São Paulo, featured a picture of NIVEA Sun Kids sunscreen and a smartphone (Huang, 2015). Embedded in the ad was a detachable tracking-enabled bracelet that could be worn by kids at the beach. Parents were provided a free downloadable app with capabilities to alert them if their child wandered more than 32 yards from them at the beach. The idea here was to combine mobile and print media to differentiate their message- after all, caring means protecting, and where do parents need a little extra help protecting their kids than at the beach?
Though NIVEA does not host a blog, it does a fantastic job managing its YouTube channels. It has channels for Turkey, Serbia, Portugal, Germany, UK, Austria, Italy, Romania, Malaysia, Spain, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Croatia. Its competitors (like Vaseline and Aveeno) have less content and far fewer channels.
What is unique about NIVEA’s YouTube channel(s) is how it customizes its content based on country. For instance, the NIVEA Vietnam channel highlights skin protection using a glamorous, pale skin female. NIVEA Austria highlights skin protection with an intergenerational family. NIVEA Malaysia offered 4 webisodes targeting men using soccer videos. My favorite was a NIVEA Thailand commercial that featured parents who agonized over how to help their sunburnt son move past his anxieties of going out in the sun with the help of NIVEA. Watch it- it is so cool!
NIVEA UK’s YouTube channel featured a video produced with the help of advanced UV capturing photography to show the difference between skin that has been cared for and skin that hasn’t. It was able to demonstrate how its products actually work, not just talk about it or make promises about it.
NIVEA is wise to use technology to show in a very tangible way that its products really do protect skin. It later partnered with Cancer Research UK to strengthen its association with anti-cancer/pro-skincare. Of course, its tagline, “Take care out there”, reinforced its commitment to, well, “caring”. In most cases, the marketing language was the same across all channels, even when subjects changed.
How does NIVEA know what works and what doesn’t? It collaborates with research partner, Millward Brown to explore what marketing is most effective. Millward Brown’s regional head of media and digital, Mark Henning, said, “we’re working in an increasingly fragmented environment, so while our budgets are under pressure, we have to make them spread even further across a multitude of different channels, consumer behaviours and consumption opportunities” (as cited in Williams, 2016).
NIVEA maximizes its brand exposure via mobile and video by targeting its audience, in many cases by geography. With appropriate mediums and the right message delivered to geographically segmented audiences, NIVEA (for the most part) is able to weave its brand theme (caring) consistently across digital touch points with consumers.
Huang, Y. (2015, April 3). NIVEA: A whole new layer of protection. [Web log post]. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/perspectives-on-advertising/NIVEA-7e32c20e5d40#.h0t1bh55z
NIVEA. (2015, November 15). #BecauseICare. [Facebook post]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/NIVEAusa/
NIVEA Sun Kids: Protection ad. (2015). [Online image]. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/perspectives-on-advertising/NIVEA-7e32c20e5d40#.h0t1bh55z
NIVEA Thailand. (2016, February 17). [Online video]. ความห่วงใยจากคนที่คุณรัก…คือพลังปกป้องที่ยิ่งใหญ่. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frrNPBQ3i2g
NIVEA UK. (2015, January 9). Take care out there with NIVEA Sun. [Online video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlQzOrEuZZE
Williams, A. (2016, March 16). How NIVEA delivered a better ROI on marketing spend. Retrieved from: http://www.cmo.com.au/article/595988/how-NIVEA-delivered-better-roi-marketing-spend/