Creating a consumer-centric thinking culture for Unilever

Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational corporation which owns many of the world’s consumer product brands. Unilever is working hard at connecting R&D employees to consumers. The short-term aim is to make R&D people aware of the day-to-day consumer reality. The long-term goal is to create a structural change in how employees act.

What did we do?

Unilever Inspire Us community

A Consumer Connect Website was launched, in order to change the hearts, minds and actions of 1,000 Unilever R&D employees in 6 weeks time. We established a consumer-centric-thinking company culture by letting employees engage with the consumer world (by playing online ‘games’ about the consumer world during 3 weeks), by inspiring them (through a news website reporting on a 3-week online research community enlightening the blind spots of R&D people we discovered during the games) and by defining actions (in workshops within each R&D team).

The results

To get a grip on the impact we created on employees, we conducted a pre- and post-measurement among all employees who participated. Based on the analysis we detected the extent to which we generated a mind shift.

  1. We managed to realise a relative increase of 81% in terms of knowing how consumers decide which products to buy.
  2. Employees also indicated that they started dialogues with friends & family about why they use and like specific products & why they are paying more attention to other products & consumer behaviour while shopping.
  3. Based on meta-data we know that our research was impactful because it brought the consumer to life (via pictures & stories), was inspirational and made employees talk about consumers.