In the realm of successful marketing campaigns, innovation, not invention, is the driving
force. Michael Polk, president of Unilever United States, emphasized this
notion in his recent keynote address at the Wharton Marketing Conference. Polk,
who oversees iconic brands like Dove, Axe, and Q-Tips, believes that it is all
about coming up with “dislocating ideas” that disrupt the norm in a category. 

One shining example of this approach is Unilever’s Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty.” By
challenging the traditional notion of physical beauty and promoting self-esteem
and confidence, the campaign has changed the status quo in the beauty industry.
Polk believes that successful marketing initiatives like this are built on
concepts that change the frame of reference and expand category relevance. 

As the president of Unilever and group vice president, Michael Polk leads a portfolio of household brands that generate $50 billion in
global revenues. With a presence in 150 countries, Unilever is the
third-largest consumer packaged goods company worldwide. Polk’s vision for the
company revolves around helping people “look good, feel good, and get more out of life.” 

To achieve this, Unilever United States aims to streamline its product lineup while still
offering a diverse mix of food, hygiene, and personal care items. The company’s
goal is to simplify life for consumers in developed countries and make life
safer in developing nations. Unilever operates as an import-export business,
translating its agenda into the language of retailers and adapting products to local markets. 

In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, companies must develop a deep understanding of consumer
trends and behaviors. Unilever, inspired by innovative companies like
Starbucks, Apple, and 3M, focuses on crystal-clear consumer insights, concepts
that change the conversation, brands that take a stand, and ideas that stretch
the value proposition. By embracing these principles, Unilever continues to
lead change through innovation. 

In conclusion, Michael Polk’s vision for successful marketing revolves around innovation and
“dislocating ideas.” Unilever’s portfolio of iconic brands and its
commitment to understanding consumer needs position the company at the
forefront of the industry. As the marketplace continues to evolve, Unilever
remains dedicated to driving category growth and delivering products that
enhance consumers’ lives. Read this article for additional information. 


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