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How social media has democratized brand building

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Social media ushered in a new era for marketers, where customers drive the conversation and agility is key to successful marketing. Rob Candelino, Vice President of Brand Building for Unilever skincare business speaks to Robin Tooms at the Dad 2.0 Summit about how social media is democratizing marketing.

Robin: Hello and welcome. I am Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage, and I’m here today for a special episode of Brandonomics. We’re at the Dad 2.0 Summit, and my guest today Rob Candelino, Vice President of Brand Building for Unilever skincare business. So I’m very excited to be here today. Rob, welcome to the show.

Rob: Thank you for having me.

Robin: Well, I think this is a perfect form today at the Dad 2.0 Summit, here in Houston, to talk about the impact of social media on brand building. So how has this era that we’re in of user comments and social media really changed the way you’re building in the brands at Unilever?

Rob: It’s had a profound influence, obviously on marketing in general. If the internet was the great democratizer, then the way I describe it is social media is a democratization of influence. Gone are the days where it’s brands have an one-way monologue with our consumers. There’s a two-way street, where we hear instantaneously if a formula change or a pack change or a campaign that we do does or doesn’t resonate with our consumers, and I think it forces marketers to be much more agile, and as my mother always told me, “Two ears, one mouth. Listen more, talk less, and you’ll be better off.”

Robin: That’s a good place to start. Now tell me – you mention the word “influencers,” ’cause that’s what’s really key in this marketing era. How do you go about finding your influencers?

Rob: A variety of places. I think brands that we represent often, we have the privilege that people come to us because we have big brands. They want to be associated with us. So, we have a stream of those who volunteer themselves to come work, and of course, being somewhat progressive brands or progressive marketers, we look for places where our consumer will be, messages that they want to hear, and then we work very, very hard to find online or in media channels the types of partners and associations and channels that are consistent with our brand principles and that resonate with our consumer.

Robin: Okay, thank you. I appreciate that insight into how you influence your brand online through social media. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Unilever has more than 400 brands focused on health and wellbeing, including Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Omo. Its mission is to create a better future every day, with brands and services that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

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