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Integrating responsibility in every aspect of your business

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Sustainability and corporate responsibility aren't just initiatives -- they should be an integral part of your business and your brand. Rob Candelino, Vice President of Brand Building for Unilever skincare business speaks to Robin Tooms at the Dad 2.0 Summit about how a commitment to responsibility guides every business decision.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage and I’m back again today at the Dad 2.0 Summit with Rob Candelino, Vice President of Brand Building at Unilever’s Skin Care Business. So Rob, welcome back to the show.

Rob: Thanks for having me.

Robin: Well I think it’s great to talk to you again about branding, but on a different level today for this show. What’s interesting with brand building is that it’s not just the product brands. It’s the company brand that you’re building as well. And Unilever does this in some interesting ways through their CSR and sustainability efforts. Tell me first what does Unilever see as their role in making the world a better place?

Rob: It is our guiding light to be honest. We have what’s called the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. It is something that each and every day every Unilever employee works very hard to contribute to. I’m very privileged to work for a company like Unilever that has such a plan. And I believe that it is probably amongst the most progressive corporate responsibility programs in the world from any company or any industry. Specifically what it means for me in my day job is I have the privilege of leading the Dove brand in America.

As part of that I contribute heavily to our stated goal of reaching 15,000,000 with self-esteem programming by the year 2015. Too many girls are growing up today with major issues and challenges with self-esteem. We want to fix that. So we made a very public statement by 2015 to reach 15,000,000 girls. And in the United States I lead that initiative. Given it’s our biggest Dove market in the world I have a very, very significant role in helping improve lives of girls everywhere.

Robin: So how does Unilever communicate these initiatives?

Rob: For the Dove movement for self-esteem, for example, we do it through a variety of channels. We have television advertising. We do it through sponsorship. We do it through programs like Dad 2.0 that you know of. A female oriented equivalent of that: we’re sponsors of Mom 2.0. We do a lot of community outreach. We have three strategic partners with the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, and Girls, Inc. They’re all partners of ours. We build curriculums. We build programs to reach girls in their communities, and in their schools. We look for every opportunity where girls are receptive to or in need of messaging to help them improve their self-esteem. And it’s a tireless effort, but it’s something we feel very passionately about doing.

Robin: Rob thank you for sharing that. It’s good to know that this is really part of Unilever’s corporate philosophy and their mission and not just a side effort. That’s really how a company should be approaching their sustainability. I appreciate you sharing. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. Stay tuned next week for another episode.


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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If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with customers, and differentiate themselves from the competition, then let’s start a conversation.