Unilever’s Lifebuoy in Myanmar: Soap Suds for Social Good?

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It is June 2015, ten months after Unilever had re-launched Lifebuoy soap in Myanmar. The brand had performed exceedingly well, particularly in the metro and urban areas of Myanmar, and Unilever was on-target to achieve its goal of changing the handwashing behaviour of 20 million people in Myanmar by 2020.

Despite the challenges of operating in a country where little or no data was available, the Unilever Myanmar team had put together a number of initiatives to make Lifebuoy the number one brand in its category in Myanmar for the future. But was it enough? Did the Lifebuoy proposition resonate with the population? And were Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan initiatives the right activation strategy?

This case study can be used be used to teach market entry strategies that large, well-established global firms need to consider while entering a new market. The complexity to the case is added by virtue of the destination being a frontier market, namely Myanmar.


Awareness Building, brand activation, FMCG, Hygiene, Market Entry, penetration, promotion, rural, soap, strategy, Sustainability, targeting


Asian Studies | Marketing | Strategic Management Policy

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Field Research


Consumer Goods

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Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate

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