How Unilever has Harnessed the Foundation Chakra
In our last post we outlined the Foundation Chakra and why it is important in creating a wealthy and healthy organization. Within the Foundation Chakra we draft meaningful foundational values that align with the purpose of your organization. Without these values, your business may be prone to instability and unhealthy behaviours such as blaming/scapegoating and being over reliant on market manipulations/trends. Therefore a solid foundation is key to the success of your business.
Unilever is a consumer goods company with many recognizable brands under their umbrella, including Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, Dollar Shave Club, and Bryers, among others. However the company is so much more as the company has well defined purpose and foundational values. Many of these values are aligned with a commitment to environmental change and social impact – on a global scale. Unilever has well defined Purpose and Vision statements.
“Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. It’s why we come to work. It’s why we’re in business. It’s how we inspire exceptional performance”.
“Our vision is a new way of doing business – one that delivers growth by serving society and the planet”.
In our previous post we spoke about how important it is to walk the walk when it comes to your foundational values and lead by example. Unilever has largely followed through on its commitments to the environment and social good.
Unilever boasts that:
🌟 Unilever has a 100% renewable energy-based electricity grid worldwide.
🌟 Unilever has a 50/50 gender balance in 10,000 managers.
🌟 Unilever uses 67% sustainably sourced agricultural raw materials.
🌟 “93% of leaders at Unilever are local to their market.
One of Unilever’s most notable campaigns where its foundational values are on full display is with Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. The campaign which launched in 2013 became famous for its eye-catching spots which aimed to change women's feelings about their bodies – a goal that was very much aligned with its vision of “serving society”.
The campaign originated based on insights found via consumer research in the soap category conducted by Unilever and Dove. The research found that out of the women surveyed 56% felt that “beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded”, and that they “wanted to see a more inclusive range of people reflected by beauty and personal care brands”. These insights prompted a recognition from Unilever and Dove that they needed to create a campaign that spoke to these concerns, a campaign that spoke to them. At the outset of the campaign Dove drafted three pledges that would inform the entirety of the campaign.
These pledges were as follows:
Pledge 1: We portray women as they are in real life.
Pledge 2: We portray women with diversity, honesty and respect.
Pledge 3: We help girls build body confidence and self-esteem.
One of the more well-known executions of the campaign was a spot from 2013 titled “You’re more beautiful than you think”. In the spot, women are asked to describe themselves and an artist who was not visible to them drew a sketch of them based on their description. Much of their descriptions were quite self-effacing describing their features as “having a protruding neck, a fat rounder face, and a pretty big forehead”. Prior to the original drawing, each woman met fellow female participants, each woman was then asked to describe the women that they met. Results were much more complimentary with descriptions like “her chin, it was a nice thin chin”, “Cute nose”, and “very nice blue eyes”. The women then returned and were shown both the sketch that the artist drew based on their description and the one that he drew based on the other woman’s description. This aimed to show that the way others see us is usually in a more gentle and kind way than we often see ourselves.
This push towards increasing self-esteem and overall well being does not begin and end with the “Dove Real Beauty” campaign.
The Dove Self Esteem Project
The Dove Self Esteem Project claims to be an excellent resource for self-esteem education. Through this program Dove claims they have both helped 250 million young people commit to empower with the Dove Self-Esteem Project by 2030 and 2.4 million parents and mentors have used learning material from the Dove Self-Esteem Project to raise a child’s self esteem.
Project #ShowUs is another example of this push. The project aims to push back against Digital Distortion in photos that gives young girls a warped sense of what beauty is and what they are supposed to look like. “We want to target the way beauty is portrayed in advertising, weight discrimination, and the unethical sale of diet pills to children” says Unilever. They have sought and earned the support of several education boards and resources that aim to improve young people’s self-esteem.
Unilever is an excellent example of an organization who has harnessed the Foundation Chakra. Unilever has shown how to create strong foundational values (i.e. vision and purpose) while also showcasing how to walk the walk with brands like Dove. For businesses big and small, they are an example that should serve as inspiration on this front.
Visit Unilever.com for more information. We have provided citations below, allowing you to view the content that we sourced from for this case study.
Would you like a more customized solution on how to harness the Foundation Chakra of your business? Visit us at 7chakrasofbusiness.com, on Instagram/Facebook @Chakrasofbusiness or reach out to us directly at Katrina@7chakrasofbusiness.com.
Home. Unilever Canada. (n.d.). https://www.unilever.ca/.
Our Company. Unilever Canada. (n.d.). https://www.unilever.ca/.
Our Vision In Action. Unilever Canada. (n.d.). https://www.unilever.ca/.
Dove Campaigns. Dove UK. (n.d.). https://www.dove.com/ca/en/stories/campaigns.html.
Bahadur, N. (2017, December 7). How Dove Tried To Change The Conversation About Female Beauty. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dove-real-beauty-campaign-turns-10_n_4575940.
Unilever PLC. (2021, June 8). Supporting self-esteem and wellbeing. Unilever. https://www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/health-and-wellbeing/supporting-self-esteem-and-wellbeing/.
Unilever. (2021, February 15th). Help for consumers, schools and hospitals during lockdown in Ukraine. Unilever Canada. https://www.unilever.ca/news/news-and-features/2021/helping-consumers-schools-and-hospitals-in-ukraine-lockdown.html.
Jope, A. (n.d.). The Unilever Compass: our next game-changer for business. Unilever global company website. https://www.unilever.com/news/news-and-features/Feature-article/2020/the-unilever-compass-our-next-game-changer-for-business.html.
Unilever. (2020, December 2). Unilever research finds mouthwash technology could help reduce coronavirus transmission. Unilever Canada. https://www.unilever.ca/news/news-and-features/2020/unilever-research-finds-mouthwash-technology-could-help-reduce-coronavirus-transmission.htm