In 2014, Unilever’s Vaseline brand was on the verge of its 150th birthday. But in its core market – the USA – all was not well, as private labels threatened it with commodity status. How to take the high ground?
As described in this HBR article, Brand Director Kathleen Dunlop went back to the brand’s core idea: ‘the healing power of Vaseline’. Her question: ‘where is this healing power most urgently needed?’
Through interviews with medical professionals in the front line of disaster relief, the team learned that Vaseline jelly was an indispensable part of emergency first-aid kits. In refugee camps, petroleum jelly – and Vaseline in particular – was being used to address skin conditions such as cracking and blistering, that could become dangerous and debilitating.
And so The Healing Project was born (film). The goal: to help heal the skin of 5 million people affected by poverty or emergencies, by 2020. Vaseline’s partner: an international humanitarian aid organisation called Direct Relief.
Vaseline and Direct Relief have so far reached 2.5m people in need in all corners of the world, along the way helping refresh the brand’s uniqueness and relevance vs. its private label competitors.
Read more: Vaseline Healing Project