Pears Soap which was manufactured for the first time in the year 1807, was one of the first transparent soaps to be sold in the mass market. The soap which is now owned by HUL continues to be the oldest continuously existing brand of soap in the world. The soap is still retaining its name, shape, and color and there was a huge outcry against the owner company Unilever when it tried to change the look and feel of the brand and reposition it.
The soap which is made of glycerine and natural oils is suitable for all types of skin and is currently sold in the original form under the name Soft & Gentle, a blue colored version called Soft & Fresh and green colored one named Clear & Glow. A 75 g bar of Pears Soap is priced at Rs 36 and there are bigger sized variants as well as combo packs of 3 bars each.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of Pears Soap
The following are the strengths of Pears Soap:
- History of the brand: Pears Soap is a brand with a history of over 200 years and the brand continues to maintain its signature contents and its original features. Even the characteristic smell of the soap has been retained in all its genuinity. This history of the brand has made it acceptable in every generation and also a family name.
- Popularity: Being the oldest continuously existing brand of soap and owing to its presence in almost 210 countries across the world, almost everyone across generations would have used the soap at least once. This has made the soap one of the most popular brands across the globe.
- Glycerine: Andrew Pears made Pears for the first time with glycerine and natural oils and even today Pears is positioned as the soap with glycerine.It is also popular as the first transparent soap to be sold in mass markets across the world. Glycerine is known to have a lot of positive effects on the skin like the removal of acne and spots And gives clearer and more supple and smooth skin.
- Pure Soap: Pears is a brand of transparent soap and people associate the transparent feature of the soap to purity. This association has been strengthened with advertisements and promotions. This has helped the brand to increase its sales.
- Advertising strategy: Pears has always been positioned as a soap which is gentle on the skin and makes the skin soft and supple.In accordance with this positioning Pears has always relied on the slice of life advertisements which show the emotional bond between the mother and child to promote the product.
- Variants: For many years Pears was available only in one form which was similar to the original one. But over the years the brand has dipped in sales and after Unilever took over, they have added two more variants to the brand a blue colored version called Soft & Fresh and green colored one named Clear & Glow.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Pears Soap
Some of the key weaknesses of Pears are :
- Repositioning: After Unilever took over Pears they tried to modify the brand a reposition it. But they faced the wrath of the customer and had to recall the change costing them a lot of money. This also resulted in robbing the brand of the customer goodwill.
- Low acceptance in rural markets: Through the highly intensive distribution channel of HUL, the brand Pears reaches to remote locations. However, it has been seen that the brand has not been able to get the required level of acceptance amongst rural population primarily because it is perceived as an English soap because of its features.
- Low margins: Pears uses real glycerine and natural oils as its key ingredients both of which are expensive. With the increase in competition, the volumes of sales for individual brands have reduced and this is resulting in poor margins for most brands including Pears.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of Pears Soap
Some of the opportunities include :
- Huge market Potential: There is a lot of potential in the soaps segment with manufacturers identifying new needs and creating new segments. Some of these segments include a pimple free, dry skin, anti-aging and fairness soaps. In addition to this soaps are also diversifying into shower gels, face washes etc. All these open new avenues for brands like Pears.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of Pears Soap
Some of the threats include:
- Competition: The main competitor of Pears are Doy, Fiama Di Wills, and Medimix all of who have now introduced transparent soaps.
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