In 2013, Unilever was competing in several personal care categories that were either contracting or experiencing flat growth. Several large multinational competitors were increasing competition through innovation and heightened promotions. Some of Unilever’s brands were also under indexed in Quebec. Thus, the challenge: how could Unilever better understand Quebeckers in the context of beauty care and accordingly optimize their marketing plans to grow with this important group of consumers?
By augmenting a traditional tool, ethnography, with newer technology, online self-ethnography, Unilever was able to bring the cultural context of beauty care to life through video reporting. This allowed Unilever to experience beauty care à la québécoise generating new ideas and unlocking the potential for growth of Unilever Beauty Care brands in Quebec.
In partnership with Sylvestre Marketing, the path to uncovering the key differences started with online self-ethnography, where young women in Quebec and Ontario were asked to film and candidly explain their beauty care routines, discuss their attitudes towards beauty, the role of cosmetics, and exchange on confidence, role models and personal style. Armed with solid working hypotheses, the research partner and client set out to meet with young women in their homes, bathrooms, bedrooms and even showers. The quest to identify differences led to the discovery of meaningful commonalities as well as a profound comprehension of the differences, among them all, which truly change everything!
Senior Partner, Sylvestre Marketing
Isabelle has a knack for getting rid of the clutter and shedding light on the essence of it all. A backpacking ethnographer at heart, she sees every chat with a consumer as an opportunity to build a relationship and every new project as a creative quest!
Isabelle Landreville, M.Sc., was born and raised in Ottawa where she obtained her bachelor’s degree. She then pursued marketing research at ESCP Europe in Paris. A qualitative researcher since 1999, she started off her career traveling across North America and all of Europe as an ethnographer. Now a Senior Partner, she joined Sylvestre Marketing in 2005.