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Marketing Mix and Marketing Strategy of Axe

A Detailed look at the Marketing Mix of Axe and Its Marketing Strategy

Axe Marketing Mix

Unilever’s Axe is among the most well known men’s grooming brands of the world. It is among the best from the house of Unilever and enjoys high level of popularity and brand loyalty.  Axe sells in more than 90 countries of the world. In some corners, it is known as Lynx, UK, Ireland, Australia and China. The world of men’s grooming products has changed a lot in the 21st century as men’s needs have evolved faster. There is more pressure to stand out of the crowd as there is pressure to fit in.

Men are spending more than ever on grooming products. Looking attractive has become an important need and people do not hesitate to spend on grooming products just like they spend on fashion. It is not just about being attractive, now it is like a part of your personality and identity. While on the one hand it inspires confidence, being groomed helps people stand out and be noticed. Axe has kept innovating its products and its marketing strategy for market growth and success. Behind the Axe  statement is the power of marketing. This is an analysis of its marketing strategy and how it helps the brand reach its target audience. It includes an analysis of the marketing mix of the brand and its promotional strategy and tactics.

Axe Marketing Mix and Marketing Strategy
Axe Marketing Mix

Product:

Axe makes, markets and sells a large array of men’s grooming products. These products include hair care products, body wash, daily fragrances, deodorants and anti-perspirants. Axe offers both variety and quality and in every product category makes several products that are minutely differentiated from each other.   A variety of deodorants and fragrances cater to the needs of the modern consumer who likes to look his best all the time.  Its hair care products include shampoos, gels and conditioners.  Its range of shampoos and gels is also quite large.  The large product range is complemented by excellent packaging. Axe has kept improving the packaging of its products to remain popular.  In this age only quality will not be enough to make a product popular a brand has to be smart at packaging in order to sell its products. Variety in product range helps cater to a large segment of customers. Axe serves a large customer base through its product range which is mainly made up of young generation men and women.

Place:

The Axe brand is sold and found in 90 countries. In some parts of the world including China, Australia, UK and Ireland it is also known as Lynx. The brand has a large and global supply and distribution system that caters to customers around the world. These products are found in both small and large retail stores. The way they decorate the shelves even in the small retail stores in small Asian towns speaks of their popularity. The brand has started reaching even the rural population in Asian and African nations. Worldwide there is a very large rural population and not all of the people living in rural areas are poor. Unilever has started reaching the rural populations by training women for the task. It also released small packages of its products like shampoo sachets to target the rural consumer. The Indian rural population is familiar with Unilever and several of its brands including Axe.

Price:

Price is an important factor in the marketing of any brand. Axe has used competitive pricing strategy to target young consumers. The millennial consumers want good quality products but at affordable prices. Price therefore becomes an important influencing factor in the purchasing decisions of grooming products. Competitive pricing strategy has helped Axe grow its market share and customer base faster than its competitors. Compared to its nearest competitors, its products are priced lower. This helps it target the middle class customers effectively. It also uses discounts and offers periodically on product bundles to attract new and retain the old customers. Such a pricing strategy is suitable for the bands that want faster growth and larger market share. The result is high sales and growing popularity based on affordability and accessibility.

Promotion:

Axe has been promoting it brand and products quite effectively. Its promotions are mainly targeted at a young generation that likes feeling glamorous. It is why the ads of Axe deodorants are generally a bit steamy and sensuous. It promotes its brand and products using several channels that include both traditional and digital channels. Its ads appear in newspapers and magazines. Apart from that video ads also appear on TV and online channels. When it comes to video ads, Axe makes quite interesting and engaging ads that are meant to engage the attention of the customers. Social media is also an important channel for Axe from which it promotes its products through video ads and images.

Marketing Strategy of Axe:

Unilever spends heavily on marketing and Axe is a brand that is promoted with special focus. Axe is promoted through several channels. However, the most important elements of its marketing strategy are its quality, pricing strategy and packaging. These are there very important elements that have made the brand and product a hit. Unilever conducts extensive research to know the customers’ needs and choices. Research helps it understand people’s choices and needs and what kind of products people would like to buy. Its large range of products caters to a large and varied customer base which despite matching needs has distinct choices. Packaging is an equally important part of its marketing strategy.  The brand focuses on attractive packaging. Attractive packaging helps attract and retain customers. The millennial customer does not want products that are wrapped in ordinary packages. Good packaging helps bring and sustain attention.

Pricing is also a very important part of marketing strategy that affects the popularity of a brand. Brands must price their products based on the customer segment they are targeting and its ability to pay. Axe uses a competitive pricing strategy that allows it to sell at lower price than its nearest competitors. This is an effective strategy when you are targeting the millennial customers. Millenials want good quality products but at affordable prices. They want products that are of satisfactory quality, can be accessed easily and are priced not to burn their pockets. This is the strategy that Axe has followed. Axe has got the image of a youth brand which it uses to target the young generation. The Tagline it uses “Find Your Magic” is also targeted specifically at the young generation which is trying to make every moment in its life magical.

Apart from competitive pricing axe has been following an effective promotional strategy. Its products are advertised heavily through traditional and modern channels. They are advertised in Newspapers, magazines, on television as well as other digital channels. Social media is also an important stop for the marketing of Axe brand and products. Axe promotes its products and brands through the various social media channels. These social media channels are highly effective for connecting with customers and for customer engagement. YouTube is home to 73 Axe videos that promote the brand and its products. Several of these videos are somewhat sensuous containing a bit of steaminess.  However, glamour is an inseparable part of modern generation. So, some steaminess in the promotion of such products is always acceptable. Axe also uses Facebook for the promotion of its brand and products. There are more than 3.8 million followers of the brand on Facebook which shows its popularity. On Twitter too the brand has got more than 133K followers. In this way, social media is an important platform that has helped the brand make its products popular and connect with its fans and followers.The overall result of heavy promotion is easy brand recall. Axe is a brand that can be recognized easily around the world.  Brand recognition and brand image are related to sales and the power of marketing is clearly there behind the making Axe a celebrity.

Highlights of Axe marketing strategy:

  • Product innovation (satisfactory quality)
  • Variety in product range
  • Smart and attractive packaging
  • Competitive pricing
  • Use of traditional and digital channels
  • Reaching the rural markets through new innovative methods
  • Use of sensuous video ads to attract young customers
  • Use of social media for customer engagement
  • Image of a young and glamorous brand

Sources:

https://hbr.org/2016/12/how-unilever-reaches-rural-consumers-in-emerging-markets

https://www.axe.com/us/en/products.html

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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