Unilever backs seven start-ups to boost digital reach

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever backs seven start-ups to boost digital reach

Related tags Brand management Advertising Unilever

Unilever has selected seven digital companies to each pair up with one of its brands, in a start-up accelerator scheme with which the multinational consumer goods company hopes to advance its digital profile.

The announcement comes as the final stage in the company’s ‘Go Global’ hunt for relevant digital companies to represent the selected brands, which include Clear hair care and Vaseline skin care.

Unilever offers the start-ups mentorship and $100,000 to develop a customized digital marketing pilot in the area of content, mobile, or connected devices.

Going global

The brands chosen to be paired up with the digital companies were selected, Unilever states, to be representative of their four product categories: food, homecare, refreshments and personal care.

Alongside Vaseline and Clear, Magnum, Surf, Hellmann’s and Flora will also participate. The start-ups chosen include Swedish digital health start-up LifeSum, and Chinese media firm Thoughtful Media Group.

The project is globally focussed, and Unilever has stated its explicit focus on the regions of Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The company states; “Go Global is about connecting emerging companies to global markets, in partnership with our global brands​.”

Bringing start-up companies inside the company is a savvy move for the fast moving consumer goods manufacturer, as it will allow Unilever to develop an edge on the ever-flourishing digital marketing zone.

Digital future

Being clued-up on digital marketing opportunities is increasingly fundamental to brand marketing strategy development.

The time UK consumers spend with digital media including laptops, tablet and mobile phones is set to overtake the time spent viewing TV in 2014 for the first time ever, according to the latest eMarketer research.

Traditional multimedia platforms are fast being usurped by mobile technology for both marketing and sales. New York-based firm L2 Thinktank’s recent research shows that nearly three quarters of beauty sites are now mobile optimized, up from 50% in 2012.

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