Krona as a product was a result of the complete set of actions that served as a consequence of unsuccessful management strategy within the company. Having been set primarily as a food production international company, Unilever was supposed to address each country’s market separately. However, after the two institutions have been launched in company structure, the Category Boards and the Innovation Centers (ICs), the overall management strategy of Unilever was changed. As a result, Krona launch was not served by the customer needs locally. Some European countries serve as a fine example of it.
Secondly, the overall change in management has affected Krona, as the company was not prepared to act differently with new products in the markets. Extensive support that was so much in need in this situation was missed, and the key determinants of success of the project were missed in this occasion.
Finally, all local plans considering the development of Krona and the culture of its consumption in each country’s market were reviewed by the upper management of the company. It did not have knowledge of these markets and only made generalizations based on its own assumptions on what is true and what is false. Therefore, consequently these plans and proposals were corrected, and the ideas that could have brought success to Krona were either ignored or eliminated.
The analysis of the case demonstrates that the overall success and failure of the product were the results of multiple steps taken by Unilever at each country’s level and internationally. The information that has been provided by the supervisors for each country has been misread and misrepresented.
The appearance of the growing competition and the maturity of the food market in Europe became the major causes for the company to change its management strategy. As a result, the company stopped its local-based management and centralized most of the decisions. However, at the same time, marketing function still remained local which created major inconsistency. The company that was supposed to be local became international, while its marketing function still operated at a decentralized local-based scale.
Following the integration of marketing into global company management and orientation, the decision was to change the products themselves. Instead of manufacturing products for the local markets, the company decided to save costs and create unified product groups that would fit all the markets at the same time. Krona was one of them. Finally, it only turned successful in Germany for a very short period of time.
Whether the company is local-oriented or international, the type of goods it produces should address the needs of their consumers. If Unilever decided to change its profile from local products to international ones, the products themselves did not need to be innovative and represent the typical consumer basket. However, Unilever applied international management strategy approach without looking at the product itself. If other good than Krona was launched at the market of each particular country, even without looking at the local trends, this product would have been successful. Finally, Unilever needs to consider the idea of creating a brand portfolio to diversify its company profile. This would also help distinguish products among their own range.