How Dove Reinvented Its Brand For Men

Dove has positioned itself as a leader in the women’s personal care industry, and has substantial brand awareness as one of the world’s top soap brands. 

But in the wake of the growing men’s personal-care category, could they sell Dove to men? Of course not…right? Everything about Dove's brand perception—its name, logo, and color palette—was created with women in mind. 

Pursuing "manly" men, on the other hand, would be disastrous…or so conventional brand wisdom tells us. 

However, that didn’t stop Dove from doing exactly that. In 2010, it launched a new line of male personal-care products, Dove Men+Care

To its credit, Dove understood that its existing brand would be a non-starter for men. So they revamped their brand for men—and so far, they’ve been successful. Below are three lessons you can learn from Dove's success:

1) "Disruptive" innovation is the most powerful form of innovation. Dove shook up the market for male personal-care products. They also stepped outside of the paradigm they had constructed for themselves as a women’s brand. They generated headlines and caused consumers to do a double-take. How can you disrupt the market for your products and services?

2) Pay close attention to your market—because timing is everything. Dove was well aware of the evolution of the male customer. The market for men’s products had been (and still is) rapidly expanding, and the idea of a product designed to "take care" of men was much more accepted than it would have been 20 years ago. How is your market changing?

3) Think outside the box. Particularly brilliant was Dove’s creation of their well-packaged shower scrub. It gives men a means to literally connect with their signature body wash product, while at the same time further differentiating it from Dove’s traditional female-skewed brand.  Not only does it have practical application, but the masculine color palette and package design maximizes its appeal to their target customers. What can you do to make your brand even more appealing to your market?

For more, take just a moment to watch the video I’ve created on the subject.

It’s important to understand that for every successful brand extension, there are many more that fail. Dove Men+Care played its cards just right—and there’s plenty you can learn from their success. First being, don’t be afraid to disrupt your market when the time is right. 

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2 Comments

  • Andrew

    John - it seems to me that by "brand", you're referring to the design and packaging of the product rather than the complete way in which potential consumers experience what it has to offer. I feel that it'll struggle by positioning the "for men" product so far away from the well established Dove brand ... unless they can identify a male positioning that complements the "real beauty" and purity of the brand for women.