D2C Beauty Customer Engagement: Unilever’s Journey to Direct Consumer Connections

Unilever, a behemoth in consumer goods and India’s largest skincare manufacturer, faced unique challenges in a highly fragmented marketplace. With a vast array of products ranging from skincare to haircare, the company struggled with the nuances of rural versus urban consumer needs. Historically reliant on retail distribution, Unilever lacked direct consumer engagement, crucial for personalised advice and product recommendations, thus hindering their ability to foster brand loyalty and effectively cross-sell and up-sell within their extensive product portfolio.

The Challenge

Unilever grappled with several significant challenges: inaccurate demand forecasts and suboptimal market segmentation due to a lack of direct consumer relationships. The dependence on a sprawling sales agent network and retail partners impeded their move towards e-commerce, leaving a gap in achieving direct-to-consumer sales and obstructing personalised customer interactions.

The Strategy

To bridge this gap, we helped Unilever launch a personalised beauty portal designed to offer tailored beauty regimes and product recommendations. The strategy involved a step-wise data capture model, enabling progressive customer profile development. Engaging content was tailored to customer lifestyles, such as outdoor activities or swimming, enhancing platform stickiness through relevant quizzes and interactive beauty regime builders. Partnerships with fashion, food, and lifestyle influencers further enriched the content, aligning with Unilever’s long-term strategy to forge direct, meaningful connections with consumers.


The initiative was a resounding success, amassing 100,000 sign-ups, a notable achievement in the Indian market. The platform not only facilitated direct interactions but also leveraged these relationships for targeted promotions, bypassing traditional paid media avenues. This direct engagement strategy resulted in an uplift in customer loyalty and brand engagement, confirming the strategic shift towards a more connected and responsive consumer interaction model.