In-depth SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE

Updated on: Aug 25, 2021

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Unilever markets Lifebuoy as a soap brand. William Lever’s goal to eradicate cholera in Victorian England inspired the creation of Lifebuoy. 

Over the last century, they’ve evolved into the world’s best-selling germ-fighting soap and a global leader in bringing better health and hygiene to billions of people. Lifebuoy was useful in assisting customers in meeting their needs. During the years, the company was successful in establishing a positive image and reputation in India’s personal care market. 

The company constantly tries to come up with a new product to meet the ever-increasing needs of its customer base.

Do you want to know how Lifebuoy achieved such great success in the industry? Keep reading this case study where we discuss SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy.

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About Lifebuoy

Lifebuoy Logo | SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE

SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE


The Lifebuoy was first introduced in the United Kingdom by Lever Brothers in 1895. Originally a phenol-containing carbolic soap, different varieties, such as the coral-coloured variety, were later introduced without the medicinal carbolic smell.

Lifebuoy is the world’s number one hygiene soap brand, with nearly 60 countries selling it. They hope to make a difference through the Lifebuoy brand by creating high-quality, low-cost products and promoting healthy hygiene habits. 

Their goal is to assist 1 billion people worldwide in improving their hygiene habits by 2020. 

The desire to be clean, active, and healthy is universal – regardless of age or economic status. They understand this, and for more than a century, Lifebuoy soap has championed the cause of better health through hygiene.

Lifebuoy Products | SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE

SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE


The Lifebuoy brand is driven by an inspiring vision of more hygienic, healthier, and ultimately more vital communities.
Now that we’ve understood the company’s fundamentals, let’s look at Lifebuoy’s S.W.O.T analysis.


S.W.O.T Analysis of Lifebuoy

A SWOT analysis is a method of determining a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a tried-and-tested management paradigm that enables businesses to compare their performance to competitors in the industry. So let’s take a look at Lifebuoy’s SWOT analysis:


1. Strengths of Lifebuoy

The unique capabilities of a company or organization that give it an advantage in capturing more market share, attracting more customers, and maximizing profits are referred to as its strengths.

  • Brand Credibility: Lifebuoy has been in the market for over 100 years and has been successful in gaining the trust of its customers. Its health-focused approach and communication have helped it establish credibility and a loyal customer base.
  • Medicinal Approach: Lifebuoy has positioned itself as a product with a medicinal approach that can combat germs while also providing a healthy disinfectant bathing soap.
  • Affordability: Lifebuoy has been priced to be affordable to a wide range of markets, particularly rural markets.
  • Strong Distribution: Lifebuoy has a global distribution channel that allows the product to reach even the most remote corners of various countries. Lifebuoy has made a real effort to be present in rural markets where the product is in high demand.
  • Product Line Expansion: Lifebuoy has successfully expanded its product line by releasing successful hand wash, body wash, and hand sanitiser products. This has aided Lifebuoy in increasing its revenue.
  • Awareness campaigns with a social message: Lifebuoy has released a number of awareness campaigns that include a social message. Lifebuoy’s “hath dhoye kya?” mission centred on proper handwashing during India’s Kumbh Mela is a prime example of this.


2. Weaknesses of Lifebuoy

Weaknesses are aspects of a company or brand that need to be improved. The following are Lifebuoy’s major flaws:

  • Perception as an inferior product: Lifebuoy is perceived as an inferior product due to its low prices and an image of “not being a beauty soap.
  • Not popular in urban markets: While the brand has priced the product to be available in all markets, particularly rural markets, its urban market penetration is relatively low.
  • Perception of a male-centric brand: Lifebuoy is perceived as a male-centric brand, despite Lifebuoy’s efforts to project the brand as a family brand.


3. Opportunities of Lifebuoy

Opportunities are potential areas in which a company could focus in order to improve results, increase sales, and profits.

  • Increasing health awareness: There is a global increase in health awareness, which may give Lifebuoy an advantage due to its disinfectant composition.
  • Increasing disposable income: As people’s disposable incomes rise around the world, it is expected that consumption in the FMCG industry will rise as well, resulting in higher sales.
  • Promote Lifebuoy with a Message: By promoting its products, Unilever has focused on providing social messages. Lifebuoy is one of many products that have been promoted with a social message. In addition, Lifebuoy should undertake missions to combat global epidemics.


4. Threats of Lifebuoy

Lifebuoy Competitors | SWOT Analysis of Lifebuoy | IIDE

Threats are environmental factors that can have a negative impact on a company’s growth. Lifebuoy’s threats include the following:

  • Market Cannibalization: Unilever has several products in the same category, such as Lux and Dove. Despite the fact that all of the products are positioned in different market segments, they cannibalize each other on a microscopic level.
  • Increasing Herbal Product Awareness: Globally, there is a growing interest in herbal-based products. This may have an impact on Lifebuoy’s market, which is primarily a chemical-based product.
  • Intense competition: Lifebuoy faces fierce competition from a variety of local and global products, including Dettol and Savlon. Market share is influenced by fierce competition.

The brand has been able to stay at the top of its game thanks to an excellent SWOT analysis, and with this, we have concluded the Lifebuoy case study.


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Lifebuoy is Unilever’s oldest brand, offering health and hygiene solutions to the family. 

It has a loyal customer base and is the market leader in the hygiene soap brand, demonstrating the product’s strength. 

The product has a limited fragrance, resulting in a limited market for the product. Companies can enter different segments of the market, which is an opportunity, but competition is increasing, making the market more competitive. 

To increase sales, the company is primarily targeting the rural market. The new Lifebuoy is not only aimed at men but also towards families in order to protect them from germs.

The company’s SWOT analysis aided in the formulation of key recommendations, such as the establishment of a new vision and strategy, as well as the adherence to current performance indicators.

Did you like our work? Do you want to learn more? Check out more of our business analyses on our website. Thank you for reading!

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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