Firebrands insight: Nivea: tried and true

For Nivea, nostalgic feeling is an important brand asset. Since 1930 (1882 including the original, Beiersdorf emulsion creme) the brand has relied on trust, loyalty and a relatively unchanged identity to bring in sales. The newest tagline ‘Feeling closer’ began in the centennial Nivea crème campaign, and has been carried into advertising and social media with gusto.

The Nivea online voice is extremely conversational, with smiley faces, lols and even the odd kiss; tone is personal, informal and very human. Brand posts are frequent, as is conversation, and though there is little non-branded content, subjects are relevant, engaging and tailored by platform and region.

A downfall of this content strategy is organisation. Though individual accounts promote a steady social reach, there
is little consistency on a broader scale. Profiles are sometimes arranged by region, sometimes by product or both and no account name has a presence on more than one or two networks; YouTube is one of Nivea’s biggest social content platforms, yet it is rarely mentioned on any other site. Harnessing the power of this content by cross-referencing across platforms could generate sustained industry Buzz and Reach, driving up Rankings.

Nivea’s main rival in the Firebrands top 100, Gillette, is also a brand of heritage. Though not notably faring better in ranking, Gillette has a steadily higher score overall with continued peaks at regular intervals. Through association with sport and an innovative take on brand advice Gillette has managed to shift interest onto what they are doing now, whilst still celebrating a rich company history.

The only time Nivea generated a significant buzz on social platforms, causing a peak in their Firebrands score, was unfortunately driven by negative press. Having made more than one embarrassing marketing error in the past 18 months it is understandable the brand has chosen stick with tried and true values. But by playing safe Nivea is not only discouraging the public promotion of  big ideas and initiatives, they are allowing the negative press to overwhelm the good.

Key opportunities
Extend reach by unifying brand social presence
across key platforms

Engage in conversation outside of Nivea products,
leverage knowledge and experience as an industry authority

Look for ways to engage customers in innovation
and brand initiatives to generate excitement