How to control the market of Unilever’s brand ZWITSAL in China

Concerns about product quality and authenticity lead the rise of cross-border e- commerce, as middle- to upper-class consumers now increase their demand for goods that are not available domestically.


The Challenge

How to protect our brand and sell online in china

Unilever’s brand Zwitsal, a baby care product brand, is being sold by many individual sellers and Daigou’s in the Chinese market. Unilever wants to protect its brand from non- consistent branding and pricing and wants to know how to do this and enter the Chinese market with Zwitsal.

How to deal with Daigou’s?

Which e-commerce sales channels to pick?

How to keep branding and positioning consistent with so many individual sellers of Zwitsal?

What pricing should Unilever maintain for its Zwitsal products?

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Our Approach

Open official channels where the daigou’s are active.

The only way for a brand and in this case Zwitsal to control the pricing and brand image of its products is to open official channels where the daigou’s are active and profit from the organic traffic that the daigou’s bring in and show consumers a consistent branding and pricing of its brand via its own channels.


How to brand zwitsal in China?

When considering how to brand Zwitsal in China the target customer of Zwitsal needs to be understood. AsiaAssist was tasked with developing customer persona’s and mapping the customer journey for Zwitsal its product in order to determine the right branding strategy in China.

“Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they’re capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away. “

This is so significantly different that branding a brand such as Zwitsal needed to find the angle that when parents bathe their children its focused on creating inner confidence and less on nurturing. Hence the movie Frozen is chosen since this reinforces the role model the main actor is in this movie to Chinese children.

Which customer touch points should zwitsal be present on?

It was clear that Zwitsal was already sold by many different sellers on Taobao and on Taobao Global. However to strengthen Zwitsal as a traditional and heritage brand from the Netherlands it was chosen to be present on the right touch points in the customer journey of young Chinese parents.

Do we have a profitable business case and what is our maximum exposure?

The most important brief we had was can we create a profitable business case for Unilever and to identify the main risks. For this we collected real sales data from the last 1,5 years from children care brands selling on Tmall and Taobao. And analysed the product category and its sub-categories to develop a business case with multiple risk scenario’s.


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"Chinese individuals living outside of China that sell products from the countries they live in on Taobao"


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Richmond Finch

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