Internal customer empathy on a global scale

The Situation 

When you’re a multinational company with a huge portfolio of brands, your biggest customers are usually your internal ones. That’s the case at Unilever, who own Lynx, Dove, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Magnum, Surf and over 400 more household brands.

So in 2014 they launched Unilever Foundry, a platform for global agencies, start-ups, freelancers to collaborate, innovate and offer business ideas to every division of the business.

Having a more diverse group of partners than the typical client-agency model was a novel approach, but success hinged upon changing behaviours.  

Our Approach 

A culture shift was essential. The Foundry needed to educate and inspire brand teams to evolve from merely issuing creative briefs to inviting marketers to help them overcome business challenges.

So True & North worked with the Foundry’s cross-functional founding team to turn their knowledge and understanding of their internal customers into human-centered stories and related questions.

How It Helped

This relatable approach was an eye-opener for the Unilever’s brand teams around the world, allowing them to see that the Foundry team understood their internal customers’ circumstances, priorities and challenges.

The result: an environment where global brand marketers could immediately see how the Foundry might be able help.

“Useful and insightful. The session galvanised our team and helped us better articulate what we do.”

Jeremy Basset, Global Marketing and Strategy Director, Unilever