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51: A brand leader with a conscience: Kathleen Dunlop of Vaseline

Kathleen Dunlop is global marketing director for the Unilever brand, Vaseline. In this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast, she talks about “The Vaseline Healing Project,” a social-mission initiative created and developed in collaboration with BBH and the nonprofit organization, Direct Relief. That effort was recognized with a 2017 Effie Award in the Personal Care category.

In her discussion with Alan Hart, she also touches on experiences that have shaped her, particularly her mission to Jordan as part of “The Vaseline Healing Project,” and how efforts there were “literally helping people get back on their feet.” And she talks about brands connecting with consumers through purposeful storytelling with a conscience: “The most powerful stories today, the ones that seem to be connecting the most with the people who buy our products, are the ones about purpose, the ones that take a stand…If you don’t take a stand, and people can be indifferent to you, you will find you have no followers.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Dunlop discusses the key insight for “The Vaseline Healing Project.” (0:33)
  • The delight in having a product that can help people in difficult circumstances. (4:14)
  • Finding the right partners: The team behind “The Vaseline Healing Project.” (6:24)
  • Marketing effectiveness: Communicating a brand’s purpose with a relevant story to drive business. (8:56)
  • Dunlop’s formula for success: “Be curious and say yes.” (11:42)
  • A challenge facing marketers: The danger is trying to be everything to all people and ending up not being special to anyone. (19:07)