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The case of Nivea cream: crème de la crème | Slangbusters Blog
Nov 1, '19

The case of Nivea cream: crème de la crème

You immediately thought about the Nivea moisturizer. If you didn’t, here’s a case study with personal anecdotes of Nivea brand in the Indian context.

Do you have any brand’s specific product that has become a part of your family? Has it ever happened to you that, that specific brand has become synonymous with the product, that if you have to buy a product it has to be of that brand?

For us, Sharmas’, it was Nivea, the blue-tinned sweet-smelling cream of Nivea. Believe it or not all four of us at one point used to have our separate Nivea cream or moisturizer.

If there’s one thing that I remember from the time when I had started remembering things, is that my mother applying five dots of the blue-tinned Nivea Cream onto my face, during winters and asking me to rub it all evenly. I still remember its sweet-smelling smell, I remember during winters, my mother would sit by the window in the sunlight after taking her bath and apply the cream all over her body. I remember she would take all five minutes to apply the cream and rub it over her legs, feet, her hands, her long neck, her face and sit in the sunlight and then get straight up do her household chores. I feel very reminiscent of it all.

Jaane kahan gaye woh din…
(I wonder, if gone are the days, where?)

It was actually one of our aunts who introduced our family to Nivea. She had come from Haryana and had received some goodies from Nivea and had decided to bestow upon us the blue tins- something that would later become a part of a family tradition, almost.

And that was it. We were done for.

My family is not particularly loyal to any brand, but when it comes to cream and moisturizer Nivea is the only option and the only choice.

Let’s look at what aspects got us hooked on a product that is nowhere near something that comes with a warning of being addicted to.


The packaging of a product is just like making a hit song. You know in order to make a hit song you need it to be catchy and simple. And that is exactly how you want to package your product. As Marty Neumeier says in his book The Brand Gap, “A retail package is the last and best chance to make a sale.” It is an integral marketing tactic to glamorize a product to catch the consumer’s eye. So, creating compelling and alluring packages will build first time buyer’s intrigue. The product and the package design are vital to the brand image. More than half the purchases are done on emotional linkages with the product, especially when you are confused between the two or more brands.

It’s no surprise that companies who have mastered the art of aesthetics are on the top of their game. When we see a product we start comparing and associating. Remember that the brain is prone to classifying things, it is the only way to process and organize everything that we see, read, hear, feel and know. To fill that space of association with the brand’s product is the main job of the marketer. This is called top of mind, we associate the product with its ad, or a friend’s experience, or packaging or in my case- my mother’s habit, everything comes together to make an effective selling point.

The marketers refer to packaging as a silent salesman, because quite often consumers make a psychological connection with it. Consumers go with certain packaging because it represents something that is important to them or something that they aspire to become. For example, nowadays, people who are sensitive to the environment would prefer packaging that is made of recycled materials or can be recycled later.

In my case, it is about convenience. The compact Nivea cream is extremely portable- a pocket, a purse, a bag, a makeup pouch, you name it. The trademark Nivea blue also makes it distinguishable in a bag full of many other products and brands that might also be demanding your attention.

For research purposes and added curiosity for this piece, I asked my dad why does he always get Nivea for us, he said that we have been using it since forever and that it’s just easier to spot on the display shelf. This brings us to Point-of-Purchase displays in stores can support in sales as it provides information regarding the product and highlight product feature. They are usually unpackaged product samples that are placed in the store for the shoppers to try out. Let me explain this to you with an example, one day I was out for grocery shopping in a mart and I went to pick my usual Nivea cream pack of four, and there she was, a woman sharply dressed smelling incredibly well handing out deodorant samples, and that was it. That day, I ended up buying 3 different deodorants from Nivea. Hello, successful brand architecture, sales strategy, and quality product resulting in a sale. No, Anushka Sharma or Ranveer Singh screaming on television, trying to influence me didn’t motivate me to buy something that a sweet lady at the mall and my past experience with the brand were able to.

Nivea Crème advertisement

My aunt introduced us to Nivea, and I expanded my family’s horizon by showing that there’s so much more to Nivea than the blue-tinned cream. That leads us to a successful brand expansion strategy.


Nivea cream as we all know is a timeless, iconic product that is used by millions of people all around the world. It was the first true cosmetic moisturizer and is still the brand’s signature product. Nivea over the years has expanded significantly in order to give several options in moisturizing, protection and care expertise in face, body, hand, lips, men’s and deodorant market.

“Trust Nivea to care for your skin” Nivea has encapsulated this phrase by projecting these values via healthy, fresh, clean and positive imagery in promotional advertisements. Keeping at the center — protecting the skin of the entire family, Nivea has always kept family values a vital part of their brand identity. I remember seeing this advertisement on television a few years ago and believe me, it reminded me of my childhood, the way my mother used to put cream on my face.

Again, better than Tapsee Pannu recommending the brand thanking it for her flawless make-up laden skin.

With more and more people — men and women alike — interested in looking and feeling youthful and healthy for as long as possible, skincare is big business. Each Nivea product is formulated to serve specific skin type needs, making their skin look and feel well, fresh and healthy. With constant innovations in all aspects of personal hygiene, Nivea has always made sure to remain classically stylish. By creating and keeping up since 1925, with the current cosmetic needs, it has retained a contemporary appeal amongst all the generations. True signs of a strong brand.


The portable tin in Nivea blue with the Nivea brand mark on it, and nothing else. This created an image in your brain right now which proves it’s timelessness. it is a touchpoint that is not only easy to produce but uses simple technology of locking and opening the tin- which makes it very easy for a user to open, even when the hands might be slippery with the cream itself.

Attention to detail stands out because the market is full of lethargy. It is what it is.

You know it,

so shake it,

now throw your hands up and say…

Nivea Deewane…

Ahan… Ahan…

(sorry couldn’t resist adding a filmy reference)

A friend of mine who identifies as a professional touchpoint hoarder, has contributed heaps (literally) to the Slangbusters touchpoint archival- a concept he borrowed from his own home where his mother is fed up of him collecting bags, tags, bottles, and various other touchpoints, basically anything he finds aesthetically pleasing and later has detachment issues when they have to clean the house for the annual Kleanfest of India if I may say so, or Diwali kaam as the house help might call it. The Nivea tin is an important part of his collection, both as a collectible and as a functional piece of storage for things like hair bands, memory cards, and unique buttons that he likes to, well, hoard.

These are a few of the aspects which bring in unexpected results like brand loyalty and basic details in aspects like packaging that makes the product a piece of memorabilia that the customer will hold on to, and maybe think of simpler times in the future.

Do you want a product that hoarders and other consumers love equally? Branding is the answer. Do you want to get a consultation about how this applies to your brand? Contact us and open your brand to a world of possibilities that you might not have planned.

— by Nikita Sharma, Freelance Content Writer, Slangbusters Studio

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