The Power of Simplicity: Vaseline

Our Consumer PR module started by talking about the power of brands. We are exposed to an amazing number of brands each day. A Consumer Report says we are exposed to about 247 images per day. We are exposed to brands on clothing, food, adverts, social media- everywhere.

What makes brands so powerful? One answer is simplicity.

In order to illustrate this to my class, I taught a lesson on Vaseline, a brand that’s been around for 130 years. That’s an incredible precedent for a brand that is mostly known for their tubs of petroleum jelly.

In a J.D. Power and Associates report they found out consumers not only appreciate Vaseline Petroleum Jelly’s multipurpose nature.


I only knew of mothers using it for baby care and the tins of lip balm found at the counters of Boot’s and Superdrug, but if you search ‘Vaseline’ on Pinterest, you’ll find a multitude of uses for it.


The report also points to Vaseline’s success because of their preference for a basic product. There are plenty of products out now that promise to lift, firm, give you youth, are ‘top of the line’ and cost a fortune.

Take a look at Vaseline’s website. They have a mission to provide knowledge, advice and products that ‘enable everyone to enjoy great, healthy looking skin everyday’.

It’s pretty simple, but that mission speaks volumes. They are saying there are no beauty secrets and you don’t need lots of money to look and feel great.


What Vaseline PR has done well here is to connect people to a brand through reliability over the years. From infancy to adulthood there are Vaseline products available to use that promise (and deliver) great results.

Another interesting part of Vaseline PR is that you can hardly ever remember the campaigns they run. This is not to say that Vaseline is ineffective at spreading a campaign message, but that the brand is so driven by the consumers that they don’t have to rely on media for their success.

By understanding their consumers appreciate simplicity and reliability, and its ever-growing uses, Vaseline has been able to remain relevant for over 130 years. They have been able to cultivate a staying power that keeps their customers and their families choosing Vaseline products. This can be a lesson to other brands as to how to maintain their consumer base.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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