SWOT Analysis of Pantene: Strengths & Weaknesses 2021

IndustryFast-Moving Consumer Goods / Hair Care Products
HeadquartersCincinnati, Ohio
CEOAlex Keith
Revenues$70.95 billion (2020)
Profit$35.7 billion (2020)
CompetitorsDove, Sunsilk, Lux, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Garnier, Head and Shoulders, Tresemme

Company Overview:

Pantene was introduced to the public in 1945 by the Swiss drug company, Hoffman-LaRoche, based on panthenol which is a shampoo ingredient. It was acquired by Procter and Gamble in 1985 and they were able to expand its distribution on a massive scale, making the hair technology of Pantene accessible to women around the globe (Companies History). Procter and Gamble is a multinational company with a variety of brands under it. Some of these brands are Baby Care products such as Charlie Banana and Pampers; Fabric Care like Ariel, Tide, and Downy; and Hair Care like Head & Shoulders, Aussie, and Pantene among others. In 2020, the company’s revenue increased 4.83% from the previous year at $70.95 billion, while its gross profit increased 8.46% at $35.7 billion. It was a good performance despite the global pandemic (Macrotrends, 2021). According to P&G’s FY Annual Report, Hair Care organic sales increased attributed to strong innovation and retail execution in North America and China (Business Wire, 2020). Pantene is one of the most trusted hair care products with a long history and innovative technology. Pantene encompassed a variety of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.

Pantene Strengths 2021:

  • Strong brand awareness.

    In 1986, Pantene released a controversial campaign where beautiful models say, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”, which some groups criticized as narcissistic. However, this only elevated Pantene to be one of the most popular brands with a strong global presence. Currently, they hired Selene Gomez and Giselle Bündchen as brand ambassadors. Pantene’s global brand value reached $5.57 billion in 2020 (Statista, 2021). 

  • Wide global presence.

    Pantene has its presence known in around 100 countries and several online outlets. Its excellent distribution network across the globe provides space for its wide range of products. Pantene caters to men, women, and children depending on their needs, and middle to upper-class people (Bhasin, 2018).

  • Sustainability and environmental initiative.

    P&G recently announced its new 100% reusable aluminum bottles and refilled pouches for its shampoo products. The new packaging innovation called the ‘good refill system’ uses 60% less plastic. They are committed to inspiring responsible consumption through innovation on their products and packaging (Bargh, 2020). 

Pantene Weaknesses 2021:

  • Unnatural ingredients.

    P&G received a number of complaints, even lawsuits, against their products that consumers claim are misrepresented as “natural”. Several Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioners contain sulfate and silicons that make the hair shiny and beautiful, but dry and greasy in the long run. In 2019, a case was filed against them because of harsh and harmful ingredients (Honaker, 2020).

  • High brand switching.

    With the immense competition in the market for beauty and hair care, consumers are provided with several options to choose from. Consumers are likely to switch however loyal they were due to a new player or a cheaper option, or better marketing. Consistent good product reviews are important to maintain the customer base.

  • Limited product portfolio.

    Pantene’s target market is mainly women in their mid-30’s to early 40s. They also target people with a certain lifestyle. As such, Pantene’s product portfolio is limited to its target audience. Pantene could expand their product offerings as they also plan to expand geographically. 

Pantene Opportunities 2021:

  • Market size growth.

    The global shampoo market is expected to grow in the coming years. In 2019, the value of the global shampoo market amounted to about $29.38 billion. It is forecasted to reach $37.92 billion by 2027. Accordingly, the dry shampoo market, which is a relatively new product, is expected to reach $3.5 billion (Statista, 2021). The global hair market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.35% during the forecasted period.

  • Demand for Organic Hair Products.

    There is a high demand for natural ingredients, which compelled most brands to launch products with nature-inspired ingredients, such as plant-inspired and premium botanical ingredients. The demand for organic shampoo and conditioner and anti-dandruff organic hair oils is expected to increase at a substantial rate (Mordor Intelligence). Pantene should launch and advertise its products with natural ingredients. 

  • Increase brand portfolio.

    Most of Pantene’s products are shampoo and conditioners targeting women. Pantene can add more products, especially that would benefit men’s hair care. They can also launch premium and non-premium hair products that will target not only the high-class but also the middle-class and general population. 

Pantene Threats 2021:

  • Competitive market.

    The main players of the market include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, L’Oreal, and others. The competitive rivalry is immense as all brands are actively focused on gaining the most market shares. These brands have their own strategies, merger and acquisitions, products innovations, and sustainable initiatives to lead the industry (Mordor Intelligence).

  • Similar campaigns.

    With a saturated market, consumers are faced with product campaigns with similar messages. Consumers may reduce the effectiveness of Pantene’s promotional campaigns because of this. If Pantene can produce a campaign that will make them stand out and create customer retention, it will increase their market share.

  • Consumer behavior.

    Brands should always be able to keep up with the trend by producing products that meet the needs of the consumers. The hair care industry thrives on new trends mostly from social media influence. As today is an age where people like to feel and look good, the beauty and hair care industry is going on an uptrend. Pantene’s future plans should include addressing these trends.

Pantene SWOT Analysis Conclusion:

Pantene is known for its sophisticated and strong hair products. Amidst the stiff competition and saturated market, it’s widely popular because of its controversial yet catchy campaigns and influential ambassadors. Despite the global pandemic crisis, the hair care industry continues to thrive. It is an era of influencers and Pantene should capitalize on it to further promote the brand. To remain as the leading brand in hair care products, Pantene can diversify and innovate its products to target more audiences. Some people are conscious of what they take; Pantene should offer an organic line of products. Overall, Pantene has a long and proven influence in the market. If they will continue to develop their products and create effective strategies adapting to trends, they will gain the most market share and remain at the top.


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  8. Honaker, B. (2018). Pantene Pro-V Products Shouldn’t Be Labeled as ‘Natural’ Claims Class Action Lawsuit. [online]. Top Class Actions.
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  10. Bargh, B. (2020). P&G gives green a go with new refillable shampoo bottles. [online]. Cosmetics Business.

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