Archive for the ‘Mktg – Versioning’ Category

But, I just want plain old toothpaste …

March 15, 2011

TakeAway:  An explosion of specialized pastes and gels brag about their powers to whiten teeth, reduce plaque, curb sensitivity and fight gingivitis, sometimes all at the same time.

Add in all the flavors and sizes, plus ever-rising prices, and the simple errand turns into sensory overload. 

Manufacturers acknowledge the problem and are putting the brakes on new-product introductions.  In this case, more product variety isn’t always better.

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Excerpted from the WSJ, “Whitens, Brightens, and Confuses By Ellen Byron,February 23, 2010


P&G, maker of Crest, says it has “significantly” reduced the number of oral-care products it makes world-wide in the past two years.  Crest hit the market in 1955 and in 1960 became the first fluoride toothpaste to gain the American Dental Association’s “seal of acceptance.” Toothpaste was elevated from cosmetic to therapeutic status, and sales of Crest nearly tripled within the next two years. The 1980s brought tartar-control formulas, raising consumer expectations of what toothpaste could do. Ever since, companies have brought out benefits and ingredients, in search of the next game-changing upgrade.

Each new benefit is a chance for toothpaste makers to push prices upward and drive sales. With some 93% of U.S. adults using toothpaste, according to Mintel, there’s little room to recruit new users.

Packaging plays its part in toothpaste-aisle clutter. “The toothpaste carton is a certain size and shape and sits on the shelf in a certain way. That makes it hard to communicate effectively when there’s a meaningful difference in a new product,” says Jonathan Asher, senior vice president at Perception Research Services, which specializes in packaging and shopper marketing.

This year, Colgate-Palmolive introduced packages meant to be more easily deciphered. It standardized sizes of the Colgate logo, the “sub-brand” and the flavor or benefit, so shoppers will notice them in that order. It did what it calls “shelf tests,” timing how long it took shoppers to find new packages of Colgate Total Advanced Whitening and other variations, versus older packages. “The new packaging was not only preferred but it was easier to find,” says Nigel Burton, president of Colgate’s global oral care, consumer insight and advertising.

Many dentists think differences between brands aren’t very meaningful. “Just make sure it has fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal,” says Ada Cooper, a New York dentist and consumer adviser for the ADA, which evaluates toothpaste claims. The ADA’s seal “tells you that the product has been tested, that it’s effective in doing what it says it’s going to do, and has the right mix of ingredients.”

Edit by AMW


It’s time to upgrade your Gatorade

September 21, 2010

TakeAway: Since its inception, Gatorade sales have increased every year.  However, with a tough economy and intense competition, sales have decreased for the first time in Gatorade’s history.

To right the ship, Gatorade is introducing a revamped product line closely aligned with a versioning strategy

Not only will there be three different types of Gatorade for the main product line, but there will be a similar “pro” series for serious athletes. 

It’s been a winning strategy for software, but will it work for sports drinks?

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Excerpted from Brandchannel, “Gatorade Focuses Brand on Athletes with G-Series Pro,” by Dale Buss, August 14, 2010

Gatorade took a huge step in the revitalization of its brand today by revealing a new structure for its mainstream product line, the G Series … and … “G-Series Pro” products … for serious athletes.

Gatorade’s chief marketing officer, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, shared the rationale behind the new brand architecture …

Gatorade “is a formidable franchise,” … “But we haven’t had the right performance the last few years.” …

Despite being one of PepsiCo’s most profitable brands, Gatorade lost significant sales volume last year for the first time ever because of financial pressures on consumers — most of that loss … going to lower-priced carbonated soft drinks and even to tap water. Gatorade also had lost market share over the years to a proliferation of other better-for-you beverage types and products, and to its own shift in emphasis to “lifestyle” rather than hard-core athletic consumers. …


Gatorade’s new product-line structure carries the “G” branding in the next logical step with the G Series. G Series 01 Prime is positioned as “pre-game fuel” and an “energy to start” beverage for consumption before athletic activity; 02 Perform drinks include the brand’s pre-existing Gatorade Thirst Quencher line and G2, a low-cal Gatorade for hydration during activities; and 03 Recover drinks include 10 to 20 grams of protein per serving to help body recovery from exertion.

The G-Series Pro line, which is to be carried exclusively in the U.S. in GNC’s 5,500 stores, uses the same functional logic. “But this is a line that has only been available to elite athletes in pro locker rooms for the last 15 years,” O’Hagan explained to analysts. “For the first time we’re choosing to commercialize them and take them to the consumer.” …


The brand’s presentation today to analysts went a long way toward answering questions about Gatorade’s future. The crucial next step: executing the new rationale so that consumers develop a thirst for Gatorade — and keep coming back.




Edit by DMG

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