Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Motrin IB - lesson learned from innovation blunders

Here’s a great story with lessons learned from innovation blunders.

It’s an excerpt from Why (Smart Companies) Do Dumb Things by Calvin L. Hodock 

In this series of case studies, Hodock shares insight on avoiding 8 common mistakes in new product development.

Johnson and Johnson still needed an ibuprofen brand in its product portfolio, and it obtained it by swapping brands with Upjohn.  Motrin IB acquired in the swap, became a companion brand to Tylenol. The brand was so reasonable successful, riding the coattails of Advil, which had established the ibuprofen beachhead. Upjohn did not want to continue playing the expressive, high-stakes marketing game, which was absolutely essential in order to survive the competitive over-the-counter pain reliever market.

Motrin IB was viewed as a potentially strong global brand within Johnson and Johnson, but there remained the same issue that confronted Medipren—how to position Mortin IB in a way that protected Tylenol’s flanks.  The company understandably wanted to keep the milk flowing from the cash cow. This time Johnson and Johnson did some very good homework.

A segmentation study of the pain relief market revealed a segment of women who medicated aggressively. Very importantly, Tylenol was not heavily represented in the segment. This became Motrin IB’s target segment, and its initial “kick butt” advertising campaign worked brilliantly with these aggressive mediators while minimizing Tylenol cannibalization. It is possible to “have your cake and eat it too” with smart positioning.

Score another one for David Ogilvy. Positioning is one of marketing’s most important decisions. It is always out there in the marketplace, ready to perform miracles.

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