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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Rogaine - lesson learned from innovation blunders


Here’s another great story with lessons learned from innovationblunders.


In this series of case studies, Hodock shares insight on avoiding8 common mistakes in new product development. 

In the case of Rogaine, it was mismatched positioning.


Fifty million American men experience male-patternbaldness. In 1996, they received some very good news.  The Food and Drug Administration cleared Rogaine, a topical2 percent minoxidil solution, as an over-the-counter hair regrowth drug for menand women with common hair loss. Hallelujah! Men suffering from hair loss oftenexperienced “anxiety, loss of self-confidence and even depression”. Rogainegave hair-challenged men a dual benefit—a full head of hair and the restorationof self-esteem.

Rogaine had a natural contagion, because the preliminarybuzz purported it to be nothing short of a miracle. As a result, it had anavalanche of positive publicity prior to its market introduction. Wall Streetwas especially euphoric about Rogaine’s prospects, and its parent company,Upjohn (now Johnson & Johnson), did nothing to temper the financialcheerfulness coming from the street. In this situation, Rogaine’s positive buzzturned out to be destructive rather than helpful. Here’s why.

Balding males naively believed their departed hairfollicles would return instantly by rubbing Rogaine into their scalps twice aday for a month or so. Rogaine initially attracted the most extreme cases ofmale-pattern baldness, primarily older males in their fifties and sixtiesdesperately grasping for their youth. Rogaine could not deliver for theseextreme cases. There was a deep ravine between positioning expectations andproduct delivery. 
 
Rogaine is a complex product, as explained to me by aPfizer marketing executive. It is only effective in about 40 percent of thecases. It can take eight months to see the best results. The product is notparticularly effective in cases of frontal baldness or receding hairlines.Compliance is essential to see any results. It must be used twice a day. Iftreatment is stopped, reversal occurs, losing any benefits from treatment. Theapplication process—rubbing it into the scalp twice a day—is awkward.  Rogaine later attempted to make iteasier with an aerosol foam version. 

Sincemany of the initial users represented extreme cases and a desire for instantgratification, they dripped out; their perceived expectations—“where’s my newhair??—weren’t instantly achieved. The buzz-worthy product was still talkedabout, but the talk turned negative from a large segment of disappointed men,dampening Rogaine’s prospects for marketplace success. 

Rogaine currently does target younger men with a moreforthright approach that the product works for a certain type of male-patternbaldness, but it is not a panacea for every conceivable case of male baldness.
                   
Themakers of Rogaine made two major mistakes:

  1. Rogainemade no attempt to dismantle the early perceptions that it was a miracle product.This set an unrealistic level of expectation with respect to its productperformance with the brand’s early bird customers.
  2. Rogainerequired an extensive educational process to help men understand its strengthsand limitations; this was never acted upon.

The net result was a wide gap between positioningexpectations and product performance.

The product must be able to deliver on the positioning’sbenefit promise, or there will be inevitable consumer backlash.  It’s hard to get the toothpaste back inthe tube. That’s why marketers must get the positioning strategy right thefirst time out of the staring gate. 

Second chances are very rare. 

Rogaine neverlived up to its potential, because the initial positioning and target segmentwere wrong from day one.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Motrin IB - lesson learned from innovation blunders

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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 avoiding8 common mistakes in new product development.

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

Motrin IB was viewed as a potentially strong global brandwithin Johnson and Johnson, but there remained the same issue that confrontedMedipren—how to position Mortin IB in a way that protected Tylenol’sflanks.  The company understandablywanted to keep the milk flowing from the cash cow. This time Johnson andJohnson did some very good homework.

A segmentation study of the pain relief market revealed asegment of women who medicated aggressively. Very importantly, Tylenol was notheavily represented in the segment. This became Motrin IB’s target segment, andits initial “kick butt” advertising campaign worked brilliantly with theseaggressive mediators while minimizing Tylenol cannibalization. It is possibleto “have your cake and eat it too” with smart positioning.

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

Monday, December 02, 2013

BOI Airport - where the on-time departures live

Remember those days when your plane landed and took off on time? They live on in Boise, which ranked No. 1 for fewest flight delays. 






TRAVEL + LEISURE readers gave it second place for location and third for check-in, suggesting that it’s the very model of an efficient airport. 

Admittedly, food and shopping are not good reasons to linger, but its small size and free Wi-Fi make it one of the easier airports to handle.

And for me, now that it offers TSA Pre-Check, the lines are even shorter and the experience is even better.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chartering New Lands & Appreciating the Holidays

Here's a note shared with me by Nick Neonakis, a consultant with FranChoice and author of The Franchise MBA





 It is my belief that as Americans, we have an innate entrepreneurial drive.  All of us have our roots somewhere else and our forebears all came to this country seeking freedom and independence.  If you want to think of the entrepreneurs in your family, your ancestor who first came to this country certainly is an important one!  Whether shown through the entrepreneurial bravery in coming here or in starting a business, ours has always been a country that rewards ambitious immigrants.  In fact, 40% of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring.  It was here they met Squanto the Abenaki Indian who taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer.

The bravery these people showed in picking up their belongings and sailing over the horizon to start a new life is embodied by the thousands of men and women who start a new business every year in the USA.  As we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s be thankful for all of their (and our) sacrifices as we make this world a better place.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The secret to going after your creative dreams (from SARK)

 
Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?

Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play aninstrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel RainbowKennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work.

You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make yourdream happen.

In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, saysSARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions ofpeople learn to act on their creative dreams.

Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?
Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play an instrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work. You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make your dream happen.
In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, says SARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions of people learn to act on their creative dreams.
- See more at: http://www.spiritualcinemacircle.com/spiritual-leader/sark-susan-kennedy-video-interview#sthash.t1UUU5vV.dpuf
Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?
Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play an instrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work. You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make your dream happen.
In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, says SARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions of people learn to act on their creative dreams.
- See more at: http://www.spiritualcinemacircle.com/spiritual-leader/sark-susan-kennedy-video-interview#sthash.t1UUU5vV.dpuf

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CEOs Need to Be Chief Story Officers


TheCMO is in charge of the brand's story at most companies. This can be amistake, says Ty Montague writing for Harvard Business Review.
Marketing, you see, should only be one part of a company's storyefforts. Take Amazon. Story is its lifeblood. In fact, it drives everythingthat the company does — from product development, to advertising, to HRpolicies.

Montague is the author of True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business and a founder of co:collective,a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story usingthe principles of storydoing.

Amazon, of course, isn't the only company that does this. Red Bull,Jet Blue, and TOMS shoes follow the same strategy as well, and their CEOs, justlike Jeff Bezos at Amazon, are the ones who oversee their company's story — nottheir marketing departments. 

Why? 

They're the only ones who have the reach todo so.

Ifyou are a CEO or an aspiring CEO, the evidence is clear: 
  1. Become a student ofthe underlying narrative of your business;
  2. Learn how to manage and tellthat story through coordinated action;
  3. Make understanding and telling your company'sstory both a shared responsibility across the whole organization and a corevalue of the company. 
If you do this, you (and more importantly, yourshareholders) will reap the rewards.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2012 supplement of Standard Highway Signs:branding guidelines for the road


On a recent road trip, I observed that all highway signs are the same design, font, colors, etc. 

As a branding guy, I asked: Whomakes them? Where are graphic standards?

So I researched to find the Federal Highway Administration has developed the design details of the new signs added in a book called "MUTCD" (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

The signs are published in a special section of Standard Highway Signs.

The contents of the 2012 Supplement incorporate new additions of signs and markings, with details for all signs and pavement markings, expanded sign design guidelines, and details for symbolic traffic and lane-control signal indications.

It's everything you'd expect in a combination of a brand standards guide and a government publication.

Click on the link to check it out at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov