Page 2: Marketing objectives
Marketing, like any other key business activity, requires direction provided by clear objectives. For Clean & Clear these were to:
- become the No. 1 medicated skincare brand by value
- become the most popular medicated brand amongst female teenagers
- establish a relationship with teenage girls that would lead to a loyalty to J&J for the rest of their lives.
This meant encouraging teenage girls to believe in an organisation that understood them and their needs.
Between 1993 and 1996, J&J in the UK adopted advertising that had been developed in the USA. 'Girls Talking' featured confident girls talking about how they didn’t worry about spots because they used Clean & Clear. The idea had emerged from the observation that teenage girls spend a lot of time talking about spots amongst themselves. Television advertising was supported by press advertising.
Failure to meet objectives
From the launch of Clean & Clear on the UK market until 1996, the product made significant gains in terms of value share. By the end of 1996 Clean & Clear had won 14 per cent of the market.
However, after five years Clean & Clear had not achieved its key objectives: it was not the No. 1 medicated brand and it was not the most popular brand amongst teenage girls. This suggested that it was not establishing the depth of relationship that it had anticipated.
The first warning sign was that the growth in sales appeared to be being generated by distribution gains rather than consumer demand. In other words, between 1992 and 1996 ten new Clean & Clear products were launched - while these were being bought by retail outlets the actual stockturn of the brand was slowing down. Stockturn measures the rate at which the total brand’s products are moving off the shelf. This is achieved by dividing total value sales by aggregate distribution.
Thus the increase in sales of Clean & Clear products was more as a result of increasing varieties being made available rather than substantial increases in demand for the individual products. In fact the sales of some of the more established products were actually declining.
The second major warning sign was that the future growth of the brand was being threatened by competitors becoming increasingly teen-girl targeted. Clean & Clear’s unique positioning was increasingly under threat - for example, in 1996 Oxy launched an Oxy Sensitive range. It was realised that there was a need to create growth through increases in stockturn rather than through distribution.