Injecting new life into the product life cycle
A Nestlé case study

Page 1: Injecting new life into a brand

The Polo mint is a British institution - 'The mint with the hole'. Everyone is familiar with Polo and can clearly distinguish the brand from other products. The pack has its own distinctive colour and shape. As with most established brands, there comes a time when they need a bit of a facelift to inject new life into them. Markets are in a constant state of change and the life of a product is...
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Page 2: Mint competition

Polo has traditionally been the market leader in mints in the United Kingdom. However, during the late 80s and early 90s this position was slipping. We can see this decline by looking at the Index of Polo Sales from 1986 to 1993. Instead of making sense using sales figures it is sometimes useful to use an index. Index numbers in this context use 1980 as a base year and then other figures are...
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Page 3: Polo´s response

Polo's response to these trends was decisive. The key problem was that the brand had not been developed and so it was starting to be seen as predictable. To regenerate sales volume and rejuvenate brand interest, three new Polo variants were added to the range in 1994 and Polo was relaunched as Polo Original. Extensive market research was carried out before the relaunch. The objectives...
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Page 4: Target markets

As the market for mints has grown it has also become more diverse. In the past there was only one Polo which was targeted at the general public of mint eaters. There tended to be a single message which was put over through advertising and promotion to this market. Selling to a single market in this way is called undifferentiated marketing i.e. you sell the same product, at the same price...
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Page 5: Developing a distinct message

In developing Polo through differentiated marketing it has been necessary to do two things. It has been essential to stress the core strengths of Polo It has been necessary to create the character of the variants in their own right. The Polo's core strengths which have needed to be stressed are: Its unique physical form - it is this which distinguishes Polo most tangibly from other...
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Page 6: A success story

The Polo strategy of differentiated marketing in order to extend the Polo brand has been a success both in terms of the overall brand, and for the three variants. Importantly the size of the overall mint market has grown. Polo has regained its supremacy as the UK's number one mint. The total mint market grew by £6 million to £207 million in 1994, and this increase continued in 1995. In...
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Page 7: The Polo goes from strength to strength

The Polo case study provides us with an interesting and exciting example of the way in which an innovative company can retain market leadership for its products. The Polo mint is just one element of the overall portfolio of sweets and confectionery products produced by Nestlé Rowntree. The art of successful marketing is knowing when and how to make changes to highly successful products...
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