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

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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 expressed as a percentage of this.

Polo's problem was that it had gradually lost its value as a product in the eyes of consumers. When this happens it affects the position of a product in the market place. This was as a result partly of strenuous competitive activity, partly because of a lack of innovation in the Polo brand itself and partly because advertising had not bound people sufficiently to the brand. Competitors such as Trebor Extra Strong Mints, Trebor Mints, Trebor Spearmints and Softmints had fought hard to win a share of the market from Polo. Instead of consumers primarily associating mints with Polo they were choosing from a variety of mints. Polo's declining share up until 1993 is shown in the chart below:

Nestlé | Injecting new life into the product life cycle