Re-generating a mature market
A SmithKline Beecham case study

Page 1: Introduction

Conventional wisdom tells us that most products have a limited life-cycle. Initially the product may flourish and grow, eventually the market will mature and finally the product will move towards decline. At each stage in the product life-cycle there is a close relationship between sales and profits so that as organisations or brands go into decline, their profitability decreases.When markets...
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Page 2: Turnaround marketing

The Dr.Best success story is about turnaround marketing i.e. moving from a position of weakness to one of strength. Lingner + Fischer is a German subsidiary of SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare. In the late 1980s it launched a new toothbrush which, within months, became one of the most outstanding Oral Care products ever seen in Germany. The new product was the Dr.Best “Flex&rdquo...
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Page 3: Re-launch

After a lot of discussion it was decided to investigate a re-launch of Dr.Best. This was to prove to be a highly successful decision. The first step was to carry out and study detailed market research to learn more about consumer perceptions. At the same time, Lingner + Fischer began to work closely with a design studio to create new visual ideas.One of the findings from the research into...
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Page 4: Advertising

The advertising agency found the personality for the campaign: a real Dr.Best, a professor of dentistry. In this capacity, he had also added value to the development team by bringing in his broad experience. The great advantage of the real Dr.Best was that he was tremendously convincing as an expert in the field of dental care. The character, coupled with the clear and visible benefits of the...
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Page 5: The launch

The launch of Dr.Best Flex went ahead on the 2nd May 1988 and Dr.Best’s declining fortunes were immediately reversed. The brand’s market share increased steadily and by 1990 Lingner + Fischer were number two again in Germany behind the Blendax brand produced by Procter & Gamble. Lingner + Fischer were convinced that they had a chance to dominate the market. At the end of the day...
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Page 6: Conclusion

This case study provides a fascinating insight into successful marketing. Instead of selling off the Dr.Best line, SmithKline Beecham decided to inject fresh capital and ideas into it. By identifying consumers’ requirements for new benefits i.e. a product that was “gentle to the gums,” then introducing the product that delivers this benefit, the company was able to transform...
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