When launching a yacht for sail, one hopes that there are no leaks in the hull, that the navigation maps are current, and that there is enough wind to fill the sails to carry you to your destination. But what if, after spending days on the sea, the winds eventually die down and you find yourself in the middle of the ocean, drifting and off course?
The same analogy applies to marketers when launching a product. It’s important for a product to have a solid strategic platform and to remain relevant to customer attitudes over the course of time.
But how do you keep the wind from dying down?
Curating engagement is key
One way to keep a brand fresh and constantly relevant is to continuously curate engagement with your customers. While it’s true that brand content may grow stagnant, categories may become overcrowded, and attitudes may shift over time, taking a proactive approach to creating new and meaningful content is critical. Doing so may help improve:
- Customer interest
- Brand awareness
- Brand relevancy
Let’s take a look at a recent example of how an established brand helped generate new dialogue and renewed excitement.
Children’s Mucinex®: A new story to tell
As a multinational consumer goods company that produces Mucinex® and Children’s Mucinex®, RB saw an opportunity to re-energize these brands by creating new content.
Mucinex®, while being the category leader in the United States, was part of an over-the-counter market that was cluttered and seemingly undifferentiated, with multiple brands, store brands, and a very confusing shopping aisle.
Similarly, Children’s Mucinex® was an established brand that had no new clinical data with which to engage healthcare professionals (HCPs).
In hopes of developing data to reignite the brand, the Children’s Mucinex® marketing team decided to further explore an insight gleaned from years of conversations with parents and healthcare professionals. This insight, while intuitive and common sense, was that cough and cold symptoms have a profound effect on school-aged children, and parents often struggle to manage and remedy their child’s symptoms. With that insight front and center, the team moved forward with generating quantifiable data.
In strategic collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), a reputable market research firm, and a pediatrician spokesperson, an unbranded survey was fielded to mothers of school-aged children and school nurses. These surveys explored how cough and cold symptoms impact children’s quality of life, and uncovered unmet needs for mothers and school nurses. The results confirmed the marketing team’s hypothesis: mothers want to help their children feel better quickly and resume the daily activities, but they are struggling to find the right solutions and often do not ask their HCP for help.
Once the survey results were gathered, these new proof-points were used as the foundation to reignite the brand’s conversations with parents and HCP’s alike. The survey findings – as well as an accompanying call-to-action for parents to consult their HCP for counsel about cough and cold symptom management – were disseminated via a variety of marketing channels. Public relations led the way with securing widespread media coverage, and a compelling in-office video was developed to play in pediatrician’s waiting rooms across the nation. RB sales reps were armed with the right tools to share this news with doctors; these tools included an iPad detail presentation, a handout, and a preseason readiness lunch-and-learn program.
Importantly, the survey findings were deemed credible by important organizations. The results were presented at the American Cough Conference (2015) and National Association of School Nurses Conference (2016), and published in the journal Lung (January/February 2016). Collaborating partner NASN also disseminated the survey results via downloadable materials on their organization website, member e-newsletter, and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).
Key learnings for marketers
This marketing campaign was deemed as being successful by RB, and there are important learnings that marketers can take from this. First and foremost, marketers should be creative and resourceful as they strive to identify new data to breathe new life into an established brand. Additionally, marketers should be mindful that a message doesn’t need to be provocative or splashy in order to have an impact on its target audience; oftentimes, a message that is relatable and resonates will be one that stays top-of-mind for a customer. And lastly, customers know and trust established brands – and a fresh engagement strategy can be just what it takes for customers to revisit and reaffirm their loyalty to a brand.
Following these steps will help keep the wind in your product’s sails for a long time to come.