Defensive Marketing Communications by Josiah Go

Defensive Marketing Communications by Josiah Go

Articles
Solmux is the leading brand of cough syrup in the Philippines with its bacteria expel action feature that expels bacteria with phlegm. In 2010, Solmux was attacked by an herbal brand which highlighted its non-chemical, no allergy, no side-effects benefit promising cough of children can be gone in three days using formulation from natural lagundi leaves. The sales of Solmux took a double digit dive after, but it made a big come back after seeing the weakness of this herbal brand, that thousands of bacteria exist in their product. Since adults would not drink bacteria, why would they want their children to drink bacteria in their cough syrup, even if it's made from natural ingredient? Solmux did not just recover but even surpassed their pre-attack sales and market shares. Even…
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3 Fundamental Truths about Defensive Marketing

3 Fundamental Truths about Defensive Marketing

Articles
One of the questions often asked in my marketing seminars is about defending against attacks from competition and even substitutes. When brands become successful, they are bound to attract the attention of others who may want to share a piece of the pie.  My advice to clients is to understand the pattern of competitive attacks and to never underestimate competition.  Be sensitive to the obvious signs of a potential attacker – new factory, new promo materials, higher inventory level, leak in social media, or an industry executive joining a competitor or a potential competitor. Think of the energy drink market in the Philippines. Lipovitan attracted competitor Red Bull to come up with a sweeter taste, which in turn attracted Unilab to launch Revicon Ion (phased out since), then Extra Joss entered in sachet format which attracted Asia Brewery to launch Cobra in a more convenient and cheaper returnable glass bottle, the latter is the…
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Q&A with L’Oreal Consumer Marketing Director Chad Sotelo on Defensive Marketing

Q&A with L’Oreal Consumer Marketing Director Chad Sotelo on Defensive Marketing

interviews, Q&A
Q1: Your competitors have attacked your makeup and skincare categories. How are these products doing now and what did you do then to defend your turf? A: Being the world’s number one beauty company gives us two huge competitive advantages in “defending our turf.” The first one involves product innovation. Given our huge investment in our Research & Innovation division (L’Oreal consistently ranks as one of the top companies in the world that allocates the most resources to research), we have thousands of winning products available globally that we can easily bring in. The second one involves “big ideas.” Given our commanding presence in multiple beauty categories across countries, there is a wealth of market winning beauty ideas that we can easily bring in as well. Combine these two advantages…
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Q&A with Gardenia President Simplicio Umali on Defensive Strategy

Q&A with Gardenia President Simplicio Umali on Defensive Strategy

interviews, Q&A
Q1: One of your competitors was first to launch a sugarfree bread variant in 2012, which captured a significant 15% market share in the wheat & health bread category. How did Gardenia protect itself from this competitive attack? A: Gardenia responded by studying further the consumers to understand their behavior and to know what they truly desire. We found out that consumers crave for healthy, low calorie bread products without depriving themselves of good taste. Gardenia believes that it will be misleading to claim a sugarfree bread as bread is made of complex carbohydrates and when we eat bread, our stomach breaks its complex structure into smaller pieces, so small that it becomes the same simple structure as sugar. Sugarfree bread becomes sugar in the bloodstream. Marketing a Gardenia sugar-free…
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Q&A with SM VP-Marketing Quennie Cua on Reframing, Relaunching and Rebranding

Q&A with SM VP-Marketing Quennie Cua on Reframing, Relaunching and Rebranding

interviews, Q&A
Q1: When you were still with P&G Philippines and Singapore, you helped Pampers defend against EQ diapers, regaining leadership in 2003. You also found yourself doing the same for Whisper when you turned it around to win against Modess. What were your strategies then? When does a brand decide to defend or not to defend? A brand’s decision to defend or not to defend is dependent on (i) its role in the portfolio (whether growth-driver or flanker) (ii) category-consumer behaviour and usage practices (iii) what it takes to defend and whether the organization is ready to put in the resources to fight the battle. There’s really no best time – it all boils down to whether how well one can keep up with fight (is the resources rich enough?). Pampers…
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Q&A with Simplicio Umali Jr., President and General Manager of Gardenia Bakeries Phil Inc. on Bread Industry

Q&A with Simplicio Umali Jr., President and General Manager of Gardenia Bakeries Phil Inc. on Bread Industry

Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: You have been with Gardenia since its launch. What was your launch strategy and if you were to change something in the launch, what would that be and why? When Gardenia started in the Philippines in 1998, it marketed Cowhead milk and Gardenia loaves with its sales force selling more milk than bread. The company refocused its strategy in 1999 and concentrated on its core business of baking bread. Its marketing efforts initially centered on using a direct distribution strategy of delivering fresh bread to major supermarkets and convenience store chains supported by in-store promotions and publicity campaigns that were armed with the message of premium product quality with the superior taste profile that is “so good, you can even eat it on its own” (masarap, kahit walang palaman).…
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Defending Your Turf by Josiah Go

Defending Your Turf by Josiah Go

Articles
I thank the Association of Young Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs (formerly Anvil Club) as well as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce for inviting me to give a talk about “Defending Your Turf” recently. The topic on defensive marketing has attracted a bit of attention as of late, especially among those with successful businesses. This type of marketing is different from marketing for growth, which may be either market-driven (marketing to the served market) or market-driving (marketing to the underserved and unserved market). There are, after all, many branches of marketing strategies. Every time a profitable growing business is made, you can be sure that competition will be attracted to join the industry sooner rather than later. Since corporate performance is usually relative and seldom absolute compared to competitive moves, success…
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