Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breathe Right : Breathe Better , Sleep Better

Brand : Breathe Right
Company : Glaxo Smithkline Beecham

Brand Analysis Count : 435

Glaxo Smithkline Beecham has launched a new product in the Indian market from its global product portfolio. The new brand launch is Breathe Right nasal strips. Breathe Right nasal strips is one of the first nasal strip brand to be launched in the Indian market. It is a product that Indian consumers have not seen before.

Nasal Strips are a unique drug free mechanical device which helps open the blocked nostrils. These strips are flexible spring-like bands which has an adhesive on the underside . These strips should be placed on the nose and the adhesive will stick the strip to the nose. As the strip tries to come back to its original position, it slowly lifts the side of the nose thus clearing the nasal passages ( Source : Brand website)

The Breathe Right nasal strip was invented by Mr Bruce Johnson. As the story goes, Bruce himself was suffering from blocked nostrils which bothered him very much. One day while driving past the archway at University of Minnesota, he had the idea that these blocked nostrils can be cleared by pulling from the outside ( Source ) .He went to many institutions with his idea but with no success. Finally Dr Cohen of CNS Inc ,which is a US based company ,sealed the deal with Bruce. In 1993, the brand got the FDA nod and by 1998, the brand was worth $70 million.CNS was later acquired by GSK and the brand went to the GSK fold.

The brand is currently launched in the Indian market and is believed to be in testing phase. The brand is currently running a television commercial highlighting the uses of this nasal strips.
Another big advantage of this product is that besides alleviating the nasal blocks, these are snore -relief products also. Since nasal strips are drug-free, there is no side effects .

When I first saw the commercial, I had lot of doubts about their claims. One thought was about the efficacy of the product. How can an external strip open nasal blocks ? Does it have any side effects ? Will it alter the shape of my nose ??? Is it safe for regular use ??

And many of these questions are unanswered and the GSK India website does not have any link to the product or any product details . It is surprising to see many global marketing giants follow a laid-back attitude in updating their websites or providing information about their new product launches. They still does not understand the power of internet as a source to provide brand information. Surprisingly, Hindustan Unilever is one such marketing machine that does to take care of their site seriously. Some of their power brands are even missing from the site's list of HUL brands.

As I understand,Breathe Right is being launched as an OTC product. And since the primary source of information is through ads , the major task for the brand is to answer these critical doubts of the consumers. Many of the potential customers of this brand will consult their doctors before buying this new product and since it is a Glaxo brand, they will get a positive recommendation.

But the brand still have to do a lot of work to educate the customers about this product. The brand will have to use a mix of educative print ads and TVC to get the message across the consumers. Testimonials and celebrity endorsements can help the brand to get consumer trials. I think that even if the Indian consumers will accept the idea of such a product, there will be lot of resistance in trying out nasal strips. In US, the brand used word of mouth, celebrities and sampling to build awareness and usage. In India too such a strategy will yield good results.

Breathe Right is a new product which is not seen by Indian consumer.The brand has the backing of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. It will be interesting to see the marketing strategies of this brand to crack the Indian market.