Origins has created a winner with Plantscription, but it could have been even better with enhanced execution.
That’s especially true considering the blur and geometric growth of launches in the anti-aging category, wherein the onslaught of ingredients, technology, organic, green, doctor brands, clinicals and often wildly unrealistic claims are confusing consumers to a fare-thee-well. If you add the new idea’s simplicity to the mix, for easy benefit perception, you will surely have a winner. Kudos to Origins for Plantscription, new for Spring 2011.
Here’s the product development strategy. Take the gold standard prescription product (unnamed, but presumably Retin-A).Then equal or come close to its benefits, and really eliminate the irritation factors, which is known and accepted by millions of women. There’s nothing new about that strategy. It has been numero uno for marketers for years, and some have perhaps nearly achieved it. Yet, no one has preempted with a dramatic new category name for believability and “natural” timeliness, that marries science with nature, implies medical authority with the “prescription claim,” is exclusive, simple and convincing and puts the $55 prestige price in the ad, along with a Permission-to-Believe performance guarantee, all presented in an engaging and lighthearted way.
And yet, Plantscription’s already very good scores for both TheBrandAudit, 86.88, and TheAdAudit, 89.47, could have been enhanced with some significant execution polishing, all revealed by the audits’ analyses, and all before the launch! Here are the details.
TheBrandAudit total weighted score of 86.88, started out with a very high Product score, 94.00 (concept only), centered on uniqueness and its very relevant competitive advantage. In the Positioning segment, 85.10, the product name is a key element, and where a truly dramatic score and long term market rewards were missed. Yes, Plantscription is a coup, a preemptive new category name. But here’s the miss. It’s a great name to define a new category of product, the marriage of nature and medicine and ideal as the platform for a line of future products with different benefits! But as a single product name, it is non-directed and functional, rather than a strong specific or emotional benefit name—created and
The strength of Consumer Appeal, at 97.00(!) is based not only on the really new benefit, but also the significance of that benefit, along with packaging, promotability and price/value relationship. Competition, 79.40, was better than in most audits, primarily due to the exclusivity of the preemptive new category name, which was aided by being directly linked to the claim and to the brand heritage—hard to do better than that—even though the score was diminished by the guerilla warfare of this highly competitive category. Marketing Potential, 81.60, also stronger than in most other audits, resulted from the expected new traffic and business for the total brand, along with the product’s higher loyalty potential. All in all, an excellent score thanks to the significant benefit advantage which is easy to understand. It is a real break for confused consumers.
The high total score in TheAdAudit, 89.47, is propelled by the powerful Headline, 98.90, almost perfect in stopping, targeting, news value, relevance to benefit, “Nature’s Plantscription rivals an anti-wrinkle prescription”—just lacking the touch of emotion. Visual Impact, 91.35, earned top scores in all segments—except in visualization of benefit and emotional impact. Copy, 86.60, was hindered by a lack of Permission-to-Believe the extraordinary subhead, “88% of the visible wrinkle-reducing power of a prescription—0% irritation.” (A little support needed: for a full discussion of Permission-to-Believe, see the November 2010 issue of Happi.)
Permission-to-Buy, usually lacking in beauty advertising, is plentiful and does it with a “wink”… “And for $55, satisfaction guaranteed (or your wrinkles back). See results at origins.com.” Who says that guarantees can’t be upscale?” (For a full discussion of Permission-to-Buy, see the March 2011 issue of Happi).
To wrap it up, Consumer Appeal, 92.20, connects with understanding of the consumer’s needs, trust and good fit with the brand image, and the all-important—dissonance with her existing product—the essential key to, “I must try this one.” That statement should be the objective of every advertisement.
TheBrandAudit and TheAdAudit are Grayson Associates’ proprietary testing techniques to determine the success potential of new product concepts and execution, and print advertising—prior to approval. For both new and existing products and advertising, the audits analyze their strengths and weaknesses against key competition. TheBrandAudit “keys to success” are based upon analysis of Product, Positioning, Consumer Appeal, Competition, and Marketing Potential. TheAdAudit measures Headline, Visual Impact, Copy, and Consumer Appeal. TheBrand & AdAudit appears bi-monthly. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org