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Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ Case Study

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    The Opportunity: How to identify your key target and focus your plans on this group only, to improve business impact and financial effectiveness – coming from a second-to-market position? Background: The Product – Nicorette is a smoking cessation chewing gum. NicoDerm CQ is an over-the-counter smoking cessation patch administered via a 3 step graduated program. It is marketed as NiQuitin CQ in Europe and Nicabate in Australia/NZ. They are SmithKline Beecham (SKB) products. Analysis of the marketing opportunity:

    Who is the target consumer – Based on the consumer understanding work, SmithKline focuses exclusively on the committed quitters who are prepared to make a serious attempt to quit smoking. This group is most receptive to marketing message and has the highest volume and profit potential. They realized that smokers who needed to get through a smokeless plane flight or meeting were secondary targets but that these consumers would find the product and didn’t need additional marketing support. Key consumer insight – SKB discovered than 70% of smokers want to quit but most are not committed and ready to take action.

    A small group of smokers are ready to quit and actively looking for help. SKB calls them the “committed quitters. ” They are looking for both a smoking cessation product and personalized help with breaking the old habit. What did they want to stand for – SKB positioned the two brands as helpful tools for helping committed consumers quit not as “magic bullets. ” TV and Print spots used the motivating tag line, “You can do it. Nicorette can help. ” The message was particularly relevant to their target consumer.

    How did they get there – The optimized the brand offering and marketing program to deliver the equity as follows: Offering: They designed a unique step down patch product that allowed users to gradually reduce their nicotine intake. In addition, they looked for ways to deliver the best total solution. To help consumers break the habit, they offered a free Committed Quitters Program. This program was based on proven behavior modification techniques and included a customized profile and quitting plan, tips, motivational information delivered throughout the treatment period and a personalized stop-smoking calendar.

    Marketing Plan: SKB looked for when there would be the highest levels of committed quitters and where they would be most receptive to marketing messages. They learned that there are two times of year (Great American Smoke Out and New Years) when the issue of quitting smoking tends to be top of mind for smokers and smokers’ family and friends. By concentrating their marketing efforts at these two times during the year, SKB greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing spending.

    SKB sponsors the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smoke-out, a day when an estimated 17MM Americans try to quit smoking for a day. They also concentrate marketing spending around the critical New Years period with TV advertising heavy ups, in store displays, and print ads. In addition, SKB learned that connecting with potential consumers at the point of purchase is critical given the importance of educational support for consumers when purchasing its product. They emphasize in-store merchandising efforts (pharmacist education, POP, kiosks) as part of their marketing plan.

    Key Learning: A deep understanding of WHO they were targeting and WHAT they are communicating leads to breakthrough marketing plans (HOW) and outstanding business results. Business Results: Although they were beaten to market by Nicotrol, Nicoderm and Nicorette now have a 95% share of the OTC smoking cessation market. 1999 U. S. sales reached $570MM. Please discuss the following questions: a) How will Nicorette take this successful launch campaign into the next phase (going support)? b) What would be the potential of focusing on Teens and young smokers? c) What kind of competitive reaction should they expect?

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