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Plan Marketing AXE

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Axe, or Lynx is a brand of male grooming products, owned by Anglo-Dutch company Unilever who manufacture a range of products in the health & beauty, household cleaning, food and…
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  1. Axe, or Lynx is a brand of male grooming products, owned by Anglo-Dutch company Unilever who manufacture a range of products in the health & beauty, household cleaning, food and ice cream categories. Axe's lead product is a deodorant body spray. The brand also includes deodorant sticks, roll-ons, anti-perspirants, aftershaves and shower gels. In most of the world the brand is named Axe; in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom it is named Lynx due to conflicts regarding the trademark. HISTORY OF THE BRAND Axe/Lynx was launched in France in 1983 by Unilever, a multi-national corporation, formed of Anglo-Dutch parentage that owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It was inspired by another of Unilever's brands Impulse. Impulse was a fragranced deodorant body spray for women that promised wearers male attention. Unilever were keen to capitalize on Axe's French success and rolled it out in the rest of Europe from 1985 onwards, later introducing the other products in the range. Unilever were unable to use the 1
  2. name Axe in the UK and Ireland due to trademark problems so it was launched as Lynx. The European launch of the deodorant was followed by success in Latin America and moderate impact in Asia and Africa. In the new millennium the brand has launched with great success in the USA and Canada. The company has also consolidated its deodorant portfolio by migrating other over-lapping male deodorants into the Axe brand such as South Africa's Ego brand. INTERNAL PRESENCE Axe brand products are consistently targeted to 18-25 year old males. As illustrated in Figure 2, they are currently distributed in more than 40 countries. Figure 2: Axe’s Global Presence Not all Axe brand items/fragrances are marketed in all countries, or found in all retail outlets stocking the line. 2
  3. SUSTAINING GROWTH Axe has increased sales worldwide by successfully expanding distribution into one country after another; while the strategically timed introduction of new fragrances has increased overall market share. As the market matures, Unilever must now address new market opportunities- ethnic multi-cultural markets located throughout the world--where it can realize incremental sales. AXE PRODUCT EXTENSION Although Axe's lead product is the fragranced deodorant bodyspray, other forms of the brand exist. 3
  4. Within underarm care the following are available: • Deodorant aerosol bodyspray • Deodorant stick • Deodorant roll-on • Antiperspirant aerosol spray (Axe Dry) • Antiperspirant stick (Axe Dry) The brand has also extended into other areas such as: • Shower Gels • Aftershaves and Eau de Toilette • Skin Care • Shampoo • Hair Styling 4
  5. SWOT ANALYSIS 5
  6. OBJECTIVES STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES • Market leadership • men featured are comparatively • Fame for creative messages slim • Affordable price • objectification of provocation, • Wide extension around the showing a rude attitude, world weakning the reputation of the • Successful and effective brand advertisement campaigns • concrete target public (young • Strong emotional touch man) • subliminal publicity, “AXE effect” doesn’t exist • unrenovated and old design of packaging • advertise only spray products, AXE production line is much more • chauvinistic publicity OPPORTUNITIES THREATS • create new product lines, • risk of being a brand for targeting female customers enhancing the men sex-appeal • maintain better standards of • copy by the competitors quality • undermining the aspiration of • unified advertising campaign consumers throughout the world • spray emits damages to the • continuous innovation environment Success as an entity, requires the highest standards of corporate behaviour towards employees, consumers and societies of the world in which we live. 6
  7. Only by truly understanding the essence of Unilever's mission statement, can corporate excellence be obtained. Only then can the vision statement of adding vitality to life in order to meet the needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life be realized. From the humble beginnings of the Ego brand in 1974, to formation of Axe and penultimate rebranding of Lynx for distribution in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is the mission that rings true, even today. Axe has become the world's definitive grooming brand – ranging from deodorants, body sprays, and shower gels – available in a wide assortment of seductive fragrances. The next year will prove crucial in maintaining incremental global market share in over 40 countries. The primary target market for the product line should remain focused on 18-24 year old males. Key to sustaining growth will be the ability to identify and isolate tightly focused promotional efforts playing on the “boy meets girl” meme customers and competitors have come to associate with the high profile of Axe. The element pertaining to success would be exploring new avenues of creativity to target social sub-cultures and ethnic groups more effectively in areas where these opportunities exist. 7
  8. • transform Axe into an icon in the “Game of Seduction” • .Increase the deodorant’s brand equity • .Increase sales volume • Creatively target sub-culture through specifically appealing to their niche interests in countries where market share for the targeted sub- culture age group is oligopolistic and its growth steadily increasing • Attract ethnic potential customers in countries where traditional marketing efforts may conflict with the collective conscious native to that particular country • Serve to additional age groups not necessarily conforming to 18-25 year old males • Satisfy each target costumer to the maximum obtainable level of satisfaction STRATEGY Essentially, the formation of the proposed brand is an merger of line extensions and multibrands dependent on the area of target market: 8
  9. • Line extension brand strategy would include addressing the marketing objectives of targeting younger males by promoting current brands to the new potential market by adjusting the product strategy to appeal to current affairs that interest this section of the target market – still, however, preserving brand names. Line extension strategy may also be highly effective in targeting niche sub-culture markets by extending the Axe/Lynx brand to appeal to their unique interests such as the aforementioned Axe/Lynx Binary sub-label. Line extensions represent existing brand names extended tonew forms, sizes and flavours of an existing product category • The use of multibrand strategy allows for new brands to be introduced in the same Axe/Lynx product categories of deodorants, and even body sprays and shower gels under new brand names, accompanied by new product strategies (Kotler). This particular strategy can be incorporated into achieving the marketing objectives of penetrating new segments Therefore, a combination of line extensions under the Axe/Lynx brand name to include new fragrances like Axe/Lynx, adjusting current marketing initiatives through altering product strategy to appeal to younger age groups, and new brands – owned by Unilever – named Shinx or Dune serve to satisfy 9
  10. all outlined marketing objectives and increase the market share. CREATIVE STRATEGY The strategy had to build on the brand heritage, while rejuvenating Axe’s image to make comtemporary. Passive seduction was still a real and motivating consumer insight. The youngs want to be seductive without being seen to try too much. Having women show an inerest gives them the confidence to go on. However, since all brands talk about seduction, Axe had to impose its own point of view in a clever and motivating way. The execution had to be new and different; it made a break with conventional publicity. Humour was used, considering seduction as a serious business. The setting and protagonists used should be relevant and aspirational to the target audience. This involves moving from the traditional exotic male role model to an environment close to the consumer’s reality. The creative idea was to show the seduction effects of Axe on women, f who is wearing it. 10
  11. MARKETING SITUATION When launched, Axe created a new product category: deodorant body spray for men. Over and above the classical deodorant promise of odour prevention, Axe also offered fragance, which allowed it to be positioned as a “seduction tool, easing the transition from adolescence to manhood”. Axe has established itself as the leading male toiletries brand in Europe. Central to the brand’s success was its innovate character, creating its own category, which situated it at the leading edge of fashion. However, the brand seemed to have aged with its initial consumer and didn’t follow youth fashion trends. Research indicates that the “Axe man” was seen as dated “James Bond in a safari suit”. The communication format was unable to go up the current values of the youth target. TARGET CUSTOMER PROFILE In order to understand the proposed target market effectively, particular evaluation needs to be given to the demographic, psychographic and 11
  12. behavioural features evident in the sample size: - The targeted age range should consist of 15-25 years of age - The target market is also male, unaffected by race or ethnicity – although different marketing initiatives may appeal to different ethnic groups - Targeted consumer is of a lower socio-economic status given the income distribution of the age group and education levels - The status of the proposed candidate is that of a bachelor or most likely involved in shorter term relationships - The dominant portion of the target consumers exhibit heterosexual orientation, given the success of previous campaigns portraying the protagonist of this sexual orientation The following profile can therefore be established; Age: 15-25 Gender: Male Mentality: Mainstream. 12
  13. Perception: Peer influenced Socio-economic Class: Low Geography: Anywhere males and females are present Sexuality: Heterosexual Internationally this brand targets male aged 15-25. They still love the unique Axe fantasy of “the woman making the first move”. Young men in this age group are impatient for their first experience of women. They dream about being able to seduce women without too much effort, because they are not as confident as they seem. Their main topics of interest are sex, music, football and having a laugh. The brand has its brand values of Cool, Fashionable and Stylish. And world over, the brand shoots to its core values. The biggest strength of this brand is the underlying message or the DNA, which is that the brand users are High on Confidence and always for the Axe users, “Girls Makes The First Move”. I think the biggest competitive advantage of this brand is its complete monopoly over this brand proposition. All its campaigns revolve round this central theme of Seduction where Girl makes the first move. I think it has lot of subliminal implications. The brand assumes that Men 13
  14. wants to be seduced. That feeling (of being seduced) gives a big boost of self confidence to a man. Although many brands take this proposition, Axe just made it perfect. COMPETITORS The only potential competition faced by Axe/Lynx in terms of direct competition are other deodorant brands being produced – directed towards the same target market. These include, TAG Body Spray, Old Spice (Old Spice 2008) and various other generic brands targeting the lower and younger socio- economic market share. Given the oligopolistic nature of the deodorant market competitors cannot gain significant market share by dropping prices much lower than Axe/Lynx. TAG is a re-incarnation of Right Guard Body Spray, released in 2002. Right Guard Body Spray was discontinued after several months 14
  15. due to very low sales. Gillette then spent the next few years trying to find how to successfully market a body spray for teen boys. As a result of their research, TAG was released in the beginning of 2005. Features inspired by their research included their advertising campaign which "warns" the viewer that women will be attracted to him in a way that will cause them to attack him, the charcoal-grey aluminum cans with silhouettes of women, and fragrances named after dating milestones. Additionally, Gillette decided not to include any sign that Gillette manufactured the product on the product itself or in the advertising. It was decided that Gillette's reputation from its other products would detract from the sale of TAG. Old Spice's buoy-shaped bottle cologne has been its staple product, available in its original scent as well as newer Pure Sport. In 2006, Old Spice introduced an all-new fragrance, OS Signature, which won the magazine FHM 's 2006 Grooming Award for Best Sporty Fragrance. Old Spice Red Zone products include a "Scratch-and-sniff" version of the Signature fragrance. 15
  16. Old Spice as of 2009 has three lines of grooming products and each line features a variety of products and scents. "High Endurance" is promoted as a basic grooming line, and includes antiperspirant, deodorant, body wash, hair & body wash, and shaving products. THE LIFE CYCLE OF AXE DEODORANT SPRAY The product life cycle (PLC) is the course of a product's sales and profits during its lifetime – segregated into product development, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Every Axe/Lynx product is accustomed to the first four stages of the PLC. However, as soon as the decline stage is reached and a declination of profits observed, a reiteration process is commenced with the introduction of a new product under the brand name. The maturity and decline phases are judged based on customer perception of brand equity in over 40 countries worldwide. The product life cycle of the past to the recent present, tied in with perceptual brand equity factors, and subsequent line extensions are as follows: 1983 – Amber (Axe/Lynx Amber 2008), Spice (Axe/ Lynx Spice 2008), Musk (Axe/Lynx Musk 2008) 16
  17. 1985 – Amber, Spice, Musk introduced into the United Kingdom 1987 – Orient (Axe/Lynx Orient 2008) 1989 – Marine (Axe/Lynx Marine 2008) 1995 – Africa (Axe/Lynx Africa 2008) 1998 – Apollo (Axe/Lynx Apollo 2008) 1999 – Voodoo (Axe/Lynx Voodoo 2008) 2000 – Phoenix (Axe/Lynx Phoenix 2008) 2001 – Gravity (Axe/Lynx Gravity 2008) 2002 – Apollo, Kilo, Orion, Phoenix, Tsunami, Voodoo introduced into the United States 2003 – Pulse (Axe/Lynx Pulse 2008), Essence (Axe/Lynx Essence 2008) 2004 – Touch (Axe/Lynx Touch 2008) 2005 – Unlimited (Axe/Lynx Unlimited 2008) 2006 – Click (Axe/Lynx Click 2008) 2007 – Vice (Axe/Lynx Vice 2008) 2008 – Dark Temptation (Axe/Lynx Dark Temptation 2008), and Sharp Focus (Axe/Lynx Sharp Focus 2008) 17
  18. MARKETING MIX PRODUCT Axe/Lynx body spray can features a distinctive black metallic exterior and an associative logo 18
  19. representative of its label. Ergonomics have been perfected on the product level to a point where aerosol leakage has become virtually impossible. The Axe/Lynx brand name is designed around a logo that utilises custom designed typography to give it a distinctive and recognisable look – its black exterior, complimenting packaging and striking short, block lettering exemplified thereon setting it apart from the generic competitor. Augmentation of the product line allows customers to interact with its various promotional campaigns through a plethora of web sites scattered with images of attractive females – all in favour of complying with the needs of its target market. There are also telephone hotlines available to assist customers with information about competitions and the more intricate product details. PROMOTION Mass communication can be utilised through the use of free-to-air television, radio, newspapers and magazines, as well as other methods like cinema and outdoor advertising. All its campaigns revolve round the central theme of Seduction where Girl makes the first move. 19
  20. It has, absolutely, subliminal implications. The brand assumes that Men wants to be seduced . That feeling gives a big boost of self confidence to a man. Although many brands take this proposition, Axe just made it perfect. In most of the Axe ads only very ordinary skinny kind of people getting assaulted by beautiful girls. That makes the brand more approachable. If Axe had used a Hunk, the promotions couldn't have been so effective. The brand managers were so wise that when they used a celebrity like Ben Affleck. It ensured that the brand is made approachable. The brand has started its Internet based marketing initiative with Axe Land, which involved a virtual trip to the Axe world. Globally also this brand has lot of online initiatives which are almost always naughty. In UK the Axe is marketed as LYNX. Not only the brand uses TVC's to its advantage, the print ads of Axe won several awards in various ad events. Besides Print, the brand also uses outdoors to its maximum impact. Axe is a classic example of 360 degrees branding effort. Now Axe has a common message in over 70 countries. 20
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  25. PRICE The product solves an immediate problem. Cologne is too expensive for most Gen Y men and body spray does the job at a price they can afford. This is its fundamental feature. £2.69 Developing the pricing strategy requires an intimate look at the product strategy. If the product is deemed an innovation – on the grounds of addressing a previously untargeted market like a sub-culture or youth segment – the most profitable strategy for the Axe/Lynx brand would be a market-penetration tactic. Market-penetration aims to set a comparatively low price for a new product in order to attract a large number of buyers and enhance a current market share. 25
  26. PLACE The process of efficiently and effectively making and getting products and services to end-users requires a marketing logistics network. Essentially, the physical distribution of the proposed products should propagate through a series of intermediaries as a fast moving consumer good typically purchased by consumers weekly. Distribution begins with the Unilever sales forecasting intermediary by determining company production schedules, inventory levels and production. Everywhere the product ables to purchase is developed a in-store communication through educating retailer staff to be aware of competitions and promotion campaigns for Axe/Lynx products, as well as providing special promotional information about products and potentially,increase sales. Places where we can find the product to purchase it: • Websites: www.unilever.com www.amazon.com www.healthpricer.com www.drugstore.com 26
  27. • Stores-beauty section • Supermarkets SOME CRITICISMS ABOUT AXE PRODUCT AND MARKETING So if a cologne/deodorant fusion smells like digested, double shit, theoretically it wouldn’t sell for lint and loose paper clips, right? That’s not what’s going on with Axe. Young Gen Y men are elbowing each other to grab it off the shelves… So what’s the real AXE effect? 1. As I told before, the product solves an immediate problem. Cologne is too expensive for most men and body spray does the job at a price they can afford. This is its fundamental feature. 2. The message is perfect. Axe sells the concept of never dealing with rejection ever again. A problem that terrifies most men. In fact, when wearing Axe and confidence, perfect gorgeous women approach you - the normal guy. This is the fundamental benefit. 27
  28. Focus on one feature and tie it directly to one benefit. This focus will keep your brand message consistent and you’ll get the girl, every time. Have you heard of the Naughty to Nice Program? Pay attention to the video where David Rubin, Senior Director of Axe PR, only exists to promote Axe Body Spray. He does so in such a blatantly obvious way that it’s funny, giving their marketing team a sense of humor and making them more human. All great things! All in all, Axe kills a fundamental Gen Y marketing rule - providing great products - instead they sell the benefits of never be rejected by women again and that’s exactly why it works! 28
  29. TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………..1 1.1. History of the brand ……………………………………………………..1 1.2. Internal presence………………………………………………………… 2 1.3. Sustaining growth………………………………………………………..3 1.4. Axe / Lynx product extension……………………………………………3 SECTION 2: SWOT ANALYSIS…………………………………………….5 2.1. Strengths………………………………………………………………….5 2.2. Weaknesses……………………………………………………………….5 2.3. Opportunities……………………………………………………………..5 2.4. Threats……………………………………………………………………5 SECTION 3: OBJECTIVES…………………………………………………..6 SECTION 4: STRATEGY……………………………………………………8 4.1. Creative strategy………………………………………………………….9 SECTION 5: MARKETING SITUATION………………………………….10 SECTION 6: TARGET CUSTOMER PROFILE……………………………11 SECTION 5: COMPETITORS………………………………………………13 SECTION 4: THE LIFE-CYCLE OF THE PRODUCT…………………….15 29
  30. SECTION 5: MARKETING MIX…………………………………………...18 5.1. Product…………………………………………………………………..18 5.2. Promotion………………………………………………………………..19 5.3. Price……………………………………………………………………..24 5.4. Place……………………………………………………………………..25 SECTION 6: CONCLUSION………………………………………………..26 6.1. Criticisms………………………………………………………………..26 30
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